Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Wine Touring in Walla Walla
The winemakers and their friends, families, and staff really want visitors to enjoy themselves. They are unfailingly enthusiastic and optimistic and love to tell you their stories.This year we visited Beresan, Buty, Cayuse Vineyards, Dunham Cellars, Flying Trout, Forgeron Cellars, Otis Kenyon, Sapolil, Spring Valley Vineyard, and SYZYGY. Beresan, Flying Trout, and Otis Kenyon were new to us. We enjoyed hearing how Ashley Trout makes her Malbecs in Argentina and Walla Walla. Debbie Waliser at Beresan was a delightful hostess and the views of and from the farmhouse were very special. Star winemaker Christophe Baron and manager Trevor Dorland are to be congratulated for making the Cayuse barrel tasting event a not-to-be-missed affair, not least because the wines are fabulous and people watching is a most engaging pastime. Dunham Cellars is located in a hanger out at the airport, yet walking into the building you feel as though you have slipped into a place very far away. Marie-Eve Gilla, the winemaker at Forgeron makes such elegant wines and Dave gave us a great tour of the facilities and furthered our understanding of the wine making process. And the folks who bring you Sapolil are definitely into making the most of life...not only are the wines delicious, but the music nights in the tasting room round out the Walla Walla experience. Winemaker Bill Schwerin had better watch out...daughter Abigail makes a fabulous Patina Syrah! Spring Valley Vineyard also has a great family story steeped in Walla Walla history and tasting their good wines while hearing these stories makes for a pleasant half hour. And last but not least, Zach Brettler at SYZYGY is a pleasure to talk with about wine and his wines are a pleasure to drink.