Prosser, the Birthplace of Washington Wine

The New Network:  Prosser Wine Network

From time to time there is a wine region that, while part of the larger Regional AVA (Columbia Valley) and mere miles from a famous AVA (Horse Heaven Hills), seems to get overlooked.

Special thanks to Wine Folly for sharing this map.

Special thanks to Wine Folly for sharing this map

Launched in Spring of 2014, there are 18 wineries and 10 non-wine entities that grouped together to form what is known as the Prosser Wine Network.  This network developed independently in the region to promote and support the wine being made in the town of Prosser. It is all under the tag line “Prosser, the birthplace of Washington Wine. “

According to the Prosser Wine Network,“The Prosser Wine Network is an organization focused on the promotion of Prosser wine within community and beyond. Its formation represented a concerted effort by everyone involved in the area of Prosser and environs, the lower Yakima Valley AVA.”  This network offers a voice that functions as an extension of the tourism office and other location specific marketing destination entities surrounding Prosser—but with a wine industry focus.  The purpose is to network and connect people within the wine industry in Prosser, not to create an alliance or an AVA.

Kay and Clay Simon of Chinook Wines, Jenna Hannan of Mercer Estates Winery , Monica Martinez of Martinez & Martinez Winery, and Gordon Taylor of Davenlore Winery were the main people supporting and leading this effort in building the Prosser brand. In tangent, the Walter Clore Center opened in June of this year through the support of a number of private donors in efforts to promote the Washington wine industry in this area.

For more information on the Prosser Wine Network, please visit http://www.prosserwinenetwork.com/ and be sure that your first stop in the Prosser area is at the Walter Clore Center.  There you can learn more about the AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) of the region and taste some of its amazing rotating wines.  The Walter Clore Center is located at 2140 Wine Country Road, in Prosser, Washington 99350.  Do visit them at http://www.theclorecenter.org/.


 The Prosser Wine Network:

White wines of the Prosser Wine Network:
Albarino, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Marsanne, Muscat Canelli, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling (Dry), Riesling (Sweet), Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Sparkling, Viognier, White Blend, Rhone Blend, Rousanne

Red wines of the Prosser Wine Network:
Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Counouse, Dolcetto, Durif, Grenache, Lemberger, Malbec, Meritage, Merlot, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Primitivo, Red Blend, Rhone Blend, Sangiovese, Syrah, Tempranillo, Zinfandel

Dessert wines of the Prosser Wine Network:
Ice Wine, Late Harvest, Port

Wineries in the Prosser Wine Network:
14 Hands Winery
Airfield Estates Winery
Alexandria Nicole Cellars
Apex Cellars
Bunnell Family Cellar
Chateau Ste Michelle Tasting Gallery
Chinook Wines
Columbia Crest Winery
Coyote Canyon Winery
Daven Lore Winery
Desert Wind Winery
Domanico Cellars
Gamache Vintners
Hogue Cellars
Martinez & Martinez Winery
Mercer Estates Winery
Milbrandt Vineyards
Pontin Del Roza Winery
Prosser Vineyard & Winery
VineHeart Winery
Willow Crest Wine Estates

 

 

Sabering the Moment…

Labor Day is not just a day off but a day that is dedicated to social and economic achievements of American workers. This Labor Day should be celebrated with a proper bottle of sparkling wine and friends. Let’s “Saber” the Moment!

I got back from the Wine Bloggers Conference with a newfound appreciation for the art of Sabering…yes, it is written correctly…Sabering is the act of removing the top of a champagne, or sparkling wine, bottle off with just about anything. Generally, a knife, like a Arabian style of knife, is used to remove the top of a bottle off by what looks like slicing it off. The saber is slid along the seam of the wine bottle to break the entire neck away from the bottle, leaving only the base of the bottle open and ready to pour. The force of the blunt side of the blade hitting the lip breaks the glass to separate the collar from the neck of the bottle.

In order to do this, you must 1) have a bottle of sparkling wine, 2) make sure the bottle of wine is very, very cold, 3) a blunt object, not necessarily a knife, it could be a wine glass, a bike wheel, a Ganesh figurine, or even a golf club…

Next, you need to find the seam of the sparkling wine bottle and pointing away from you, and those you love. Then use the blunt object to slide along the seam in a rhythmic manner to pop off or rather, saber, the top off the bottle of wine.

