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Episode 30 | Charlie & Will Hoppes: A Red Mountain Legacy


Charlie & Will Hoppes

1st and 2nd generation winemakers, Fidelitas  | Wine Boss

This episode is Part 2 about the heralded Red Mountain AVA and the generational stories that carry these wines into the future.

2019 marked Charlie Hoppes’ 32nd vintage in Washington State—and a wine making enterprise he and his son, Will Hoppes, now share together. Charlie has a storied journey having worked with Mike Januik, Waterbrook Winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Col Solare, and Three Rivers Winery before founding Fidelitas on Red Mountain. 

Will heads up the Woodinville tasting room and he joined his father this year in the vineyards and cellar. Together, they are building a multi-generational team whose best vintages are yet to come.

Visit Fidelitas on Red Mountain
Visit Fidelitas in Woodinville

Red Mountain: A premier wine destination

Plan your trip to the Red Mountain wine destination here. Don’t miss Episode 29 for Part 1 where you’ll hear about our stay at The Lodge at Columbia Point, our interview with one of the people who started it all, John Williams, along with 3rd generation winemaker Tyler Williams. Plus our wineries to check out on your trip like the French inspired estate, Hedges Family Vineyards, Hightower and Tapteil.

Visit Hamilton Cellars
Visit Anelare
Visit Upchurch Vineyard
Visit Frichette Winery
Visit  Purple Star
Thank you, Erin Osborne, President of Osborne Northwest Public Relations, a boutique PR agency specializing in lifestyle and hospitality public relations. AND thank you to Alicia Brown, the Executive Director of The Red Mountain AVA Alliance for helping to arrange the weekend’s events.

Episode 29 | Red Mountain’s vine pioneers—then and now


Tyler and John Williams, Kiona Vineyards
Tyler and John Williams

3rd and 1st generation winemakers  | Kiona Vineyards & Winery

This episode is Part 1 of 2 about the heralded Red Mountain AVA and the generational stories that carry these wines into the future.

To pinpoint the origins of Red Mountain, you’ll need go back as far as 1961. That’s when GE employees John Williams and Jim Holmes met and struck up a friendship around their mutual appreciation of wine. By 1965, they had begun a side education with Washington wine legend Dr. Walter Clore, who planted the seed in their heads that Red Mountain was prime vineyard material.

By 1972, John and Jim had purchased land on Red Mountain, ignoring the jibes of those that thought they were crazy. Looking back, it did seem like a leap to invest in what resembled a dusty desert only suitable for growing sagebrush. Fortunately for wine lovers, they didn’t listen to the nay-sayers and planted the first Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Chardonnay on the mountain. 

Kiona has been making wine since 1980 with John’s son Scott who followed his father as Vineyard Manager and Winemaker. Scott’s sons also joined the family business, with JJ taking the role of Director of Operations and most recently, Tyler taking on every aspect of winemaking.  

Visit Kiona Vineyards

Red Mountain: Your next wine destination

Red Mountain is 15 minutes away from Richland, WA and may be the smallest AVA is Washington, but it’s full of more adventures and award-winning wines than visitors can experience in one day. Listen to our journey through this prized wine growing region’s must-see tasting rooms, nearby restaurants and the stories that started it all.

Plan your trip to Red Mountain wineries here.
Visit Hightower Cellars
Visit Hedges Family Estate
Visit Tapteil Vineyards
Book your stay at The Lodge at Columbia Point
Thank you, Erin Osborne, President of Osborne Northwest Public Relations, a boutique PR agency specializing in lifestyle and hospitality public relations. AND thank you to Alicia Brown, the Executive Director of The Red Mountain AVA Alliance for helping to arrange the weekend’s events.

Episode 28 | Winemaker Kerry Shiels joins the best of Washington for a cause


Kerry Shiels

Côte Bonneville | DuBrul Vineyard

Kerry gained experience in all areas of winemaking in California, Argentina and Australia before coming home to her family roots at DuBrul Vineyard. Fruit from this prestigious acreage and her gift of finesse delivers a bold elegance to her Côte Bonneville and Train Station labels. Kerry talks to us about her upcoming wines, her love the Mosel region of Germany and the ultimate wine cruise she has planned for YOU!

Visit Côte Bonneville

The Auction of Washington Wines set record-breaking generosity

Auction of Washington Wines celebrated its 32nd annual weekend of charitable wine events August 15 – 17, 2019, raising over $4.5 million and hitting a new milestone for the second year in a row.

Over 200 winemakers, vintners and growers attended the events over the course of three days to celebrate, pour wines and offer wine-focused auction lots to help achieve this goal. “The Washington wine industry and its community are the perfect pair for this annual event, which had a new, palpable energy this year that attracted a vibrant audience, including veteran attendees and newcomers alike,” said Executive Director of AWW, Jamie Peha.
Press Release—Auction of Washington Wines
Photography @Andrea Johnson & courtesy of Côte Bonneville

Private Barrel Auction lightening interviews

The Auction of Washington Wine’s Private Barrel Auction is an exclusive event that showcases the best Washington winemakers to raise money for Seattle Children’s and WSU Viticulture and Enology program. We whisked away Chris Peterson, Kevin White and Erica Orr down to a dimly lit cellar room at Novelty Hill Januik for lightening interviews. One question on the top of our minds— ”What does being a part of the Auction of Washington Wine mean to you?”

