Posts Tagged ‘stevens pass ski’

We had a truly lovely trip to Leavenworth, WA over the holidays. If you have never been and you live in Seattle or nearby – go. It is a cute little German themed (ahem, yes it is a ‘themed’ town, aimed to attract tourists and not a whole lot else) in the mountains near Stevens Pass ski resort (where my dad was a ski instructor for most of his life and a pretty fun, if expensive, place to hit the slopes!). Over the years they have become known for having a whole lot of tasting rooms that cater to people who – well, who like to drink. Some of them offer glasses of their wines and/or tasting platters if you find something you like. Basically, the idea is to make a day of it – We started at the top of the street (bc really, that is what Leavenworth is – one long street) and walked our way slowly down to end before stumbling home. Many of the shops now charge for tastings – which is relatively new. Its only $2 – $5USD pp and many of them will wave the fee if you buy a bottle. What I was surprised and a bit put off by is many of them only wave the fee for your whole party if you buy a bottle of wine per person (i.e. if you have 6 people tasting, as a group you need to buy 6 bottles of wine at that winery). Also, the wines aren’t cheap – across the board they were $10 – $50+ and the quality was not in line with the price in many (if not most) cases. But alas, I did manage to find some real crackers – I’ve included them below.

Willow Crest Leavenworth Red
Yummy, gooey, drinkable wine. I took this back to our rented condo the first night (even though all my fellow tasters weren’t impressed by it during the tasting). At $12 it was well below the other (overpriced) bottles on offer and it had a solid structure with a smooth taste. Needless to say after the first night we went back the next day and bought a half case!! A great wine to have on hand that will be sure to impress while not overwhelm. One note/caveat – they share a tasting room with Pasek cellars and unfortunately neither of them update their websites….and as I left all my bottles back in Seattle with my parents I am making a guess that this is Willow Crest and not Pasek (who specialise in fruit wines). Regardless, it doesn’t look like you can successfully buy this online so just give them a call directly at the tasting room: +1 (509) 548-5166

Bella Terrazza Reserve Reisling
Wow – really tasty and unique reisling. Very interesting and well worth a taste – they left the skins on for quite a while and the result is a slightly heavier style of wine. Fruity and crisp but lacking a bit of the traditional acidity. I really fell in love with this wine – mainly because it was so weird! I bought half a case – probably a bit excessive but I wanted to see what would happen to it after a year. By the end of the christmas holiday I had finished 3 bottles (don’t judge) so I have another 3 waiting for me. I’m nervous about leaving them as I don’t think its a wine to age – but we’ll have to see! Another reason why I liked this wine/winery was the owner. When we visited he was the only one manning the tasting room. He was a young 40-something farmer, passionate about the grapes and pretty much nothing else. He HATED being couped up in the tasting room and was just dying to get back to his vineyard. One thing he mentioned was wanting to find a winemaker to take over the development of his grapes. I wish him the best of luck!


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