Some form of normal is returning to my daily schedule.

It was so lovely to attend the Washington State Tasting today and to catch up with fellow members of AWE this morning.

I chatted with Wink Lorch, Keith Grainger, Heather Dougherty, Jimmy Smith, Sue Eames and Luisa Vogliolo-Welch. Apologies if you were there and I did not see you, I left at 1.30pm.

My first stop was the masterclass run by Dr Jamie Goode. The session was apparently ‘sold out’. There were 11 socially distanced places, and when Jaime started his presentation there were still 5 empty places. I find it terribly disappointing that people are so disrespectful of the effort put into organizing these events, that they feel it is OK not to attend and take up their booked for place. I texted two AWE members who I knew would be at the Tasting and suggested they turn up to the masterclass. One member arrived as we started tasting. At the end of the session, there were still 3 empty seats, so annoying!

Jamie talked us through the history and geology of the region, we tasted two Rieslings, three Syrahs and three Cabernet Sauvignons. This was a really good selection of different styles, vintages and prices of Washington State wines.

Following the masterclass, I took part in a very well organized socially distanced tasting. We sat individually at a table with a winery representative, and had an excellent one to one tasting session. We then moved on to another table and repeated the process. The whole event was calm, structured and personal, allowing everyone time to taste, ask questions and reflect on the wines.

My only criticism is that we had to use cardboard expresso cup spittoons, rather small and inadequate for the occasion!

Thirteen wineries were represented, a good cross section of well established and newer producers. My last visit to the region was in 2008, and I very much appreciated experiencing the development of those wineries I had previously visited, as well as trying wines from the newer ‘kids on the block’.

This was a very successful Tasting, my thanks to Washington State Wine and Sopexa for putting this together.

Vivienne Franks 13.07.2021

  1. Richard Lane 3 years ago

    I echo Viviene’s post; it felt surreal to be at a live tasting once again. consistent high standards on show, notably from some of the smaller producers (Ecole in particular); with syrah the stand-out variety for me, alongside expected quality from cabernet sauvignon.

  2. Heather Dougherty 3 years ago

    I agree Richard, it will take a little time to get used to tasting in person again, but what a pleasure it was. Also agree that there were some outstanding Syrahs on show, alongside the “usual suspects”.

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