Figgins Family Wine October Release Party

The Figgins' Family Wine Release Party was held on Saturday.

The Figgins’ Family Wine Release Party was held on Saturday. (Photo by TTuttle)

On Saturday, October 3rd Figgins held their annual Fall Release Party and they did not disappoint. This was our third year attending (we have begun to reschedule our October trip to Maui around it) and I believe this was their best event yet.

Basalt vertical slabs mark each row of grapes. (Photo by TTuttle)

Basalt vertical slabs mark each row of grapes.
(Photo by TTuttle)

The event was held in the vineyard. We drove up a winding and somewhat dusty road and then made our way through the vineyards. Each row has a vertical slab of Stone at the end and the effect is lovely. When we reached the highest point in the vineyard. It was nothing short of spectacular. We had a crystal clear blue sky and fantastic views of the rolling wheat fields and the Blue Mountains beyond.

The Figgins Family was pouring tastes of their Riesling paired with a shrimp skewer and a bruschetta with white bean dip. The Walla Walla Estate Red Wine. (I think this Red is their best yet!) was paired with a pulled pork bruschetta with a skewer of butternut squash and mushroom. It was all delicious.

Aaron Lee Tasian from Nashville kept the party rocking.

Aaron Lee Tasian from Nashville kept the party rocking.

To top off this low-key party on the lawn Chris Figgins brought in Nashville “Indy Folk Grit” artist Aaron Lee Tasjan. His combination of storytelling and hot guitar tunes had everyone captivated.

Figgins Family Wine tasting room is open by appointment. (Photo by TTuttle)

Figgins Family Wine tasting room is open by appointment.
(Photo by TTuttle)

Figgins Family Wine tasting room is usually open by appointment. Their latest release is definitely worth a taste.

One Wine – Exceptional Wine

One Wine has a sleek and modern tasting room in downtown Chelan.

One Wine has a sleek and modern tasting room in downtown Chelan.

Last weekend was my second visit to One Wine in Chelan. This visit was just as terrific as the previous one. The tasting room is very different than most tasting rooms. Located in downtown Chelan (I think they are the only one downtown) there are no murals of rolling grape vines or plastic grapes hanging from the doorways. It is sleek and modern and gorgeous. There is also a terrific patio beside the building where the four of us kicked back and enjoyed our wine.

one wine guyThere is not really just one wine, but three. A Bordeaux-style red that is yummy but would benefit from a bit of time in the cellar. A Pinot Gris that I have bought a couple of times and I claim that I don’t like white! And a rose’ which is 70% Cabernet Franc – this was my favorite – again a big surprise as I don’t consider myself a rose person but it is sold out so I am very glad I bought my share on our first visit.

One wine patioJo and Greg, the owners/winemakers, are a lot of fun. On the first visit Greg inscribed our purchased bottles with Ogham inscriptions. It looks very cool and makes each bottle very special. You can visit the One Wine website for a complete description.

On our second visit, Jo broke out her collection of candy – quite impressive – Bit of Honey, Big Hunks, Dove Chocolates and we were able to pair them with our wine. There is a set of treats that comes with each $5 tasting – dark chocolate covered fruit and lemon wafers, but if you get Jo wound up out comes the “big stash” of candy!

one wine candyOne Wine is delicious and fun. It is worth a visit just to see the stylish tasting room, but stay for the great conversation and the award winning wine.

Ventimiglia Cellars – A Hidden Gem in Walla Walla

We are always looking for that hidden gem of a winery that most people don’t know about yet. Must be our pioneer spirit. On a recent visit to Lake Chelan, our friends, Leslie and Chip, took us off the beaten path to discover a wonderful new winery – Ventimiglia Cellars.

Ventimiglia Cellars is a Recent Addition to the Lake Chelan Wince Scene

Ventimiglia Cellars is a Recent Addition to the Lake Chelan Wince Scene

It really is off the beaten path, located on Howser Rd behind some fruit storage facilities. You travel down a gravel road complete with chickens and then you are rewarded with this small tasting room. What the tasting room lacks in size is made up for with the winemaker, Ron’s, larger than life personality. We were greeted like old friends and made to feel right at home at the tasting bar. When Leslie found out Shawna (Ron’s wife) wasn’t there, she had Ron call her and invite her over to join the party – which she did.

And what a party it was…. We started by tasting a crisp white Pinot Gris and Viognier blend. But the party really took off for me when we got to the reds. Ron makes a fabulous Bordeaux blend that he calls, “Amalgamarsi”, which in Italian means to unite or meld. It is really delicious. I especially liked the fact that Ron is so knowledgeable about wine-making and eager to share that knowledge. I feel I learned quite a bit listening to his stories.

Ron Ventimiglia is the Friendly and Knowledgeable Wine-maker.

Ron Ventimiglia is the Friendly and Knowledgeable Wine-maker.

We also decided that we needed the Merlot and Syrah to go into our cellar. While very drinkable now, they will really shine with a few years of cellaring. We also purchased a bottle of Port. Having been in Portugal earlier this year and making an effort to taste as many ports as possible, this is a big compliment to Ron.

If you are visiting Lake Chelan and want to have a great time tasting, Ventimiglia Cellars, is the place for you. Definitely a boutique winery producing about 250 cases per year, friendly, family owned with lots of warmth and hospitality (and fabulous green olives).

Mille Gratis Ron and Shawna!

Efeste was a “Final Final” Visit for Me

A good friend of mine recently discovered a reasonably priced wine that she really liked. It is called “Final Final” from Efeste. Since we were heading to her home for dinner, we made a quick stop by the Woodinville tasting room to pick her up a bottle and check out their other wines.
wine
The tasting room is roomy and attractively decorated. We were met at the door by a cashier who “checked us in”. We proceeded to the tasting bar and eventually did our tasting on some comfy sofas.
The wine was good. The tastes were quite small especially considering the tasting fee is charged unless you spend a minimum amount or purchase multiple bottles. The atmosphere was a bit different than most tasting rooms I have visited. The winemaker’s (?) mother was badgering a couple sitting across from us to join the wine club. It was obvious this young couple was extremely uncomfortable with her pushiness. My friend had also asked if we could see what the case discount was (she really did like this wine) and I was surprised that there is no volume discount. The only discount offered is for club members. The cashier was a bit snippy as she told me this.
I would recommend enjoying a glass of Efeste wine at a restaurant or wine bar and visiting a tasting room that is more relaxed and more fun. There are so many in Woodinville that this one did not make sense for us to plan a return visit.