We have made a habit of moving, we are in our third home in seven years, which means we get to travel to visit friends in some of those other places. Just over five years ago we left Ellensburg, Washington and have only occasionally visited. This last weekend we saw a couple friends and spent a little time in one of our old hangouts, Gard Vintners tasting room on Pearl, downtown. In years past we participated in virtually every First Friday Art Walk where art galleries and a few businesses would host showings for artists local and not-quite-local, lots of wine would flow and it was tradition to have dinner out. Gard is down the street from most of the places we would visit for art and two blocks north of the Yellow Church Cafe where we would usually have dinner.
Visiting Gard Vintners tasting room in Ellensburg was great, although they are fairly well-distributed we could enjoy the ambiance as well as the wines. Knowing it was getting close to closing time I neglected to take photos of the place, but if you follow the link there are some photos for you to get the gist of the place. It was a popular restaurant prior to being a tasting room and the tables accommodate those glass-pour-and-food rather than tasting customers now.
The kicker of this story is that Gard wines are made not far from where we live in Walla Walla! Yup, the grapes grown on the Royal Slope of the Columbia Valley AVA travel to Walla Walla where they are made into winery winemaker Aryn Morell. There is a local source for us, one that we mean to get to but haven’t yet, where Gard is poured. When we get there, I will let you know how it goes.
Meanwhile, enjoying a few sips of wine while we chatted with Karen, our hostess, was fun. She poured the standard wines for us and opened the Grand Klasse Reserve Pinot Gris which uses both new and used French barrels that Karen tells us are only lightly toasted. It smelled like a creamsicle and had ripe golden fruit on the palate. There was enough minerality and acid for me, but the smooth, full mouthfeel for my partner in wine.
The Freyja white blend and Don Isidro red blend are both favorites from this Winery. In this case the Don Isidro has only recently been released and it still pretty tight, but still good tasting; excellent price points for the quality wine.
Hope you are all keeping warm and safe, Cheers!