Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring has finally sprung!

OMG! Spring has finally descended on the valley. It is gorgeous and sunny out and I don’t know about you all but it’s a sight that couldn’t have come soon enough! I was starting to think that Mother Nature had taken a permanent vacation and wasn’t going to be around this year. But she’s back and so is my sunshine! And it couldn’t be soon enough for the valley and the grapes. I spoke with Rick the other day and he was thinking that we’re a couple of weeks behind schedule in the vineyards. It will be interesting to see how it plays out for the vintage. Of course, a week or so of hot weather and we could be all caught up. It’s funny how weather will play such a huge part in the wines we produce.

Darcey is excited because we finally have flowers in the garden again. She’s been busy outside, pulling up weeds and trimming bushes. As I sit here and write this I see bees pollinating the bushes outside the window. Ahh … I love spring. Now I’m not the gardening-type person. Anyone who knows me at all, can vouch for the fact that I can kill anything green and alive in a matter of 5 days. And the thought of going outside and working my hands in the dirt to grow something that will essentially just die in weeks makes me turn a bit green myself. But that doesn’t mean that I do not love spring time and all the flowers that it brings. Nothing makes me happier than looking at freshly bloomed flowers, well except for the fact that I did not plant them myself.

Everyone at the winery is getting ready for Spring Release weekend. It always seems to get here quicker than we expected. But we love it because it usually signifies the start of the busy season. This year we will be releasing our 2006 Estate Red. It has already received great reviews from both Wine Spectator (91 pts) and Wine Enthusiast (95 pts). This is another great showing from our Estate Vineyard, which is Certified Sustainable, Salmon Safe, LIVE and Vinea. The vineyard has been certified sustainable by the International Organisation for Biological Control (IOBC). The IOBC was established in 1955 to promote environmentally safe methods of pest and disease control in plant protection. The vineyard is also designated as Salmon Safe. This wine is 100% from the Estate Vineyard making it a designated Salmon Safe wine. The ’06 vintage is already showing great! Here’s an excerpt from Rick on the tech sheet.
“The vintage of 2006 gave perfect physiological ripeness. As might be expected with such low yields, the resulting wine is concentrated with generous black fruit and cassis. A breadth of spices and vanilla from new oak integrate beautifully with firm merlot dominated fruit. A nose of roasted game, ripe fruit and shaved chocolate develops in the glass; the color is reddish purple. A soft, generous texture transitions to a supple, balanced mouth feel; the finish is rich, layered and long. In this wine I am again able to perceive an “expression” or “sense of place” from our Estate Vineyard and I love that! With proper cellaring, this wine should age for ten years.”

We are also excited with the possibility that our new Reserve Building will be finished in time for Spring Release. We will still be doing the majority of our tasting in our production building, but we will be offering a special tasting of our 2006 “Old Vines” Cabernet, for an additional tasting fee, in the Reserve Building. We don’t usually taste our “Old Vines” since the production had dropped so low, but we thought this might be a fun time to break it out. Swing by and taste this limited wine and get yours before it’s all gone.

If you’re in town early for Spring Release and don’t have plans yet for Thursday, April 30th, swing by The Marcus Whitman and join Rick and Marty Clubb from L’Ecole #41 at their winemaker’s dinner. It should be a great dinner with two of the pioneer wineries in the valley. The dinner looks to be fantastic and of course they’ll be pouring some great wines! Reservations are required, (509) 525-2200.

If you haven’t heard, we are running a ‘Celebrate Spring’ sale online and in the tasting room. It’s our way of saying thank you to our customers. We are offering a 15% case discount on whole and mixed cases on everything except for our “Old Vines”, large formats, etched bottles and older vintages. This is a limited time offer so don’t miss out!

Well I’m off to go and play in the sunshine a bit before it returns to hiding behind the clouds. Gosh, could this weather be any more perfect?!? The only thing that would make it better would be pizza from our wood-fire oven. I’m gonna have to see if I can’t talk Rick into firing it up and putting on one of our Woodward Canyon pizza lunches. Enjoy your day! Come say hi to me in the tasting room next time you’re in the area!

Shari / Woodward Canyon

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