Tuesday, October 13, 2009
WASHINGTON WINE ROAD TRIP, DAY 1: THE WOODPECKER HAS LANDED
I flew out of CVG early Sunday morning (October 4th), on a long flight non-stop to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, en route to the rendezvous for the 2nd annual Washington Wine Road Trip, a little extravaganza put together by the Washington Wine Commission to promote all things Washington State Wine. My travelling companions would be a small, eccentric collection of fellow winos for a 4-day caravan ride across the state and back, visiting some of the best vineyards and wineries in the Pacific Northwest.
I arrived at Sea-Tac, and made it to one of the first shuttles to the hotel in Seattle, the Edgewater Inn, which sat majestically right upon the Puget Sound, just a short walk from the Space Needle. Meeting up with the first of the group, we hooked up with DeLille Cellars co-owner Jay Soloff for lunch and a few brews at a local sports bar, catching some football scores before jumping into the business of Washington State wine.
Meeting back at the hotel, we were introduced to two of the co-conspirators of this cavalcade of wine decadence, Washington Wine Commission Director of Education, Shayn Bjornholm M.S., and Marketing & Events Coordinator Rob Anderson (who I will hereby dub, “The General”). A quick orientation, and they gathered us up in buses and shuttled us over to the Space Needle for a nice, relaxed introduction to some of the best wineries of the Puget Sound area. One of my favorites, Cadence, was in attendance, pouring their gorgeous red Bordeaux blends, as well as the wines of Andrew Will, Syncline, McCrea, Camaraderie Cellars, Soos Creek, San Juan Vineyards, Tsillan Cellars, Vin du Lac and Walter Dacon. What stood out for me, besides the amazing view of the city from the Space Needle’s SkyLine level, were the new entry-level Coda from Cadence, The Cuvee Elena from Syncline, and the Andrew Will Two Blondes.
Of course, I did something I hadn’t done since my last trip to San Francisco – I pulled muscles in my lower legs (must be walking in very hilly cities), so I ducked out of the tasting, pausing long enough to take some pictures from the top of the Needle, before hailing a cab and skulking back to my room to rest up for an earlier departure the next morning.
I met quite a few of my future travelling-companions, as well as some of the terrific WWC staff, and looked forward to a long day of hitting the road and getting out to Walla Walla. Alas, the lightweight in me was already showing.
Next time, the real excursion begins!