Mercer Estates 2010 Merlot

by Erin James

A Scottish ancestor brought the Mercer clan to the United States, as a solider and doctor under General George Washington…

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A true family affair, McMinnville, Ore.,’s Heater Allen Brewing is a father-daughter operation of Rick and Lisa Allen. Mother Jan wasn’t forgotten, her maiden name, “Heater,” took first title in the twofold brewery’s handle. After 25 years of homebrewing, Rick Allen started Heater Allen in 2007 and daughter Lisa joined two years later.

If you haven’t heard of Culmina, you’re forgiven. Culmina Family Estate Winery is fairly new to the BC wine scene. However, the Triggs family behind the family estate winery part is a legend in our industry. If you know anything of Canadian wine, wherever you may be, you will probably have heard of Jackson-Triggs. Donald Triggs, left the successful, groundbreaking winery years ago for retirement—but it didn’t last very long.

Allegedly named for the 12th century troubadour Arnaut Daniel, Woodinville, Wash.,’s Avennia is producing a Syrah that lives up the poetic nature of its name. With an origin like Boushey Vineyards in Yakima Valley, ran by Dick Boushey who is a viticultural troubadour in his own right, the 2011 Syrah was fermented with 15 percent whole cluster grapes, then aged for 16 months in 15 percent new French oak, allowing a true expression of this fruit’s composition.

For the on-the-go adventurer whose beverage of choice is wine, packaging can become an issue when headed to the beach, campground, potluck or tailgate. A glass bottle may not survive the bumps while shoved into a hiking pack (especially risky for red wine aficionados). And for those who find they’ve forgotten the corkscrew at home—unless you’re a MacGyver with a hairpin or paper clip— we wish you the best of luck.

Corey Schuster cut his teeth in the wine trade pouring someone else’s wine. Then he helped to make someone else’s wine where he fell hard for the camaraderie, community and, more importantly, the creation of his own wine. On his self-curated website, Schuster blogs about “the chance to create something, to have an end product I could hold in my hand and share led me to wanting to make my own wine.

One of the real pioneering wine families of the Okanagan Valley, the Heiss family have promoted the area, their northern Kelowna region and their Germanic-styled wines over decades and to wide acclaim with their Gray Monk Estate Winery. George & Trudy Heiss moved to the Okanagan Valley from Europe via Edmonton, Alberta with dreams of owning a successful vineyard.

Sangria seems to be everywhere this summer. It’s popping up on restaurant menus, and making regular appearances at cook-outs and summer parties. Like punch, it’s an easy choice for a party on summer evenings. Combine wine (or cider), some seasonal fruit, spices, ice, and maybe some soda water.
“Sangria is kind of the perfect party drink,” says Skye Gauzza, general manager at Golden Beetle in Seattle. Gauzza is a big fan of Sangria. “They don’t take a ton of planning.

Modeled after the wine swigged at bistro tables in Paris, Division Winemaking Company launched their Division-Villages line of “quaffable reds and whites” this spring. Although some have been sold out of the upstart Portland winery’s Southeast Wine Collective location for some time, the wines are still available on shelves, including the 2013 Division-Villages Béton.

Surrounded by mountain ranges in all but one direction, Oregon’s Willamette Valley has long been a Northwestern hub for Pinot Noir and other cool-climate grape varieties. In fact, Willamette Valley grapes account for 89.5 percent of the state’s Pinot Noir production and 77 percent of its total wine production.

 
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