In Preview: Pinot in the City

by Leesy Latronica

Surrounded by mountain ranges in all but one direction, Oregon’s Willamette Valley has long been a Northwestern hub for Pinot…


Husband and wife dynamic duo, John and Joy Olson of TeSóAria Vineyard and Winery, are producing quality bottles of wine with the products of their Roseburg and Medford, Ore., vineyards. At 1,900-foot elevation, the 2013 Vermentino shows how these shallow, volcanic soils provide vines with the perfect nourishment which results in a hearty mineral kick.

Back for its 27th year in support of the Washington winemaking industry, this year’s Auction of Washington Wines kicks off Thursday, August 14 with tastings and summer-inspired bites at the Picnic and Barrel Auction.
Guests at Woodinville, Wash.,’s elegant Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery will be in good company, with more than 100 winemakers on hand to offer tastes, and a culinary staff from Tulalip Resort Casino serving up a carefully curated dinner menu.

This wine was awarded a Lieutenant Governor Awards for Excellence in British Columbia Wines last month, recognized as one of the top 12 wines in the competition. Howling Bluff Estate Winery is the culmination of a 20 year dream to make exceptional wines. A no-compromise attitude from owner Luke Smith results in their use of only their own estate-grown grapes, and they produce a small portfolio in limited quantities.

Wine has long been revered as the drink of the gods, the liquid in the glasses of the aristocrats, the cure to a broken heart and the perfect match to almost every dinner. Unfortunately, the problem of that latter statement resides in the word “almost.

People around the United States are getting prepared to gather their friends and families, light their barbies and set off fireworks in celebration of America’s national Independence Day. Although the delicacies most commonly created on the grill and served to the masses on paper plates are undeniable palate-pleasers, pairing them with fine wines and craft beers may seem a daunting task, so we’re here to help.

Born and raised on their family’s five-generation-old Yakima Valley farm, brothers Patrick and Matthew Rawn wore every hat around the property from forklift operators to takeout order-retreivers as they grew up—now their hats are worn as vignerons.

Head toward the Vancouver Island coast for tastings of more than 100 British Columbian wines accompanied by bites of in-season ingredients, as Taste: Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine returns for its sixth annual celebration of local, sustainability-focused flavors.

It is no secret that in the summer wine tastes better alfresco, especially on a beautiful patio. This is why it is with excitement and anticipation that we await the kickoff of the Sips of Summer Series happy hour events on Wednesday, July 9 at the Lobby Bar and patio at Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle.

Last weekend I drove down a sunbaked road north in the wee town of Osoyoos, just shy of Oliver, across acres of vines and weaving along the Black Sage Bench in the middle of Canada’s only “official” desert. I passed cow grates, turtle crossings and a freak (brief) rainshower. My destination? A shipping container.
That’s right—a fancy, kitted-out kitchen-from-container that had arrived to Black Hills Estate Winery the day before (and weeks later than anticipated, naturally).

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