So, over the last weekend of wine/chocolate tasting, while we went to several places we have been to before, we also checked out a few new places, and one of those really stood out...DavenLore.
Technically in the town of Prosser, which is mid-way between Walla Walla and Yakima, meaning it is the center of Washington Wine Country, DavenLore is actually about 5 minutes outside of town, a few miles up into the sage-brush country of the Horse Heaven Hills. I took this picture from the parking spots in front of their tasting room.
So...one of the nice things about the winery was that there was no tasting fee...and, despite the fact that they weren't part of the 'official' Red Wine and Chocolate Tour Path, they were offering up chocolate covered goodies from Chukar Cherries, as well as fresh strawberries with their Rose.
What really sold the winery though was Gordon Taylor, the Winemaker. What an entertaining and educational conversation we had. In addition to being a winemaker, and a consulting process engineer for Ocean Spray, Gordon teaches classes in winemaking, agriculture and yeast use at the local colleges. A lot of what he had to say was over my head, but I can't wait to bring our cider-making friends from Western Washington to meet him the next time they come over.
They also have a great sense of humor...on Valentine's Day, they had a Four for 69 special...which we took advantage of to add to our collection. Their Tempranillo and Syrah Forte' really stick out in my memory, even after too much wine that day. In addition, their non-varietal, Recovery Red, was neat. You bought a 1 Liter resusable bottle, and then when it was empty, you could visit several places in Richland, Prosser and Yakima, where you would trade in your empty bottle for a full new bottle...and it's 1000ml instead of the unusual 750ml wine bottle.
My wife and I have to have a talk though...our Top 5 List of favorite wineries is getting longer and more crowded.