My home away from home


This past weekend was a good weekend to visit Red Mountain—no, not because it was the Seahawks’ bye week—because Red Mountain held its annual block party.  Wine enthusiasts from throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond traveled to meet and talk to the Red Mt. winemakers, learn their stories, learn about the science and art and history of grape growing and wine making.

And taste the wines.

But going to Red Mountain is like going to Disneyland. You can’t do it all in a day.  About two dozen wineries took part this weekend, and wine tasting experts say your taste buds can usually handle about a half dozen tasting rooms and then call it day.

My taste buds had gone blissfully numb after the third tasting room.

2014-09-27_14-02-50_400Some personal highlights include my stop at Hamilton  Cellars, which opened its new, solar-powered tasting room just in time for the block party. With a spectacular panoramic view of the countryside, Hamilton Cellars is the first and only tasting room in Washington State that will make its own energy and sell it back to the grid.

Down the hill, Greg and Shae Frichette didn’t stop pouring for guests during my stop at the Frichette Winery. Their barn-turned tasting room is friendly and casual. They call the experience Edu-tainment. They ask visitors to pair different wines with the appetizers of homemade humus, which is made from garbanzo beans grown at the family farm in Eastern Washington’s Legume Country. If you’re at all intimidated about wine or the wine tasting experience, make it a point to stop off and visit Frichette. The Merlot is mind-bending. I’m going back in November when they release their new Semillon (a white).

The block party may be over for another year, but the experience continues up on Red Mountain. With the fantastic autumn weather and the crush about to begin, next weekend would be a perfect time to turn off the football and treat you and your friends to the wine tasting experience.

Besides, the Seahawks play on Monday Night Football.

BTW, Wine Enthusiast Magazine has nominated the Red MT AVA for Wine Region of the Year.


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