|Seven Hills Winery founder and winemaker Casey McClellan at the head|
of the table as Danielle pours some Artz Vineyard Reserve Cabernet.
I have to thank Julie and Danielle at Seven Hills for arranging a wonderful tasting menu with the help of Chef Sarah of Sipid Bites Catering. And the best part was that founder and winemaker, Casey McClellan was able to join us for a while and talk about his wines, the upcoming harvest and the recent vintages.
|The wonderful line up of small bites and fantastic wines!|
As for the pairings, we enjoyed the 2014 McClellan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon with a tartine with roasted tomato, whipped chevre and fresh basil. Then a sauteed mushroom risotto cake with arugula paired with the 2014 Seven Hills Vineyard Merlot (this was my favorite pairing by far!), followed by a Panamanian grass-fed beef empanada paired with the 2014 Pentad and finally a lamb ragu polenta with Romano and fresh herbs paired with the 2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from the Artz vineyard which was drinking beautifully!
|Barrel tasting the 2015 Summit View Cabernet Sauvignon.|
Then we were off to the barrel room to taste the 2015 Summit View Cabernet that will be released this fall, and it was fantastic with a very limited production. We also had the chance to see the new catwalks that were recently installed which should make punch downs so much easier this year.
|The recently remodeled tasting room at Rotie Cellars in Walla Walla.|
Next I was off to Rotie Cellars for a tasting of their wonderful Rhone style blends. We tasted through the whites and rose, then the Northern blend and Southern blend, all of which were very well done, old world style blends. Ultimately I settled on a bottle of the 2013 Homage to bring home with me.
|Pepper Bridge winemaker Jean-Francois Pellet in the library room.|
Then I was off to my last stop of the day, down to Pepper Bridge Vineyards for a tasting with Jean-Francois Pellet, partner and winemaker. After the winemaker dinner at Ox & Cart the night before, JF invited us to do tour and tasting with him.
|The barrel room at Pepper Bridge Winery.|
We toured the facilities and library as well as the barrel room which was very impressive. There were five of us on the tour, so I spent most of my time taking it all in! We tasted through the 2014 Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as the 2013 and 2014 Trine, all of which were delicious.
|The view as we relaxed on the deck at Pepper Bridge, I can't imagine a |
more pleasant way to spend an afternoon!
At the end of the tour, we went out on the deck overlooking the vineyard and the Blue Mountains and JF opened a bottle of Seven Hills Rose (back to where I started the day!) which was interesting as I thought it really spoke to the sense of community in Walla Walla. After the rose, we had a chance to open a bottle of 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon which was spectacular! I couldn't think of a better way to end an afternoon of tasting than in that perfect environment.
|Dinner on the patio at Passatempo, wonderful pasta!|
II ended the day with dinner at Passatempo, a new (well new since my last visit in 2015) pasta restaurant in the old Pastime Pub in Walla Walla. It's a lovely environment as I enjoyed an al fresco dinner on the patio, including a lovely beet salad and pesto bucatini. It was definitely well worth it! And alas my wonderful Walla Walla Wine Country vacation came to a close as I type this before heading to the airport. I just need to make sure it's not another two years before I return!