Chris Peterson, Kevin White, Erica Orr

Chris Peterson

Avennia | Liminal Wine | Passing Time
Chris was named the 2017 “Winemaker of the Year” by Seattle Magazine and has helped to raise Washington’s national recognition within the industry. His most notable position was working alongside Chris Upchurch at DeLille Cellars for eight years until he co-founded Avennia.

Learn more about the new and exciting, Liminal
Buy directly from Avennia

Kevin White

Kevin White Winery
Kevin was named “Winemaker to Watch” in 2015 and “Best Emerging Winery” in 2018 by Seattle Magazine. You understand why at first taste. He focuses primarily on Rhone varietals like Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedré from the higher elevation vineyards in the Yakima Valley AVA.

Buy directly from Kevin White Winery

Erica Orr

Baer Winery | Orr Wines
Erica earned her Master’s Degree from UC Davis and a biochemistry degree from UC Berkeley and has been working in the wine industry since 1998. Erica has been an independent winemaking consult working with wineries like Baer Winery, Mark Ryan, Guardian Cellars and Sparkman—garnering aclaim for her knowledge and talent.

Buy directly from Baer Winery
Find Orr Wines

Episode 27 | Where Washington and Spain meet


Javier Alfonso

Idilico  | Pomum Cellars

Javier Alfonso grew up in Spain’s Ribera de Duero on a small family vineyard. Find out his journey from one of the best wine regions in the world to a winemaker and grower in Washington State. Hear how he thought he left his childhood vineyard life behind for an aerospace engineering, only to have it call him back. He also shares the long process of getting his Spanish Tempranillo clones into the US and how the demand for clay amphoras has left a world-wide wait list.

Visit Idilico  and Pomum Cellars

Albariño blind tasting challenge: Washington vs. Rias Baixas

Albariño is one of the many great white wines you should be drinking this summer. Learn how it’s unique and what foods make it sing. Then we reveal the results of our Albariño blind tasting! We wondered, could Washington State hold up to the the Albariño masters of the world, Rias Baixas in Spain, and how different or similar would we be in comparison?

Learn more about Rias Baixas Albariño or find where to buy
Thank you, Stefanie Schwalb, Senior Content Manager at GREGORY + VINE for providing selections of Albariño from Rias Baixas.

FOOD PAIRING & RECIPE

Sole with Albariño sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 whole sole
  • ½ onion
  • bay leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 glass of Albariño wine
  • olive oil
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • salt

Method

Clean the sole, cut the fillets and set the bones aside. In a pan, mix the fish bones with 1 glass of Albariño wine, ½ an onion, 1 bay leaf and 1 clove of garlic and gently cook on low for 15 minutes before draining through a sieve.

Put the fillets in the oven with a few drops of oil and lemon juice. Let them cook for 5 minutes on medium heat and then pour over the Albariño stock.

When the stock starts to simmer, remove the fish from the oven and serve.

Find more Albariño food pairings here.

Pomum Cellars photography curtesy of Javier Alfonso  |  Recipe photo curtesy of RiasBaixas.com

Episode 26 | Okanagan Valley: Canada’s World Class Wine Destination

The number one wine destination awaits

The Huffington Post recently named the Okanagan Valley, B.C. the number one wine destination in the world, followed by Bordeaux, France. The Okanagan offers more than 60 grape varietals, covering just under 9000 acres, and it’s natural beauty attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists year to their 185 wineries. Listen to Dave and Sandi’s travel north through the valley and what aspects make this region number one.

Plus, Sandi shares a couple of tips on how you can keep your wine from frying in a hot car during a wine tasting trip.

B.C. Wine Trip Planner

Thank you to Leanne Froese, owner of Town Hall Brands, a wine industry marketing agency in Vancouver, B.C. for helping us plan our trip. And a thank you to PR genius, Erin Osborne, for inviting us to the B.C. Wine and Food Experience with a masterclass and winemaker dinner at Tom Douglas’s Palace Ballroom in Seattle (with Tom Douglas!).

The easy way to buy Okanagan

It’s not easy, yet, to buy direct, however, we found a few. (Wineries, contact us if you ship directly to the U.S.)

Summer Hill Winery  |  Ricco Bambino  | Checkmate Winery

French oak vs. American oak

Listen to the differences between French and American oak barrels in winemaking and how that impacts many of the wines you’ll find in the Okanagan.

Okanagan adventure 2019 *must-see wineries

Oliver & Pentiction

*Check Mate Winery  (By appointment only)  |  *Painted Rock Estate Winery  |   Rust Wine Co.  |   Road 13 Vineyards

Summerland

*Sage Hills Vineyard  |  *Dirty Laundry Vineyard  |  Okanagan Crush Pad

Kelowna

*Mission Hill Winery (Lunch or Dinner reservations)  |  *Summerhill Winery (Lunch or Dinner reservations)  |*Tantalus Vineyards  |  *The Hatch  | *Quail’s Gate (Lunch or Dinner reservations)  |  Rico Bambino  |  The Naked Cafe (Vegan breakfast & lunch—not a winery!)

