After working hard at the house Saturday and cleaning up, we headed south along a road we had not taken yet. The gently rolling pastures complete with horses and stables that reminded me of Kentucky gave way to familiar territory as we emerged within the southern Walla Walla wine region. We discovered our new house is less than five miles from Sleight of Hand Cellars and Saviah Cellars (for some reason I can’t access their site tonight), which means we are closer to several others along the way.
Despite the three obvious tour limos/vans and countless cars in the two parking lots we made our way inside each of them in turn. I am happy to say that ‘The Magician’, 2012 dry Riesling, at Sleight of Hand, was worth the wait! We were also very appreciative of ‘The Magician’s Assistant’, 2012 Cabernet Franc Rose’.
Saviah provides a fantastic variety of wines, red, white, rose’, blended, and single variety. We are never disappointed here! Which is why we chose these two wineries on Saturday afternoon after yard work and heavy lifting of boxes through the day despite the crowds.
Once we wrapped up working on Sunday we decided to drive out the old Hwy 12 for our wine tasting. It was so late in the day we didn’t know if anyone would still be open. Skylite Cellars appeared on our left with an open sign; no second invitation needed. Upon entering I recognized the tasting room server as a student in the WWCC Enology and Viticulture Program that we met last October at College Cellars. He began last fall and will be off campus for his internship when I begin in September this year.
We shared a tasting of the Spring Release flight and then the Copper Top Reserve Flight. I had to be brought up to speed on the history of the red neck-wrapped and labeled ‘Hiney Wine’ since I had never heard the radio quips or jingles about ‘Hiney Wine’ in the late 70′s and early 80′s. The 2007 Red Hiney is a blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Syrah, & 14% Merlot. This is a gem of a wine! This alone was worth the stop, but the rest of the wines were excellent as well; the 2008 Skylite Cellars Reserve, which is a new release: 57% Malbec, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 12% Carmenere was probably my absolute favorite. It is here that we were encouraged to go to Reininger with the assurance that they were still open. Such good advice, so very glad we followed it. Someday we will begin earlier in the day and explore the rest of the wineries along this road that used to carry all travelers to and from Walla Walla on Hwy 12.
Getting to know people in Walla Walla has centered around the wine industry, which is really very concentrated since each person is either related to or has worked with several other people in the industry. Everyone has been gracious and kind, enthusiastic about their part in the process and very welcoming. In just a few weeks I will be attending the 2013 Wine Bloggers Conference in Penticton. There have been tweets, Facebook posts and emails with equally exciting people who I haven’t even met yet. Apparently following your dreams isn’t impossible.