We hit a two-for-one when we decided to go to Rasa Vineyards tasting room as a second winery, known as an AP (alternating partnership) is also at this location. For this blog, I will stick with Rasa.
Two brothers, Pinto and Billo Navarane, began their working life in the Math/ Engineering and IT fields. As with us, wine became a consuming interest while they were busy living their lives. Billo attended US Davis’s EV program, graduating with both viticulture and enology degrees in 2008. In 2007 they made their first vintage, releasing it in 2009. The current production facility and tasting room bar is in a newer building, it opened in 2011, in the south end of Walla Walla.
When asked about the vineyard I was told there are about 20 acres of prepared property awaiting spring when the new grapes will be set in the ground. Located in what was once prime orchard ground, the anticipation of the sub AVA called ‘The Rocks’ of Walla Walla, apple trees are loosing ground to vineyards.
Pouring our wines for us was Noe (pronounced ‘No way’), cellar master for Rasa Vineyards. He is also a grad of WWCC’s EV program. The person who normally has this position was on vacation; he too is a grad of the same program. Nice to see my peers and predecessors working in the industry.
There are many wines, lots, and keeping track of them while trying to taste and write was a trick. The names of the wines were intriguing, all of the Rasa Rielsings are music related “Composer’, ‘Lyricist’ and ‘Maestro’. The original Rasa wines, QED and Principia, are a direct reference to the math background of the wine maker. Whether the names are Latin (Vox Populi or Primus Inter Pares) or plainly stated (‘Dream Deferred’ or Tilting at Windmills) the wine is thoughtfully and carefully guided toward a specific goal. Phased picking, phased pressing, and precise blending, as you might suspect. All to good end as the wines were impressive.
Although we didn’t taste any of then there is a ‘pb’ label that is distributed. I understand this is a line of white and red wines within a lower price point than the Rasa label wines but meant to drink rather than cellar.
This was a fun visit, especially in the middle of winter when it was slow enough to talk with our host. It is a ‘appointment only’ tasting room, so we have to plan ahead to bring visitors.