Day 1 Sunday– We convene at the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center in Prosser for a perfect introduction to the area and Washington’s wine history. A tasting at Coyote Canyon Winery pairs well with our catered lunch, followed by a nearby stop for a sweet-taste at Chukar Cherries Factory.
A half hour down the freeway is our hotel, the Lodge at Columbia Point, with its grand view rooms, daily breakfasts and nightly wine receptions. This new hotel is a wonderful addition to the hospitality scene in the area, and the GM is Wendy Higgins, formerly GM of the Ocean Lodge in Cannon Beach.
Our first evening and welcome dinner takes place at Col Solare Winery, described as the crown jewel of local wineries. Here Chef Bob and Lenore will prepare our dinner with Col Solare wine. Back at the lodge, Bob will be pouring an Italian night cap while we enjoy a bonfire by the riverside.
Day 2 Monday– A huge aspect of the wine tasting process is the glass from which you drink. Riedel, a German glass maker has long set the bar for wine glassware design. They have put great effort and research into the material and shapes of their products. We have been granted a chance to experience a Riedel Glassware Workshop held customarily for the food and beverage trades. The selection of glasses we use here are ours to take home.
Equipped with an educational foundation as well as the glassware, we are ready for the tastings to begin. We encourage you to take your glasses as we taste through the wineries on our itinerary. This being the month for “crush,” it is a small way we can contribute. For starters we stop at one of Bob’s favorite vintners, though it will be Bob’s first site visit. Our expectations are high for Barnard Giffin Winery, since we have featured their wines numerous times at our Dinner Shows. We will enjoy tastings, some surprises, and a catered lunch paired with more of Bernard Griffin wines.
Next up, we head to Cooper, where we can expect to be greeted first by a friendly chocolate-Labrador. This is a favorite stop in the area, Marcia tells us. A small business, Cooper is making Bordeaux style reds, of which 85% goes to wine club members. Neil Cooper is the author of the quote we are using in our introduction about our tour.
Fidelitas is up next. Their winemaker, Charlie Hoppes, was named Winemaker of the Year by Seattle Magazine. Known for his modern wine making approach and staying true to the Washington state red mountain terroir, his Bordeaux wines are revered.
We take a short rest back at the hotel before dinner at Tagaris. This is a “must” for wine lovers, we are told. The focus is on fabulous food and wonderful wines. Michael Taggares founded TAGARIS winery in 1987, using the Greek spelling of his name. He is descendant from a long line of Greek wine maker royalty since the 1500’s.
Day 3 Tuesday – D’s Wicked Cider offers a perfect representation of another local agricultural product in an area full of apple orchards. Daniel and Heidi Washam feature 24 taps of ciders at D’s. A visit here this morning will showcase their many products.
Lunch is served at Hedges Winery along with outstanding wines. An interesting family history comes together here. Tom Hedges of the Hedges family estates, 1987, is recognized for this estate’s certified bio-dynamic farming. He and his wife, Annie-Marie Liegeois from Champagne France, have earned worldwide accolades for the wines they produce.
From Hedges we just roll down the hill for two more stops. Founded in 1992, Terra Blanca’s winemaker, Keith Pilgrim, was trained as a geologist first, and as a winemaker since 1982, he ages his wine in his very own cave. Expect to see many varietals produced here.
Pace yourself so you have room for Kiona, a family farm that calls themselves a purebred winery, because they allow the grapes to be true to themselves. Their wine making demonstrates the same respect for the grapes and terroir, as Bob gives to his ingredients when cooking, both allowing the flavors of the ingredients/terroir to shine through as themselves. Here we should expect to see some of the finest winemaking of Red Mountain AVA.
After an inspiring afternoon we have a little time to freshen up before dinner at Fiction, located at the J Bookwalter Winery. The winery claims ten generations of Washington agriculture, before John Bookwalter followed his father’s footsteps planting grapes and becoming a winery in 1982. Bookwalter Winery was named by Zagat Guide 2017 as being also fabulous for their great food. The winemaker since 2014, Caleb Foster, is recognized as one of the USA’s best. A bocce ball court on premise looks ever so inviting before sitting down for our farewell dinner.
Day 4 Wednesday — Go ahead and sleep in. Breakfast is still included in the hotel, and then you are free to make your way home – satisfied with your swirling, sniffing, and sipping. By then we can add, much “smarter,” having explored the wine country of Washington state’s Red Mountain AVA.
· 3 nights double occupancy river view room at the new beautiful LODGE AT COLUMBIA POINT
· 4 hotel breakfasts
· 3 lunches out in wine country
· 3 wine dinners
· Private motor coach and driver for all activities
· 9 wineries
· Chucker cherry tasting
· D’s Wicked Cider tasting
· Bocce ball demo
ACTIVITIES BY DAY
SUNDAY: Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center, Prosser, WA; Coyote Canyon Winery; Chucker Cherries Factory; Lodge at Columbia Point; Col Solare Winery;
MONDAY: Riedel Glassware Workshop; Barnard Griffin; Cooper Winery; Fidelitas; Tagaris
TUESDAY: D’s Wicked Cider; Hedges Winery; Terra Blanca; Kiona; Fiction at J Bookwalter Winery;
TUITION – $1399
A $300 nonrefundable deposit will secure your space on this special private tour with your balance due August 15, 2018. No refunds given for missed activities. All participants must be over 21 years of age. Credit card payments incur a 3.5% handling fee. Checks are welcome. Maximum 20 guests.
TO BOOK NOW – contact our tour director, Marcia Miller by email: MM@YouGoTastefully.com or phone: 503-227-7220
For questions, you may contact Lenore or Bob EVOO Cannon Beach Cooking School 503-436-8555; or call Chef Bob on his cell, 503-440-2793.