Tasting Notes: Celebrate Cabernet Franc

by Zach Geballe

This coming Sunday is Cabernet Franc Day, according to whomever the people are who make such determinations. Regardless of the…


There’s a sort of Disney princess feeling that occurs when you wake up to birds chirping on your bedroom balcony. It doesn’t hurt the cause that this balcony overlooks 20 acres of draping vineyards from 600-feet in elevation over Oregon’s coastal McMinnville appellation.

From Woodinville’s warehouses and beyond, winemaker Peter Devison of EFESTĒ shares his pipe dreams and love of Canadian rock music.
Before Peter Devison landed in Woodinville, Washington, his formal and personal wine education spent several years (and a few continents) in the making.

Welcome back to Sip Northwest’s Bar Tab, our editor’s weekly selection of what to drink in the Northwest now. This week, we dig into the tasting notebook for scribblings from a recent trip to the Chehalem Mountains and Dundee Hills. When Pinot Noir is largely the sole allegiance in this wine nation, the significance put into soil is what separates those simply enlisted in the varietal from those leading the forces. The following Pinot Noirs exemplify the latter.

I’ve faced a number of challenges as a wine professional, but few have compared to being tasked in pairing local dessert wines with classic Halloween candy. While the endeavor was an unnatural one, it was also an opportunity to convene with a few friends and explore what exactly made for a successful pairing, ultimately securing a tasty removal of leftover candy after tonight.

The Similkameen Valley in British Columbia is renowned for its vast and beautiful wine country. But in 2008, Kaylan Madeira and her husband, Jo Schneider, planted the first of their cider-fruit crops at their orchard in Cawston. Fast-forward four years later and the couple is operating Twisted Hills Cider, the first and only only cidery in the valley.

Difficult to pronounce, easy to drink, Mourvèdre (moor-VEH-druh) is making a name for itself in the United States. What began in Spain and France as a blending grape is now being enjoyed as a solo sipper across the West Coast.
The thick-skinned grape can be tricky to grow as it enjoys heat from the sun, but needs adequate water or irrigation to produce the intense yet earthy flavor that shines through in this particular wine.

Sometimes I think we do not quite appreciate just how nerve-wracking it must be to grow grapes and make wine. The litany of things that can go wrong — that are beyond human control — staggers the imagination and unpredictable weather is a source of nightmares for many. The whole process is far more vulnerable than we think and even when we think we might have held nature at bay for a year, we often find out we were wrong.

Sip Northwest is excited to release its fifth annual Best of the Northwest issue. This collector’s edition showcases the winners of the grand tasting competition from wine, beer, spirits and cider, along with top Northwest travel locations, locally focused restaurant and bars, upright industry influencers and more.

You can only truly appreciate the madness that is harvest time at a winery when you witness it first-hand. The logistical piece itself is mind-boggling: figuring out where to stash tons of grapes in just about every state from recently picked to fully crushed, all while maintaining the desired level of cleanliness and control. That’s to say nothing of the labor involved, nor the costs.

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