Lake Country

*Arrowleaf Cellars  |  *50th Parallel Estate Winery (Lunch or Dinner reservations)  |  Ex Nihilo  |  Gray Monk

Naramata Bench

*Laughing Stock Vineyards (by appointment only)  *Bench 1775  |  Red Rooster Winery

 

Similkameen Valley

*Clos du Soleil

Episode 25 | Inspired wines crafted in Lake Chelan


Charlie & Lacey Lybecker

Cairdeas Winery

Cairdeas (pronounced, “Cardis”) was founded in 2009 by Charlie & Lacey Lybecker. Charlie pulls inspiration from the Rhône valley of France to craft traditional wines and blends from Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Counoise, Cinsault and Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, and Picpoul. Lake Chelan was an area that called to them and they’ve grown their business and family on their property overlooking the lake. Listen in as they offer advice for anyone dreaming of a business and their plans for a new 2-story tasting room.

Visit Cairdeas Winery

A different vantage point—e-Bike Wine Tour!

We decided to lug our own e-bikes for the Chelan Electric Bikes wine tour rather than to rent them. Our guide for the day was Caroline and she took us down paths along the river, the main road, through neighborhoods and scenic views on our way to a few wineries that we’ll talk about.

Thank you, Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce for sponsoring our e-bike wine tour with Chelan Electric Bikes!

 

Judy Phelps, Hard Row to Hoe

Happy 10th Anniversary, Lake Chelan AVA!
When we contacted the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce to plan our trip, they connected us to a woman who is one of the leading authorities on this region, Judy Phelps, owner and winemaker of Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards and Winery. Judy and her Vineyard manager husband, Don, are committed to promoting the use of locally grown fruit. Judy shares what makes the Lake Chelan AVA so unique and what varietals should be known. Plus, she reveals the whimsical, yet suggestive name of their winery and the background on the colorful historical events that inspired it.

Visit Hard Row to Hoe

Lake Chelan Upcoming Events

Crush—Oct 2020
Play Your Stay
Winterfest—Jan 17-26, 2020
Play Your Stay (tickets available November 1, 2019)
Red Wine & Chocolate—Feb 2020 (dates to come)
Play Your Stay
Chelan Cycle De Vine—June 2020
Check it out
Lake Chelan Arts Festival—June 2020
Learn More

Our top Lake Chelan wineries to visit

Lake Chelan has a little over 30 wineries and in three and a half days, we visited and tasted through 19 that were recommended by others or we discovered on our own. 19! (Decanted: Doing the hard work) Here are our picks to visit.

Succession Wines (Wine Press Northwest’s 2018 Washington Winery to Watch)
Cairdeas Winery
Rocky Pond Winery  (Wine Press Northwest’s 2019 Washington Winery to Watch)
Fielding Hills Winery
Hard Row to Hoe Winery
Nefarious Cellars
Tildio Winery
Karma Vineyards (Wine, Méthode Champenoise bubbles, whiskey and food)
Tsillan Cellars and Sorrento’s Ristorante (book early for outdoor dining)
Siren Song Wines (outdoor bistro style food and wine tasting)
Tipsy Canyon Winery (new tasting room)

 

Episode 24 | Rosé Around the World

It’s rosé season again, but maybe we should be asking ourselves: Is there such a thing as rosé season, or should we be drinking rosé all year long? In this episode, we talk all things rosé, including a brief rosé 101, and we discuss our recent in-home tasting where we placed Washington state wines alongside those from international producers. Plus, we feature a couple of on-the-spot interviews with two of our guests, Rachel Fay and Cori Omundson who are NW Wine Academy guests and they discuss, you guessed it—ROSÉ! Learn about the Academy’s new rosé release and suggestions on a perfect food pairing.

4 Rosé production styles

Listen to the episode to hear about these styles.

  1. Direct press
  2. Maceration process
  3. Saignée Method
  4. Red and white blending

Thank you, Taub Family Companies

Taub Family Companies represent some of the most heralded wine regions of the world. They were kind enough to kindly provide us six 2018 rosés from their international portfolio—from New Zealand, Italy, France, and Argentina. We added more to the tasting from Washington, Oregon, France, and Portugal along with a “Mystery Bottle.”

Check out Taub Family Selections and where you can buy in your location.
Check out Palm Bay International to find more Taub Family Companies wine.

Washington Rosés from this episode’s tasting

Col Solare 2017 Shining Hill Rose

77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 9% Syrah  | The Cabernet Franc and Syrah were fermented in once used French Oak barrels using Saignee Method juice.

Get it Now

Tranche Estate 2018 Pink Pape Rose

Grenache, Cinsault, Counoise blend  | A gentle and rapid direct press cycle helped to avoid excessive extraction from the skins, yielding a juice pale pink in color with delicate flavors and aromas.

Get it Now

2017 Shining Hill Rose

77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 9% Syrah

Get it Now

20187 The Magician’s Assistant Rosé

100% Cabernet Franc

Get it Now

Episode 23 | Taste Washington 2019 Winemakers to Watch

A record-breaking number of food and wine lovers attended the 22nd annual Taste Washington festival. We chose three winemakers we want listeners to know more about and swept them away to the press room for lightening interviews. We gave them one shared question and they delivered three, very different answers: ”What life lesson has winemaking revealed to you?”

Justin Neufeld

JB Neufeld | Gilbert Cellars

Justin has been the winemaker for Gilbert Cellars since 2007 and in 2009, he took over management of the estate vineyards as well. Since the moment he became interested in wine Justin knew he wanted to start his own winery. As he learned more about viticulture and enology the more he became obsessed with the process, rather than the product. When he started his side label, JB Neufeld, his goal was to create a Cabernet Sauvignon that truly showcased the place it was grown. Justin believes it to be one of the best varieties for communicating a sense of place without too many outside interruptions. He sources from some of the best vineyards up and down the Yakima Valley and Red Mountain like Andrew Will’s Two Blondes Vineyard, Red Willow Vineyard, and the acclaimed Ciel Du Cheval.

