#ChampagneDay: Domaine Chartogne-Taillet & Oysters!

champagne & oysters-62

Champagne Day is one of those made-up holidays; on October 26 people around the world open a bottle of champagne (only the real stuff) and tweet about their experiences.  I didn’t even know it was #ChampagneDay last Friday until I saw a tweet about it mid-day.  After a busy work week, we grabbed the opportunity … Continue reading

“Our Grand Meander” Walla Walla – Rulo Winery

rulo 2012-39

We met Kurt and Vicki Schlicker last year on our trip to Walla Walla and were intrigued by their journey into winemaking as well as their incredible wines.  Typically a white wine drinker, Julie has become a fan of these restrained, old-world reds thanks to RULO wines! Kurt got a microbiology degree from Stanford and worked … Continue reading

“Our Grand Meander” Walla Walla – Gramercy Cellars

Beautiful purity of color in a Gramercy Cab.

This was our second visit to Gramercy Cellars and they hold a special place in our heart.  Last year, when our son turned twenty-one in Walla Walla, we called Gramercy and had their L’idiot du Village (modeled after a Cotes du Rhone) delivered to Peter.  Funny…he hasn’t had it yet as he’s saving it for … Continue reading

“Our Grand Meander” Walla Walla – Mannina Cellars

Don allows fermentations to finish in the barrel.  Beautiful colors!

Mannina Cellars is a new winery for us.  A Minneapolis friend (thanks, B.J.!) who knows our interest in food-friendly wines highly recommended we visit them while in Walla Walla.  As a wine touring destination, Walla Walla still has that “diamond in the rough” quality.  You won’t see signs like “Tour Bus Parking.”  The area still … Continue reading

“Our Grand Meander” Walla Walla – Rotie Cellars

rotie 2012-3

One of our first stops in Walla Walla was at the Rotie Cellars tasting room.  We met owner and winemaker Sean Boyd last year and joined the wine club (the “Rotiesians.”)  This year, we visited in the midst of the hectic fall harvest/crush.  We weren’t able to catch Sean, but Alicia, the tasting room manager … Continue reading

“Our Grand Meander” Columbia Gorge AVA – Domaine Pouillon

Domaine Pouillon wines are restrained but lively.

Lyle, WA has a group of four interesting wineries.  One we hadn’t yet explored was Domaine Pouillon.  Even though the fall harvest and crush season is busy, Alexis and Juliet Pouillon graciously hosted us for a very nice visit.  The winery consists of a small shed attached to a larger barn.  Juliet explained the small … Continue reading

“Our Grand Meander” Columbia Gorge AVA – Memaloose

Memaloose grapes ready for picking.

Hood River and the Columbia River Gorge have a soft spot in my heart.  The Columbia Gorge is a world class venue for windsurfing and kiteboarding; I’ve been here many times windsurfing with a group of friends.  This time, however, Hood River was our stopover for a couple days to learn more about Memaloose and … Continue reading

“Our Grand Meander” – Willamette Valley: Dundee & Newberg

Delicious PBLT - pork belly, lettuce & tomato sandwich

Willamette Valley has a large number of little towns, and they each have unique places to stay and eat.  This trip, we discovered two new (to us) restaurants: Paulee and Recipe. Paulee is a beautiful restaurant in Dundee, not far from Anne Amie Vineyard (our afternoon stop). Paulee is part of a new building that … Continue reading

“Our Grand Meander” Dundee – Anne Amie Vineyards

Anne Amie sits on top of a hill amidst beautiful vineyards

Anne Amie is a pretty large winery by Oregon standards: about 15,000 cases per year.  Our friend, Anissa, had recommended them and suggested we take the tour, so we decided to give it a go. The Anne Amie winery sits on top of a large hill, surrounded by vineyards.  As we drove up, we could … Continue reading

“Our Grand Meander” McMinnville – Matello Winery Visit

We loved all the wines, but the Souris Pinot Noir was exceptional.

We’re big fans of Matello Wines and Marcus Goodfellow.  We met Marcus this spring when he visited Minneapolis and hosted a wine dinner at Pairings Food & Wine in Minnetonka.  After the dinner, we joined Matello’s wine club, and we were really looking forward to a visit to the winery. When we arrived at the … Continue reading

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