We were local to this when I wrote it; fun place to find when you go through Moses Lake.
Meandering through the Sand Dunes of Moses Lake, amidst the instant metropolis that populates the dunes during a Saturday on a holiday weekend, we exited on the west end and turned onto Camas Place because there was a ‘Winery’ sign – irresistible.
Over the cattle guard, past a vineyard and into the gravel parking lot we entered Camas Cove Cellars. Several people sat on the patio in the shade of the trees sipping wine and chatting. There were a few more people inside the tasting room; we were handed glasses and thus began the flight of five wines.
The estate grapes were planted eight years ago with a first harvest in 2008 of the Roussanne and Syrah; Chardonnay was harvested in 2009.
There are two acres of grapes: Chardonnay, Roussanne, and Syrah which provide the fruit for three of the five wines. Thelma & Louise is the Chardonnay/Roussanne blend with a smooth, fruity flavor. Beginning with Chardonnay characteristics and finishing with the Roussanne; this wine catches your attention. It was followed by a 100% Roussanne – also nice, fruity and flavorful.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes are from the Mariposa Vineyards in Quincy, they round out the two additional wines. Cameron Fries, owner and wine maker for White Heron Winery is mentoring Nancy and Dennis Par as they begin to produce their own wine. The Cab Sauv is 74% with 26% Syrah grapes aged in new French oak barrels with a medium toast finish. After four years in barrels the tannins are smooth and berry flavors nicely defined. An exciting wine.
Camas Cove’s Merlot is a joy – also aged in the oak barrels for four years, the dark stone fruit flavors and earthy aroma were a nice surprise to me. I would enjoy sipping this wine as much after dinner as with a meal or dessert.
The Syrah, from still young vines, was moderately peppered with well-rounded berry aroma and flavors; definitely a wine to watch develop.
Camas Cove Cellars opened around Thanksgiving of 2011. Right on Moses Lake, they have a dock to accommodate those that would like to motor up in their boat for a taste or a bottle for dinner. (A young man was preparing to fish from the dock when we arrived at the tasting room – makes me wonder if he caught something.) They are located at the south end of the Cove West Housing area, off of Sand Dunes Road, near the end of Camas Place. Open Saturdays and Sundays 1-5 PM, stop in to see them and taste their wines.