Buy directly from JB Neufeld
Buy directly from Gilbert Cellars

Mari Womack

Damsel Cellars

Not every Damsel is in distress. In fact, this damsel seems to have things pretty well in hand. Damsel Cellars is a boutique winery owned and operated by winemaker, Mari Womack. She spent several years in the restaurant business and transitioned to working in Washington wineries such as Obelisco, Baer and as the assistant winemaker at Darby Winery. Mary is cleverly blending sophistication with a playfulness and joy that comes from doing what she loves. Now releasing her sith vintage, this Damsel is amassing a loyal following and Damsel Cellars is quickly becoming a winery to watch.

Buy directly from Damsel Cellars

Casey Cobble

Goose Ridge Estate Vineyards and Winery

The spark that brought Casey to wine was speaking with a winemaker across the tasting bar at a small winery in Prosser in 2007. He described his work routine, and to her, it seemed to be the perfect marriage of intellect, creativity, and being physical. Casey took classes at the NW Wine Academy while she worked as a Lead Wine Educator at the Columbia Winery tasting room in Woodinville. After her course work was complete, she was chosen for a harvest internship at Betz Family Winery, learning under Master of Wine Bob Betz and then hired as Cellar Assistant until 2014. After a stint as Winemaker to Robert Ramsay Cellars, in 2018, she moved across the state to work as Winemaker for Goose Ridge Estate Vineyard and Winery. This extremely dynamic and growing family-owned winery has given her the opportunity to learn winemaking on a larger scale and has allowed her to be in the vineyard more often. This means that no two days are the same in her world and she loves the cyclical nature of the wine industry.

Buy directly from Goose Ridge

You got to have Taste

We’ve caught up on our sleep now that the plethora of Washington Wine Month events has come to a close.

Taste WA, held at CenturyLink Field Convention Center, was the big kahuna. This year’s festival featured more than 240 Washington wineries and more than 70 celebrated restaurants. Per tradition, we call attention to newer wineries or ones we were less familiar with and winemakers with side label projects. This is not an exhaustive list so we encourage listeners to attend and adventure for themselves.

The NW Women Stars of Food and Wine was held at “The Sanctuary,” a converted church in downtown Seattle. Maybe it was the ascending escalator ride to the space of wine worship or the cool lighting inside the sanctuary, but we think that was the best “church service” we ever attended!

Check out the list of our favorite wines below the photo gallery and support these boutique winemakers.

Wines to Taste

Book and Bull

Buy 2016 Come Hell or High Water GSM

Côte Bonneville

Buy 2018 Cabernet Franc Rosé

Rocky Point Cellars

Buy 2014 Boushey Vineyard Grenache

Eagle Harbor Wine

Buy 2014 Founders Merlot

Idiot’s Grace

Buy all of Idiot’s Grace wines

Hawkins Cellars

Buy 2017 Underwood Mountain Chardonnay

Pollard Vineyard

Buy 2017 Merlot

Reasons Wine

Buy 2015 Red Excuses

Episode 22 | Morgan Lee —A Tale of Two Vintners


Morgan Lee. Two Vintners and Covington CellarsMorgan Lee

Two Vintners, Owner & Winemaker
Covington Cellars, Winemaker

Morgan’s story is somewhat a tale of two vintners, as he actively oversees not only his own winery, aptly called Two Vintners, but he’s also head winemaker for the revered Covington Cellars label.

Morgan takes us back to his humble beginnings in the midwest and what sparked him to become a winemaker, his philosophy, family and what he’d like Washington State to be known for.

His work with these labels has earned Morgan numerous accolades from diverse sources like Sunset Magazine, Seattle Met, Great Wine, The Washington Wine Report, Wine Press Northwest, United Airlines Rhapsody Magazine and Seattle Magazine who named Morgan one of their Winemakers to Watch.

Visit Two Vintners
Visit Covington Cellars

It’s Wine Event Season!

To us, February and March is Wine Event Season. We celebrated the best of Washington at the Washington Wine Blog 2nd Annual Critics Choice where we met wine unicorn, Christophe Baron of Cayuse and enjoyed the Top 100 of 2018. We also attended the Walla Walla Wine Alliance event in Seattle and raided Amber LeBeau’s (Spitbucket.net) impressive wine collection.

Old World Meets New World

A first in a new series, we compare and contrast an old world Brunello Di Montalcino with Morgan’s new world Sangiovese. We use the Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine and if you haven’t heard of that, you can learn by listening to Episode 21 and check out an easy guide on the episode page.

Where noted, images copyright of Marianna Jamadi

Episode 21 | Richard Duval captures the heart of Northwest Wine Country


Richard Duval, Duval ImagesRichard Duval, Duval Images

In this episode of Decanted, we interview Richard Duval, who has become one of the most well-renowned photographers in the Washington wine scene. He recalls his adventures in some of the most awe-inspiring vineyards in our state, offers practical photography advice and lists his picks of the most scenic wine destinations.

Richard’s work is frequently found in Great Northwest Wine, Wine Press Northwest, Sean Sullivan’s Washington Wine Report, Wine Business Monthly, Good Fruit Grower, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator and numerous blogs, wine sites and books. His images are used extensively in wine marketing guides for Walla Walla, Woodinville, Yakima Valley, Cascade Valley, the Columbia River Gorge and Red Mountain regions, the annual Washington Wine Guide, and he stages the “Art from the Vine” fine art exhibit in wine venues around Washington—well, you get the picture of Richard’s reach into Washington’s wine and art circles.

