friday wrap - while i was at the beach

Friday, May 10, 2013

I am catching up after a week on the road. Of course, everything important seems to happen when you’re gone. Spring not only came to our Waitsburg gardens, it exploded into full-blown glory. This barely a week after temps had dipped into the upper 20s at night. Grapevines are fine, but some of the roses and early-budding trees took a hit.

An official announcement from Walla Walla Community College welcomed Dr. Alan Busacca to the position of Director of Enology and Viticulture at the College. Dr. Busacca has an extensive background in both education and the wine industry – he is a Professor Emeritus of Soil Science and Geology at WSU where he did groundbreaking [pun intended] research into the terroirs of the Walla Walla Valley. His consulting company, Vinitas Vineyard Consultants, has served the wine industry in the Northwest, Colorado, South America, and beyond. He also founded and co-owns Volcano Ridge Vineyard near The Dalles, Oregon in the Columbia Valley AVA, and co-owns AlmaTerra wines, a terroir-centered boutique.

The staff and Advisory Board (of which I am a member) could not be happier with this appointment. Myles Anderson, who has served admirably for the past couple of years following his aborted retirement, deserves our most effusive thanks. He is passing the baton into capable hands.

Last weekend, while I was tasting Chardonnays in the northern Willamette, Spring Release was happening here in Walla Walla. The results of a quick survey of participating wineries indicate that not quite one third reported higher sales, and just under half noted that visitor counts were up. They credited good weather and recent good ratings from the critics as contributing factors. (Well blow me down – Da Critics did something good!).

If one Spring Release weekend doesn’t sate you, consider a trip over to Spokane this weekend. The city’s 19 wineries are hosting visitors from noon to 6pm today through Sunday. Many have special wines, wine pairings, and winemaker dinner programs.

A new Corkage Free program is in effect also. Simply purchase an entrée at a participating restaurant, show a receipt and bottle from a same-day wine purchase at a Washington winery, and enjoy the bottle of wine without the corkage fee. For more information on all the activities, go to Spokane Wineries.

And a final item, as reported by Shanken News Daily. “Naked Turtle Rum” has Diageo’s “high hopes” pinned on it, says Diageo Global Innovation Director Syl Saller. Apparently the rum's tagline is “Fun In The Sun” and it’s clear that some marketing wizard has cleverly tied the naked wine and critter wine concepts together with a splash of lifestyle. What’s next – the naked turtle drives a red truck? Wears a black dress? What say you Syl?

Paul G's Pick of the Week – Wine By Joe 2011 Pinot Blanc; $14
This value-priced, delicious wine from the unfairly-maligned 2011 vintage expresses the natural, vibrant acidity of the grape, and captures nuances of mineral, almond and steel. The texture is invigorating, the flavors spot on.

Wine By Joe

1 comment:

Chris Wallace said...

Paul, perhaps you might post a blog on the "unfairly maligned 2011 vintage" with your thoughts on the vintage and resulting wines. I would be interested in your take. Thanks in advance.

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