Linked Up Wines: Gramping my style

wine & coconuts

Not everyone drinks margaritas in Mexico!

Gramping in Naches Heights, Champagne for the brain, organics vs sustainable viticulture, and a whole lot more

I thought now was as good of a time as any to roll out a new series for Stems and Legs. This series will feature articles from the Washington wine scene and around the world. I hope you enjoy this weekly look at what the rest of the industry is talking about.

As it turns out, gramping is all the rage in parts of the country and it appears Naches Heights is trying to get a piece of this new luxury camping market. Sarah Navoy brings you the inside scoop on everything gramping. Personally, as long as there is wine and a comfy bed, I’m all in. We’ll keep you posted on how this story unfolds.

Its looking like another great growing season for Washington State. Some in the industry seem a little surprised at how well the grapes are growing, including those in the Horse Heaven Hills. In April, there was a small scare of a potential frost, but as things turned out, it was a false alarm. Great news for all of us who love Washington wines.

Closer to my own heart, South Seattle Community College is finally ready to move into their state of the art wine facility. It was a project that was talked about since 2009, but it has finally come into fruition. I will be providing an inside look into the new facilities when I attend more classes in the summer and fall!

Woodinville Wine Country’s version of, “Do you think you can cook?!” aka the 4th Annual Iron Vintner Challenge, is coming up on June 5th. This cooking battle between winemakers is surely going to be a fun competition. Shona Milne provides all the details for this year’s challenge, including details on this year’s winemaker dinner.

Away from the Washington wine circuit, Andy Young from The Drinks Business, offers a look into how Champagne can help improve memory. If that is the case, it’s a good thing I joined Domaine Carneros’ Chateau Society last year! In any event, just remember one rule. When it comes to Champagne, you don’t need a celebratory event to enjoy this effervescent beverage 🙂

If you’re looking for a few suggestions on tasting rooms to visit in the Northern California wine region, Bottle Notes is featuring their Five Must-Visit Tasting Rooms in the region. Now…. keep in mind, I have not been to any of these so I can’t personally endorse these selections. However, I would love to know if you agree or disagree 🙂 I’ll have my own selections once I tour the region.

Over the years, there has been many trying to find alternatives to cork wine enclosures. You have your synthetics, screw caps, glass enclosures, and others. Each has their pros and cons, including costs associated with them. But a new enclosure is soon to come into the market that seems to have some promise and the source may surprise you.

We close this week’s edition of Linked Up Wines with a topic of intrigue. The whole debate between organic vs sustainable viticulture. Personally, I have not found an organic wine I enjoy, let alone recommend. Rolfe Hanson does offer some information on organic wine that should shed some light for you. However, I encourage you to take a look at another article that talks about one family winery in the Alsace region that is doing some great things in the wine industry. From what I’ve read, they do things in a way that I prefer, “sustainable viticulture”. What that means is you do as little harm to the environment as possible without sacrificing the quality of the wine. There are smart ways of doing things in the vineyard and winery that don’t involve heavy uses of pesticides, herbicides, and all those other “cides” people are worrying about these days. Keep this in mind. Just because a wine bottle says “organic”, doesn’t mean it’s better for the environment.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this edition of Linked Up Wines. I’ll try to provide a weekly insight on what’s going on in the wine industry and keep you all informed in addition to what’s going on in Stems and Legs’ world. Till then, enjoy!


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