One of the advantages of growing a winery out of a backyard vineyard is that you tend to have a variety of plants and wines. The disadvantage of course is that you may not have a tremendous amount of any one wine. These past few years neighbors have stepped in to add to both the variety and quantity of wines.
All of our wines are “natural” wines. Some people include those with Sulfur Dioxide added as “natural”. We never add it or use poisonous chemicals to clean our equipment. There is also an article in WineMaker Magazine about Natural wine that emphasizes how hard it is to do. But you have to subscribe to see it so trust me it is there.
This Spring I have been bottling new 2016 wines every week. In addition to the red wines that are the mainstay of the winery, Lucie Khulmann, Marecal Foch, Baco Noir and Leon Millot, we have a selection of specialty wines. They do not show up in the product list on this website because many of them come and go so quickly posting them here is not worth the trouble. So if you want to try them, you will have to come for a tasting or stop by our booth at the Northeast Washington Farmers Market. Here is a list of current offerings:
This grape variety developed in Germany is a close relative of Madeleine Angevine. The finished wine has an intense aroma reminiscent of Muscat. This vintage is semi-sweet fresh, amber-colored and juicy. It would be very easy to drink a lot of it and we have almost 16 cases either bottled or on the way. It has become popular at the Farmers Market.
I was eager to try making another white wine from these grapes after hearing that they were the first to sell out from a neighboring vineyard. After tasting them I could see why. This wine is also an orange color and semi-sweet. The grapes are from a certified organic vineyard just north of us. 2016 was a fine year for wine with a long hot summer that produced mellow tastes and powerful wines.
Our Okanogan Riesling, unlike the white wines listed above is tart and dry. It is a crisp refreshing wine best chilled. We often serve it with artichokes or fish. It is cool-fermented to preserve the perfume of the Riesling grapes that drifts over the vineyard when they are ripe.
Unlike cider, our apple wine is very clear, strong and as sweet as a fresh apple. To get those qualities without adding sugar, we concentrate the sugars by reducing the volume of juice by half, partly by freezing and partly by cooking it down in a stainless steel vat. The cooking imparts a slight caramel flavor. We use a mixture of wild and homestead apples along with organic Golden Delicious.
If you read the labels of commercial huckleberry wines, they are most often blended with Riesling. We introduce wild local frozen huckleberries that we picked ourselves into the primary fermentation of our Apple
wine. This process extracts the color and flavor of the berries and uses the sweetness and body of the apple to blend a refreshing taste of the high mountains.
By themselves Elderberries are tart and sour, especially if they are picked before the first frost. We ferment them with the concentrated juice of our Apples to mellow out the tart flavor and highlight their wild taste. The combination has been a favorite in Northeast Washington for decades.
This is a rare treat. Two years ago John and Janet Crandall, owners of Riverview Orchard, gave us several hundred pounds of organic cherries. We concentrated the fresh juice using the same techniques as we do for Apple wine. The result is a wine with about the same sweetness as cherries but a lot of body and a very big cherry flavor that stays with you.
Working with a crop of Lucie Khulmann grapes that were not as sweet as most, this vintage was tapped from the fermenter as free-run juice without pressing after only two days. The result is a lighter bodied wine that is semi-sweet and full of berry flavors. It is excellent with lighter meals or as an afternoon break.
It’s great to have such a variety of tastes in our inventory. You might want them in your’s too.