Learn more about Duval Images

Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine ®

We’ve mostly relied upon second-hand knowledge and gut instincts about how to react to the wines we’ve been served, which always kind of left us feeling like we were missing something. Over time, we’ve developed a palate by trial and error.

Learning the Systematic Approach helped us learn how to analyze the merits of a wine, regardless of what the winery, wine critics or other tasters think. This approach, we feel, will up your game and broaden your horizons through the understanding of BALANCE of certain criteria. Great wines have a good balance between acid and body, otherwise known as sweetness, which results in a superior wine. Too much acid and the wine becomes austere, too much sweetness or residual sugar and the wine becomes boring or “flabby.” In addition, a good structure with quality fruit and tannins (for reds) plays into creating a complex wine with different flavors activating your brain.

The Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine is broken down into four basic categories, each with characteristics to analyze:

Appearance

  1. Clarity: clear or hazy?
  2. Intensity: pale, medium or deep?
  3. Color: White—lemon, gold or amber? Rosé—pink, salmon or orange? Red—Purple, ruby, garnet or tawny?

Nose

  1. Condition: clean or unclean?
  2. Intensity: light, medium or pronounced?
  3. Aroma characteristics: e.g. fruits, floral, vegetal, spices, oak, earth, etc? Try and find 3 characteristics.

Palate

  1. Sweetness: dry, off-dry, medium or sweet? Tip: Tasting fruit doesn’t mean it’s sweet.
  2. Acidity: low, medium or high? Is your mouth watering?
  3. Tannin: low, medium or high? Is your mouth drying out?
  4. Body: light, medium or full? Is it silky?
  5. Flavor characteristics: e.g. fruits, floral, vegetal, spices, oak flavors, smoke, meaty, etc?
  6. Finish: short, medium or long? Tip:

Conclusions

  1. Quality: faulty, poor, acceptable, good, very good or outstanding?

We walk you through this system and their sub-categories along with two tastings.

Learn more about the Wine & Spirits Education Trust WSET Global

Real Wine Alliance

This episode is sponsored by Real Wine Alliance. With over 100 years of combined winery expertise, they supercharge wineries with distribution, direct to consumer, marketing, branding, web development, eCommerce, photography and awesome events!

Supercharge Your Winery

Images courtesy and copyright of Richard Duval Images.

Episode 20 | John Bigelow celebrates the past​, present ​and future of JM Cellars


John Bigelow, winemaker for JM Cellars, Woodinville, WAJohn Bigelow, JM Cellars

In this one-year anniversary episode, winemaker, John Bigelow shares his transition from tech to wine and tells us about a day in the barrel room that ended in a medical emergency. He also reveals the collaboration and details of JM Cellars new tasting room and production facility, coming soon to Maltby, Washington.

We describe our experience at JM Cellars in Woodinville, WA on our first episode. The tasting room was voted The Best Tasting Room by Seattle Magazine in 2017—it is a beautiful converted 2-story home, hung with strings of lights, with multiple tasting rooms, a fire pit, wine barrel chairs and tables, and a cavernous members-only area gated by large doors wrapped in hammered metal sheets. The collective effect is an artistic and appealing feast for the eyes. The grounds and outdoor tasting area are dog-friendly so it’s OK to bring your Châteauneuf-du-PUP.

Visit JM Cellars

Decanted discusses Decanting

We deliver the whats, hows, and whys of decanting wine. Decanting has the power to make great and/or expensive red wine more refined or an adequate wine more enjoyable. Sometimes those cheap-o bottles can come down with a case of sulfur dioxide, so aerating can be the cure.

We’ve heard the “decanting” practice of uncorking a bottle and letting it sit out on the counter while cooking, believing that will do the trick. Ok, we’ve done it too. However, it is difficult for oxygen to reach the wine inside and will have minimal effect. Listen to more tips and about the wine aeration devices we use.

Wine decanting devices we love

Menu Wine Breather Carafe

This device includes a built-in, removable aerator at the top of the neck. Simply turn the empty carafe upside down, connect it to the bottle and flip everything over to watch the aerated wine gurgle down into the carafe. And you can flip it back over and put it BACK into the bottle…which we do at our wine parties when we want to serve from the bottle.

Le Chateau Decanter

This is a lovely, traditional, wide-bottomed decanter that is constructed of 100% hand-blown lead-free crystal. The wide diameter allows the maximum amount of aeration and it’ll look sexy while doing it.

Rabbit Wine Shower-Funnel with Strainer

Rest it on a decanter opening and pour—it strains and gives quick aeration.

Host Adjustable Aerator

Adjust the dial to represent the equivalent of 0-6 hours of decanting. We haven’t done a side by side comparison on those dial settings but before we used a traditional decanter it was the fastest way to aerate. Simply place it over your glass, pour through it and via la!

Riedel Amadeo Decanters (several varieties)

These feature a handblown, artistic “swan” type shape with dual spouts—one for pouring wine into the vessel and a skinnier spout for pouring into your glass. Be prepared for the price tag.

Episode 19 | Year in Review 2018

A year to remember

On this episode, Dave and Sandi highlight some of the “best-of” interview clips from our first year.

