Saturday night College Cellars participated in the Tri Cities Wine Festival; I went to Kennewick with our Viticulture professor, Jeff Popick, and a fellow student, Shelley. We were all so engrossed in our conversation that we missed our exit by two and had to back track. Still very much on time we organized our ice bucket for whites and draped the silver and bronze medals we won on the six wines; seven had been entered for judging. Table space was limited, so we didn’t open the seventh bottle.
Each of us took a turn exploring the other booths, delectable food offerings we could indulge in, beer and wine we couldn’t. The WWCC Wine Country Culinary Institute had a table across from ours. No food or beer was judged, but it was nice to see some local breweries, Atomic Brewery in Richland and Ice Harbor Brewery in Kennewick. I have written about them both: Atomic Brewery is here, Ice Harbor Brewery is here. And then the doors were opened and the festival began.
Our first group of four was two couples, all red drinkers and unaware of our program. It was great to chat about the wines, watch them taste, express their pleasure, and taste another wine. One of the ladies was busily making notes in her brochure, she reminded me of myself when I have the opportunity to taste. About the time more people approached they moved on. All three of us were busy pouring and talking and opening new bottles. I suspect we were about half way through the event when the gold medals were presented. Our seventh entry, 2011 Syrah (which isn’t listed on our website yet, so I can’t link it for you) won gold! It was exciting to have the medal and certificate presented with so many wine enthusiasts gathered. One bottle to hold the medal and three opened as quickly as possible to pour. Half of the original group returned to get a taste of the wine we didn’t pour for them on their first round through. They were quite complimentary, but they still preferred the 2010 Syrah (at the bottom of the page).
Our Muscat Ottonel was a hit with those that appreciate sweet wines.
Time flew, three hours and two cases of wine later we packed it all up, dumped the slush from the bucket and put the empties on the table. Our medals and certificates safely tucked away to bring home.
As a bonus for the evening, the 2013 National Christmas tree from Colville National Forest, was tucked into the loading dock of the conference center. We took a moment to sign the canvas cover and get some photos. There is a tracking site if you care to follow the tree’s journey: Track the tree.
It was late when we arrived back in Walla Walla, but a fun and eventful evening.