(May 2, 2017) Kiona Vineyards, located in the Red Mountain AVA of Washington State, was the first stop of the day. One of the oldest wineries in the region, established in 1961, it is famous for its big luscious cabernet sauvignons, old vineyards, and a panoramic view of the valley.
Therefore it was only fitting that this was location of a master class tasting on Washington cabernet sauvignons. We spent several hours tasting 12 wines and listening to the fascinating tales of the winemakers who made them. I must say that I have always enjoyed Washington cabernet sauvignons and red blends, because of the distinctive texture of the tannins on my palate. They are more powdery, and remind me of the tannins found in the Bolgheri region of Italy.
After the tasting, we were treated to lunch on the sunny terrace. Walking outside we were welcomed by our hosts with a large ice bucket filled with Champagne, local sparkling wine, and Mexican beer. This was an excellent palate refresher after evaluating the delicious and tannic cabernets.
Just beyond the drinks table was a food truck in the parking lot, specializing in tacos. This was a great treat for most of the MWs who were looking forward to tasting Mexican food in the US. Also, the trend of “gourmet food trucks” is sweeping the nation, and so it was enjoyable to have lunch provided by a taco truck. The menu included the following delicacies:
Mexican Tacos – Shredded chicken, pork and vegetarian choices
Fresh salsa, cilantro and warm flour tortillas
Elote on a Stick – grilled corn on the cob with mayonnaise, powdered Mexican cheese, chili pepper and lime
Mexican cold slaw salad
Refried beans with cheese
Everyone lined up to enjoy the meal, with many people returning for second and third helpings of tacos. We enjoyed our meal at outdoor tables, overlooking Kiona’s rare cabernet sauvignon vineyard, planted in 1975 and using a unique 6-foot vertical fan trellis system. During lunch, we were joined by the six winemakers who had showcased their beautiful Washington State cabernet sauvignons during the morning seminar. In this way, we were able to continue our educational discussion.