Bart Fawbush (Episode 1)

Lisa Packer (Episode 5)

Chris Upchurch (Episode 8)

Jarrod & Ali Boyle (Episode 10)

Kent Waliser and Lacey Lybeck (Episode 12)

Seth & Audrey Kitske (Episode 17)

Roy Hersh (Episode 18)

We also share the growth of the wine concept hotel, The Lodge at Columbia Point and offer a few wine recommendations that are stocking our fridge.

Thanks, Dan

We feel much gratitude for the winemakers and wine industry professionals who have partnered with Decanted for our interviews or mini-episodes—we greatly appreciated your generosity.

Props to Spitbucket, Outwines, Equality 365, Aspiring Winos, Weekly Wine Show, Woodinville Wine Blog and all of our new, wine influencer friends—it’s nice to be in great company.

And lastly, we thank one of our listeners—Dan.

Recommended wines

Quinta do Mourão

S. Leonardo 20 Year Tawney

This is SUBLIME and one of the best port producers in the world.

Get the S. Leonardo

Upchurch

2016 Counterpart  |  65% Merlot  35% Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 LTL  |  100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Learn more about the new LTL

Sagemoor

2014 Stars in a Row, Cabernet Sauvignon  |  2016 Without Rehearsal, Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon  |  2016 Carving Blocks, Dry Riesling

Learn more about the Taste of Sagemoor

Bartholomew

2015 Reciprocity

Get the new Reciprocity

Episode 18 | For the Love of Port

Roy Hersh, For the Love of Port

Roy Hersh

Founder—For the Love of Port  |  Port and Madiera Brotherhood 

Roy Hersh is a professional wine judge, writer and educator who generously shares his knowledge and passion for Port and Madeira. Yearly, he conducts unparalleled tours to Portugal where guests spend time with winemakers, taste exceptional Port, stroll through vineyards stomp on grapes and dine at first-rate restaurants.

On this episode, Roy Hersh recounts when his love of Port began and describes the kinds of memorable experiences his tour groups typically encounter. He also opens up about being the only person outside of the Portuguese wine industry who has been inducted into both the Port and Madeira Brotherhoods.

Learn more about Port wine at, For the Love of Port: Collective Port Wisdom

For the Love of Port

Port Harvest Tour 1, 2018

Our whirlwind tour took us through Porto, Gaia and the heart of the Douro Valley wine country. It’s an “eduvacation” that we highly recommend to anyone serious about learning about Port and table wine. Where else can you taste a Port from 1827 from the family home of multi-generation winemakers? Where else can you walk through one of the top 10 vineyards in the world or tread on grapes in the traditional way?

Join the next Ultimate Portugal Wine Experience

For more information or reservations, email: roy@fortheloveofport.com

We learned a stunning amount of information in 10 days and we are excited to share it. We break down the different types of Port so you can feel more confident when choosing a bottle to open with friends or age in the cellar. Port 101 is in session!

*See below for the Ports we liked, that are readily available in the U.S.

Recommended Ports

Sandeman

10, 20, 30 and 40-year ports readily available in the U.S., all are good so choose the one that best serves your price range. If you’re feeling a little spendy, the 2000 vintage classic blend is excellent.

Visit Sandeman
Shop at Total Wine
Shop at Wine.com

Quinta do Noval

10 and 20-year tawny, Noval Black, the 2012 LBV, and the powerhouse 2015 Quinta Vintage Port.

Visit Quinta do Noval
Shop at Total Wine
Shop at Esquin Wine & Spirits

Fonseca

10 and 20-year tawny, the 2000 vintage port, the 2008 vintage port even though it is still pretty young and features gripping tannins, and the best of the best: the 1985 vintage port.

Visit Fonseca
Shop at Esquin Wine & Spirits

Kopke

There is a wide range of tawny, vintage and colheita port to explore here.

Shop at Esquin Wine & Spirits

 

Episode 17 | At the heart of Upsidedown Wine

Seth and Audrey Kitzke, Upsidedown Wine

Seth and Audrey Kitzke, Upsidedown Wine | Kitzke Family Vineyards

A young duo is carving out vineyards and spectacularly crafted wines from Candy Mountain. If you haven’t heard of Candy Mountain, it’s not the place where Halloween sweets are churned out. This unique terroir in Richland, WA is the birthplace for the Seth and Audrey Kitzke’s family vines and will soon be granted AVA status.

In this episode, Seth opens up about his dream of being a professional snowboarder and his call to become a winemaker. He and his wife Audrey talk about the history of their label, Upsidedown Wine, giving back, their tasting room in Hood River, OR, and how they’ve built an engaging social media presence.

Watch Seth and Audrey’s Instagram story at @USdoingWine

Join the Movement and Drink Upsidedown

Upsidedown Wine gives back 20% of their net proceeds with every bottle sold. That’s generous for a boutique winery, but Seth and Audrey’s giving spirit is at the heart of this passion project. Become a member, and they are able to give back double. Sounds like a good deal—you get great wine from an emerging, talented winemaker and you can support organizations that fight human trafficking, help youth fight cancer, and animal rescue.

