Red Mountain Wineries
Saturday, June 13, 2009

When we toured the wineries of Red Mountain, we hit several along a 2-mile stretch of road, including Kiona, Sandhill, Tapteil, Blackwood Canyon (don't get me started on that hole-in-the-wall), and Hightower.

My personal favorite was Tapteil Estate Winery. The woman pouring the wines was incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. She also had a stash of Juicy Juice, gummies, and bubbles which seemed to make Wyatt's day, so that certainly earned them a few brownie points.

I absolutely loved all of their wines, but what I appreciated most was that the wife of the wine-maker--an incredibly talented artist--often renders paintings of guests enjoying their wines on the patio or working in the vineyard, and then turns them into wine labels. I think it adds such a personal touch to their already outstanding wines.

From their annual hat turned painting turned wine label.
(I didn't want you to assume that wearing an oversized
sunhat is a prerequisite to enjoying their wines).

Wyatt thinks wine-tasting is "barrels" of fun.

Apparently, it's not uncommon for wineries (especially those in Washington State) to have a winery dog. In fact, there is actually a book showcasing all of the winery dogs of Washington State. Go figure. You've already met the dog at Terra Blanca, although I was too embarrassed after having watched my kids fondle him, to even ask the poor pooch's name. But Tapteil has a very sweet black poodle named Argus.

I was so impressed with Argus because he sat literally at Eric's feet while we ate lunch on the patio (which I'm sure thrilled Eric to pieces), and while the dog eyed and salivated over our selection of fine Italian meats and cheeses, he never once begged for food. Good dog.

Once we left Tapteil, we walked next door to Hightower Cellars. Before we even entered the door, we were greeted by their beautiful, and very energetic, yellow labrador retriever barrelling down the hillside at a rapid pace just to say hello. Avery loves to admire dogs from afar, so she hopped into her daddy's arms before sweet little Murray even had a chance to douse her in slobbery head-to-toe doggie kisses. But you can tell by the way Avery's tongue is protruding from her mouth, she thought Murray was sort of special.

From Tapteil, we walked away with a wonderful 2004 Merlot, although I used much restraint in deciding against the 2005/2006 Syrah duo (with the fun artsy labels) signed by the winery's owner. We also purchased a bottle of Hightower's 2006 Merlot, although we really loved the 2005 Red Mountain Red Wine the best. But we just couldn't justify spending $50 for a single bottle. Yowza!

As unruly as they are sometimes, I just love my little man's curls.

Blogger Starr had this to say:

What a FUN trip. Your blog has me scheming about how and when we can visit that part of the country. Never been there! Cryin' shame!

June 14, 2009 at 9:01 AM 

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My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition (most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very characteristic of a merlot. (more)


“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771