Monday, February 22, 2010

One of the pleasures...

...of the Pacific Northwest is the wine.

While the region is better known for beer, it boasts a number of vineyards that have come into their own over the past two decades. The various founders were primarily a collection of Americans trained at UC Davis and ambitious young French vintners who did want to serve out grueling twenty year apprenticeships that would leave them embittered by the time they were able to oversee the creation of a product. Their choice of land to cultivate--The Columbia Valley American Viticultural Area--runs from the Columbia George across the warm and grassy uplands of the Columbia basalt plateau. Additional vineyards can be found in portions of the Willamette river valley in Oregon. The result of the two broad schools of craft existing side by side has been a number of wines that have taken international prizes.

The drawback for those of us on the West Coast is that discovery and success means that a fantastic bottle of Zinfandel that used to go for nine dollars a bottle now commands a twenty seven dollar price. But the region still produces a number of good wines at reasonable prices. Columbia Crest is one of those vineyards.

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