My dear friend and fellow wine writer, Jeff, aka the Drunken Cyclist, who I spent lots of time with during the Wine Bloggers Conference in Paso Robles and then in Buellton, California, shows us exactly how it is done in a series of ways with all of the above mentioned tools. However, I wanted to show you first how Leeanne Froese, a proper Canadian wine writer and PR agency owner of Town Hall Brands does it with a sword.

Enjoy this series of sabering attempts!

And now…the wine glass, the golf club, the tire wheel, and finally the Ganesh figurine … Perhaps I should check with Jeff to see if he has a slight obsession with sabering the moment…all the time! Cheers!

With a Wine Glass:

Just a warning, the new few take a while so be prepared to wait a while. Also, I don’t recommend trying to do this with the following items unless you are willing to keep trying, over and over and over again, like Jeff did!  More than anything, I love the commentary. I hope you get a laugh or two out of these, because I did!

The Golf Club:

The Bike Wheel:

And finally…the Ganesh figurine:

Have a great week and don’t forget to “Saber” to moment!

A Thirst for Cider: Oregon Cider Week

What was once old is new again. This holds true not just for fashion but also for cider. The US has now experienced a cultural resurgence of cider and is developing quite a thirst for it.

Once Colonial America’s drink of choice, the U.S. is quickly returning back to its roots for inspiration. According to federal data, draft cider sales rose 700 percent between 2011 and 2012; in 2012, U.S. cider sales topped $90 million.  Why?  First, thanks to the interest and subsequent growth of craft beer, the craft cider industry has grown as well. Furthermore, the interest in and demand for something new and different, and perhaps healthier, has created the perfect opportunity for cider.

Data also suggest that the average cider drinker is 20-35 years old. A number of these younger drinkers, particularly in the Northwest, are looking for something authentic, original, and different from the mass-produced sub-par cider and beer. Given all of this data, the Pacific Northwest is the perfect place for a craft revolution.

The resurgence of interest in cider has been very notable in Oregon.  On June 20, Oregon kicked off its third annual Oregon Cider Week with Cider Summit Portland, featuring over 140 ciders from 37 producers, from 6 states and 7 countries. This event will continue on to Seattle, Chicago, and Berkeley. Portland showed its support by coming in droves: 3,000 to 4,000 visitors over two days, to be exact. It was a well-attended event with a lot of people enjoying the sun, the music, and the cider being poured by artisan cider houses.  The rest of the week featured events throughout the state including a number of tap takeovers, happy hours, tastings, and dinners.

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I had the honor of attending the Cider Feast Dinner at St. Honoré Boulangerie off SE Division Street in Portland. Hosted by St. Honoré Boulangerie, Chef Dominique Geulin, and Kevin Zielinski, E.Z. Orchards’ owner and cider maker, this five-course French-style dinner showcased ciders from Finnriver Farm and Cidery,  Virtue Cider, Reverend Nat’s Cidery, 2 Towns Ciderhouse, and E.Z. Orchards.

Cider Feast Dinner

Cider Feast Dinner

The pairings dinner featured a beautiful Goat Cheese and Rainer Cherry tartalette, a mixed green salad tossed with Finnriver Black Currant Cider vinaigrette, a plate of country pâté and chicken liver mousse paired with a E.Z. Orchards cider mustard, and a gorgeous Alsatian-meets-Northwest tarte flambé. This feast was all finished off with a very interesting Cider and Saffron Sabayon.

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For me, it was a beautifully-paired dinner by Chef Geulin, and I will make sure to return during St. Honoré Boulangerie’s happy hour for more cider-based cocktails soon. What is unique about St. Honoré Boulangerie is that they create not only beautiful breads and quiches but also wood-fired pizzas. I was happy to taste some of my favorite cider producers, from E.Z. Orchards to Finnriver to Reverend Nat’s, all paired in this great cider dinner. I look forward to seeing the other great events Portland has to offer.

Stay tuned!