Join and Drink Upsidedown

2018 Wine Bloggers Conference, Walla Walla, WA

The Wine Bloggers Conference gathered citizen bloggers, industry writers, new media innovators, and wine industry members and has been going strong for 11 years. This year’s event was held at the iconic, Marcus Whitman Hotel and Conference Center located in Walla Walla’s historic downtown. Attendees dove deep into what makes the Walla Walla AVA one of the most desired growing areas in the world, dined with winemakers and chose from numerous learning sessions. In this packed episode, we share our experiences, tips for pairing food with bubbly, and recommendations of wines to try.* 

*See below for the wines we loved at the Wine Bloggers Conference

Wines we loved from the 2018 Wine Bloggers Conference

Cà Maiol Lugana DOC ITALY

100% Trebbiano | Carefully selected grapes from the oldest vines of the Molino vineyard. The crushed grapes are then held in stainless steel tanks at a low temperature, a process called cryomaceration, to develop its flavor.
Shop
Shop

2016 Bodegas As Laxas, Rias Baixas SPAIN

100% Albariño | Clear straw yellow color with green nuances. Fruity and floral aromas of apple, stone fruits, and apricot.
Shop
Shop

Paco & Lola Albariño, SPAIN

Crisp with peach and nectarine flavors.
Shop
Shop

2010 Gloria Ferrer Anniversary Cuvee

Blend | Rich and creamy with crème brûlée and stone fruit with a touch of ginger.
Shop

2010 Bodegas LAN Gran Reserva, SPAIN

100% Tempranillo | Dark fruit, leather, spearmint with medium tannins that lead to a medium finish.
Shop
Shop

2016 Bodegas LAN Edicion Limitada, SPAIN

100% Tempranillo | Black cherry, leather, rich earth, deep and satisfying with medium tannins and a long finish. (Could not find the 2016 readily available online)
Shop
Shop

Gard Cellars 2015 Grand Klasse Reserve Roussanne

Inspired by the French Grand Cru wine, this is full-bodied and complex with a beautiful use of oak.
Shop

L’Ecole No. 41 2017 Semillon

Flavors of apple and lemon and wonderfully balanced.
Shop

Peter Yealands 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NEW ZEALAND

Tropical fruit, crisp minerality
Shop

 

Episode 16 | Tasting Room Etiquette and More, with April Reddout

April Reddout of Col SolareApril Reddout

Guest Services Manager, Col Solare Winery  |  Chief Judge, 2019 Cascadia Wine Competition

Tasting Room Etiquette and Leveling up your Game

This episode is Part 2 of 2 with April Reddout and she’ll get you ready for your next wine adventure with her insights around tasting room etiquette. No perfume, really? Not if you want to interfere with the true essence of the wine, or anyone else’s experience. Learn more about April’s suggestions for seriously enjoying your favorite tasting rooms.

What Goes into Wine Scores?

April reveals what goes into judging a wine and how to react to wine scores as a consumer.

And if that wasn’t already enough great information, April clarifies five commonly held beliefs about wine.

What is Palette Fatigue?

But first, Dave and Sandi talk about the ultimate enemy of any extended wine tasting experience, Palette Fatigue! Most wine lovers assume that it occurs when your nose and taste buds get tired, but there’s research that it may be a result of your brain being overloaded with too many similar and overly familiar inputs within a short time span. Listen and learn tips on what you can do to stave off this affliction.

Visit Col Solare Winery
Visit Chateau Set. Michelle Winery

April Reddout started in wine in 2008, curious and ready to learn. A part-time job in a tasting room in Prosser led to full-time, which led to management and the desire to keep learning. April enjoys helping other people learn about wine in an approachable and non-intimidating setting and strives for each guest experience to be positive and inspiring.

April judges on panels for Great Northwest Wine, Winepress Northwest and the San Francisco Chronicle. She enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for great wines and telling the story of Washington wine, in particular.

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 15 BONUS | Auction of Washington Wines

On a mission to make an impact

The Auction of Washington Wines is a nonprofit wine event that has been around for 31 years. This year’s Auction events raised over 4 million that benefits the WSU Wine Sciences Center for research and Seattle Children’s. Their focus is on elevating the awareness of Washington State wines through a series of events over a weekend every August.

Dave and Sandi were invited to attend the Private Barrel Auction held at Novelty Hill-Januik Winery and taste wines from 31 premier wineries. The barrels were auctioned off in a battle between collectors, restauranteurs and retailers vying to be the exclusive purveyor of what will be, one-of-a-kind bottles.

Your hosts then participated in the public Winemaker Picnic and Barrel Auction at Chateau Ste Michelle. A plethora of small bites and more wine than you can shake a stick was the perfect accompaniment to the auction excitement. Picnic attendees could meet winemakers, bid in the silent auction lots and a frenzied barrel auction.

Learn about Auction of Washington Wines

 

Episode 14 | Col Solare’s April Reddout and the Future of Red Mountain

April Reddout of Col SolareApril Reddout

Guest Services Manager, Col Solare Winery  |  Chief Judge, 2019 Cascadia Wine Competition

The Future of Red Mountain AVA

This episode is Part 1 of 2 with April Reddout, who is teaming with wine knowledge. Listen to her passion for the Red Mountain AVA, her thoughts about its future on the world stage and how Col Solare Winery is a shining example of what this region has to offer.

April Reddout started in wine in 2008, curious and ready to learn. A part-time job in a tasting room in Prosser led to full-time, which led to management and the desire to keep learning. April enjoys helping other people learn about wine in an approachable and non-intimidating setting and strives for each guest experience to be positive and inspiring.

April judges on panels for Great Northwest Wine, Winepress Northwest and the San Francisco Chronicle. She enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for great wines and telling the story of Washington wine, in particular.

