Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Spring Barrel Weekend 2014 - Yakima Valley

I had the opportunity to do some tasting over on Red Mountain and Yakima Valley for Spring Barrel Weekend back at the end of April. I was lucky enough to win a contest on the Twitter put on by the Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail (@wine_rhwt) and received a “Wine Trail Passport” good for free tasting at 13 of the area’s wineries! I also scored some sweet new glasses, two box lunches and a gas card, what a great little prize package! Over the weekend I was able to hit a few of the wineries, plus a stop on Red Mountain.

Saturday I had to haul over to Zillah from West Richland to pick up my prize pack at Severino Cellars. Severino planted their vineyard in 2005 and have fourteen acres of Viognier, Riesling, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The tasting room is located in an adorable little farm house with a beautiful lawn area. I did a little barrel tasting outside (I mean, it IS Spring Barrel Weekend afterall) and headed inside to taste through the line-up with the tasting room staff. My favorites of the tasting were the 2013 Viognier and the Severino Red, which they describe as their “I just walked in the door and I need wine NOW” wine. It fit that mold quite nicely and with a nice little sale they were having on it, I picked up a 3-pack to help out on my wine needy nights also.

I headed back east toward Red Mountain and swung into Cooper Wine Company (@CooperWine). I had never visited the tasting room (for tasting, I had visited the property for a wedding a few years ago) and was delighted to see the man himself was there when I visited. I’ve known Neil for several years now and it’s always great to see him. Cooper specializes in Bordeaux-style reds and I remember my first taste of L’inizio (which means "the beginning" in Italian, this was their very first wine!) in 2010 made me a fan for life. I was able to taste through several reds on my visit as well as the Estate Chardonnay they were pouring for the occasion. I left with, yep, you guessed it, a bottle of the most recent L’inizio and some of Neil’s delicious Riesling. Stop in if you’re ever up on Red Mountain, it’s a beautiful winery that makes some beautiful wines.



The next day we headed back over to the Rattlesnake Hills AVA to get some use out of our winnings from the Twitter contest. We started at Silver Lake Winery (@SilverLakeWines), which produces wines under several labels, including Silver Lake, Glen Fiona and Girly Girl Wine. They had quite the spread set up for Spring Barrel, including some delicious food pairings for each of their barrel samples. One of the food pairings included an amazing locally made pasta sauce that they had for sale, we loaded up on a few jars of that! I found myself drawn more to the whites on this tasting, probably because the feeling of summer was upon us and I was ready to stock up my wine rack with some summer sippers. I was pleasantly surprised by Girly Girl Wines, and the price points were perfect to load up on some great summer whites.



Our next stop was at Two Mountain Winery (@TwoMountain), which had such a cute tasting room. I loved seeing all of the re-purposed barrels that a local vendor has created furniture out of and displays for sale at the winery. Two Mountain is a family winery that was started in 2000. Their vineyard, Copeland Vineyard, took the place of family orchards that had been planted back in 1951 by the current owner’s grandfather! I tasted through the line-up here and once again the white stood out, and I ended up leaving with a bottle of the 2013 Riesling (I learned through my tasting in the Rattlesnake Hills AVA that this area does Riesling quite well!).



We ended our tasting day with a visit to one of my favorites that I had not yet had a chance to visit the tasting room for. Treveri Cellars (@TreveriCellars) has a beautiful tasting room and large production facility up on a hill in Wapato (outside of Yakima). I was giddy with excitement to finally visit the tasting room and be able to taste through more Treveri sparkling wines than are generally available at the various events I’ve seen them at. And anyone who knows me and my “bubbles make everything better” philosophy can imagine my “Christmas morning” type of excitement at finally visiting the winery. Their Spring Barrel Weekend event took tasters on a tour through the entire winery, stopping at various tables to taste different varietals of sparkling wine. At one of the tables I came across their wine club manager who conveniently had wine club sign up sheets handy while she poured our next taste. Well, you don’t have to ask me twice (or at all, I pretty much pounced on the form), and I am now a proud “Bubble Club” member at Treveri Cellars. SCORE! My wine rack will be fully stocked at all times now. We finished our tasting through the production area and ended with a glass of bubbly in front of their cozy fireplace in the tasting room. It was a perfect end to a beautiful afternoon in the Yakima Valley!



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