A Sunday in Prosser Wine Country

On a gorgeous Sunday around noon (July 21st), I decided to head out to Prosser and partake of some great Washington State wine.  My first stop was WIT Cellars.  It’s one of my favorite small-production wineries in the State.  And as luck would have it…Mr. Flint Nelson (Winemaker) was on-site to present a tasting to me.  We had a really good discussion, and I ended up walking away with a bottle of the 2016 Painted Hills Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2015 late harvest Riesling.  Both are delicious choices.  Hopefully in the next few months I’ll be able to connect with Mr. Nelson and conduct an interview for Aaronswinechronicles.com….so stay tuned for that!

Next stop was just around the corner at Mercer Estates.  The views here are really beautiful.  They had two different tasting menus, one a standard tasting and the other a reserve tasting.  After looking at both of them, it became apparent that I’d really enjoy tasting the reds from both and skipping the whites and the rosé, so that’s what they did!  My palate resonated well with 3 red wines in particular – the 2015 Reserve Cavalie Red Blend, the 2015 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2015 Eagle & Plow (also a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon).  As I was about to leave I asked if they had any sweeter white wines, and they let me taste a 2017 Riesling from the Yakima Valley that was simply delicious with approximately 4.5% residual sugars.  I knew my wife would really enjoy that, so I walked away with a bottle of this gem.  It was a great tasting and it was nice getting back to see how the Mercer Estate wines are evolving.  Really good stuff here.

Stop number 3 was just across the highway, at the Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center.  I really enjoy this place.  I always learn something new and I always get a chance to taste wines I’ve never seen before or even heard of.  On top of that, it’s always great seeing Abbey Cameron (Executive Director)!  As I was tasting the wines, I was lucky enough to persuade Abbey into agreeing to a future interview for Aaronswinechronicles.com sometime this Fall!  I can’t wait for that!  I really enjoyed the 2015 Grenache from Latta Wines, so I left with a bottle of that and found two stemmed and logo’d wine glasses to add to my collection as well!  It’s always a pleasure and a treat to visit this place.

The 4th stop on my adventure was a quick drive down I-82 West to the Prosser Wine Village where I found a new spot.  It’s called 3 Farmers Tasting Room and it’s a collaborative arrangement between Robert Smasne (winemaker) and the owners of Valicoff Estates and Roxboro Vineyard.  They offer a very interesting assortment of wines and it was a really nice tasting at this new tasting room.  I was allowed to taste a number of wines that weren’t on the tasting list, but the one that sat nicely with my palate was the ½ Ass red blend.  Very approachable and really a nice buy.  As a bonus, I was able to score two more stemmed and logo’d wine glasses for my collection!

Finally, my last stop before dinner was the Milbrandt Vineyards & Ryan Patrick tasting room.  Now I’ve been here before, but now that Kendall Mix has had some time to get situated as the new master winemaker, I thought it was the perfect time to visit.  I’ve followed Kendall’s wine making for years, and typically love the red wines he crafts.  Today, Emma Heintz did an outstanding job of taking me through the tasting, and I enjoyed my chat with her today.  By the time it was all said and done, I ended up buying two bottles of the Ryan Patrick 2016 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  Simply delicious!  Thank you Emma….and best of luck as you chart your own course in the wine industry!

By this time, I was getting really hungry.  So literally right next door is the Wine O’Clock Restaurant and Wine Bar, which is really a fantastic place to have lunch or dinner after a day of tastings.  Today I started with a fantastic soup and some bread and olive oil.  Then I ordered the rib-eye steak and a pear-bacon pizza (to go) since I knew my kids would devour it when I got home!  For dessert I had the lemon and fruit custard with French press coffee that was amazing.  Great stop and fantastic way to end my day!  Until next time Prosser!  Cheers!!!

Aaron Diaz