Visit Col Solare Winery
Get to know Red Mountain AVA
Visit Chateau Set. Michelle Winery

Current Rosé style trends

April also shares her insights about everyone’s favorite pink drink. She discusses style trends, why there really is NO Rosé season, price point and she takes us through a tasting of the 2017 Shining Hill Rosé from Col Solare.

 

Episode 13 BONUS | Fraser Valley B.C. wine tasting, in style

Dave’s surprise birthday weekend to Vancouver, B.C. started with one question—where can I find exceptional wineries no more than an hour outside of the city? The answer came from Alfred, who guided us on a private wine tasting tour through the western portion of the Fraser Valley, around Langley, British Columbia Canada. This well-curated trip featured some of the top wineries of the area and they source from the coveted Okanagan region, in addition to, producing from estate fruit. If you don’t have four days to explore the Okanagan, know there are tasting rooms and vineyards just over the border in Langley, B.C. that will expand your wine-mind.

Blackwood Lane Winery

Visit Blackwood Lane

Glass House Estate Winery

Visit Glass House

Chaberton Estate Winery & Bacchus Bistro

Visit Chaberton

Township 7 Wines

Visit Township 7

Interested in a private British Columbia wine tasting tour?

Vancouver Private Tours

 

Episode 12 | Exceptional wines start at Sagemoor Vineyards

Sagemoor Vineyards ManagersKent Waliser & Lacey Lybeck

Director of Vineyard Operations  |  Viticulturist & Vineyard Manager

Sagemoor Vineyeards has been growing wine grapes for 40 years and governs five iconic vineyards; Bacchus, Dionysus, Sagemoor, Gamache and Weinbau. They’ve been providing fruit to some of the most respected super-star wineries in Washington, including Abeja, Avennia, Barnard Griffin, Delille Cellars, Dusted Valley, Efeste, Fidelitas, Forgeron, Gramercy, L’Ecole No. 41, Matthews, Saviah, Sparkman, Walla Walla Vintners, and Woodward Canon, to name just a few.

Go with us on a journey to the heart of Washington’s vine country to one of the most revered and iconic vineyards in our region. We interview Kent Waliser, Director of Vineyard Operations and Lacey Lybeck, Viticulturist and Vineyard Manager of Sagemoor Vineyards about the history, challenges, and future of their operation including a bold, long-awaited venture: Sagemoor Wines. Listen in on an epic vineyard tailgate wine tasting at Bacchus, in the Columbia Valley.

Vist Sagemoor Vineyards

Selections by Sagemoor

“Selections by Sagemoor is our way of sharing this land’s rich history and bounty with you. Each offering tells a story, each wine a stellar example of the best our vineyards produce. The story of wine is so much more than what you see, smell, and taste in the bottle.”

Start shopping at Selections by Sagemoor

The BIG 13—AVA’s of Washington State

Knowing your AVA’s is more than just a geography lesson, if you discover a wine that you love and you learn which AVA the grapes were grown in, you can seek out other wines from that region that may appeal to you as well. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon from a cooler AVA or from a slope where it does not get as much sun might result in fruit that has a lower sugar content, and thus lower in alcohol, whereas a Cab grown in a hot climate may produce huge, bold flavors with higher alcohol.

Many of Washington State’s more notable vineyards reside in the eastern part of the state, where warm days and cool nights help retain the balance of acid and sugar levels in the grape which gives Washington wines their characteristic balance in flavors, so looking at Columbia Valley again, the northern latitude of the valley receives two more hours of additional daylight during the summer growing season than wine regions of California.

Washington’s “Big thirteen”, currently recognized AVAs are:  Ancient Lakes, Columbia Gorge, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills, Lake Chelan, Naches Heights, Puget Sound, Rattlesnake Hills, Red Mountain, Snipes Mountain, Wahluke Slope, Walla Walla, Yakima Valley.

But, there are more on the way …

 

Episode 11 BONUS | Sisters of the Vinifera Revolution!

Sisters united.

The Sisters of the Vinifera Revolution formed in the alley of the Warehouse District in Woodinville, WA in the Fall of 2012 during crush time. (Over beers, not wine.)  A few of the ladies were working as interns and trying to break into the business and initially formed more as a networking, information sharing and support group. Their goal is to lift up, help find opportunities, mentor and provide visibility to all women in the Washington State wine industry. Seven percent of winemakers here are women and the state and can only benefit from their presence.
Hear about their 2nd annual event organized by Belle & Bottle and the wines we added to our ever-growing collection. If you feel called to join the Sisters of the Vinifera Revolution as a winemaker or viticulturist, contact Lisa Packer at Warr-King Wines.

Check out other events and Join the Club at Belle & Bottle

Visit Belle & Bottle

Sisters of the Vinifera event wineries

Adrice Wines

Winemaker: Pamela Adkins
Website

Apple Podcasts

Callan Cellars

Winemaker: Lisa Callan
Website

Damsel Cellars

Winemaker: Mari Womack
Website

Elsom Cellars

Winemaker: Jody Elsom | Assistant Winemaker & Cellarmaster: Rebecca Weber
Website

Kasia Winery

Winemaker: Kasia Kim
Website

Sonoris Wines

Winemaker: Hillary Sjolund
Facebook

Three of Cups

Co-Founder: Lisa Swei
Website

Warr-King Wines

Winemaker: Lisa Packer
Website
Listen to Lisa’s story here.

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