2 tasting rooms, lots of decorating  

With Crush 2015 wrapped up for both Locati and Lagana Cellars focus has turned to spiffing up the tasting rooms. Jason opened his new space in the middle of July and we transitioned into our larger space the first of September; not great timing with harvest. Now that he isn’t chasing grapes and fixing equipment, Mike Locati is doing a fabulous job of being handyman around both spaces; thank you for all you do, Mike!

A couple of weeks ago the process of hanging picture rails and art work in Lagana Cellars began.  This week the last piece of rail was installed.  The incredible art work is by Todd Bernave, a Seattle mixed media artist and friend of Jason’s.

Locati Cellars is home to a few of the Deccio and Locati family heirlooms from home and farm.  Establishing themselves in Walla Walla in the first decade of the 1900’s both families brought with them traditions, customs and a love of wine.  Raising vegetables to sell at the road side stands in what is referred to as ‘truck farms’ the modern farm still produces vegetables, being especially well-known for Walla Walla sweet onions, asparagus and spinach among others that are widely distributed and sold locally through the Walla Walla Farmer’s Market and some local produce markets.  Having a walk behind planter, an engineered spinach harvesting fork and onion seed drying rake as well as the boiler and laundry basket Mike’s mother used above our back bar, just to name a few, provides a window into the local agriculture of the past.  There will be a description of each piece available in the tasting room, come in and read about them while you taste our wines.

Onion seed drying rake crafted from various wood pieces by Mike's Uncle Pete.
Onion seed drying rake crafted from various wood pieces by Mike’s Uncle Pete, the innovator for which ‘Innovation’ is named.

Mike’s Uncle Pete, his father’s brother, was an out-of-the-box, or other-than-what-it is, thinker.  His design, using ‘found’ pieces of wood, of the wood rake to help turn the onion seeds, and possibly other applications, to help dry them completely dates way back to his young days.  The spinach fork, a modified pitch fork with a very sharp ‘V’ to cut the spinach stalks at the front edge, came later, but sped up the harvest of spinach and saved the harvester’s backs at the same time.  Our red blend, Innovation, is so named for Uncle Pete, the inventor that inspired.

After hanging the Mission Hills Vineyard photo above the door to the Marcus Whitman Hotel lobby, the family photos and the custom-made door that is our logo took some careful measuring and three of us to get the  door on the wall.  The empty window became the new home of the original mail box for the Locati family homes.  The two homes of Ambrose (Mike’s father) and Pete, still owned by the Locati family, on Blalock Drive in College Place, received mail in this box for many years.

It is great to settle into our tasting room spaces, come see us, taste some wine and share your family stories with us. The first weekend in November is Fall Release weekend (November 6-8), come see what is new. Cheers!

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