Several years ago we started an annaual Tri Cities wine trip with 4 other couples (all educators,teachers, principals, instructional coaches, etc... lots of shop talk occurs while enjoying lots of great wine) going over to the Catch the Crush weekend. Over the years we realized going during the actual "Crush" weekend was far too crowded and basically over rated for the experience. The past few years we've been going either the weekend before or after the Crush and have had a better time over all.
This fall we decided to stay @ one of G's favorite wineries Tapteil that actually had two rental houses right on the vineyard to accomodate all 5 couples this trip.
We arrived late Friday night and got settled into our homes. We started off with a great breakfast made of fresh fruit crepes by one of the couples in our group. Our tasting began that day @ Goose Ridge, a few of the couples are wine members there so we always make a point to checkn out that winery and also often take our group photo on their vineyards.
We then continued on to visit Hightower, Barnard Griffin, Bookwalter, Fidelitas and a new find this year on Red Mountain was Cooper (Yummy wines served by a friendly new wine maker.)
We returned back from our day to one of our home's for the night. Where we all contributed to make a grand grilled taco bar feast in the presence of a spectacular sunset to end our evening.
The next morning breakfast was served in house #2 by some of our other friends who made some amazing gingerbread pancakes. We then proceeded on to taste @ Tapteil as we checked out of our rental homes and then to Alexanderia Nicole and Mercer before lunch. Lunch was at the Wine O'Clock Wine Bar and Restaurant ( a usual stop for our group on this annual weekend) and then we ended at Gamache ( another annual group favorite) and we ended our weekend with a new winery for the group this year, Milbrandt. G& I picked a great deal at Milbrandt for a case of everyday drinking wine that we quickly went through because it was quite good. (In retrospect we should have picked up a few cases for the price.) Cooper and Milbrandt were both new for the group this year and we all thought both were great new finds that we'll return to visit for our 2011 trip to the Tri-Cities.
This annual trip and this group of friends have become a valued part of our lives. We often get together to share wine, food, skiing and each other's company throughout the year. It's so great to have people who enjoy the same pleasures in life as we do.