Off to the vineyards of the West – and the Wine Bloggers’ Conference

So here I am, awake extremely early, Pacific Time, as I adjust to the time difference from home. After an evening discussing the finer points of natural winemaking and British Columbia wine production with Anthony Nicalo of Farmstead Wines (among his many endeavours), and having some fine, crisp Vancouver Island bubbly (Venturi Schulze 2007 Brut Naturel), I’m getting ready to hit the road to the wine countries of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

First up  is Oregon, today, with a visit at La Bête Wines, in McMinnville. La Bête is an estate that Insolite Importation, the agency I’m associated with, imports into Québec. It will be very nice to see John Eliassen again and finally see where those natural, well-balanced pinots are produced. Tomorrow, I’m planning a little run in Oregon wine country, including a visit to Abacela Winery, which I’m interested in seeing because they produce… anything but pinot. One of my goals, during this trip, is to look for producers who are outside of what generally seems to be a very standardized mold.

Friday, I’m heading back to Washington State, for the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla. Three days of discovering the wines of Walla Walla and Washington State, and two Live Wine Blogging events, which I’m really eager to get back into after doing it at the first WBC. Meeting with all the bloggers and other folks I’ve been twittering with over the last few months – if not years – will be pretty awesome as well.

After a visit to the Red Mountain AVA, post-WBC, I’ll be driving back up north for three days in the Okanagan, rolling South to North. I’ve got about eight winery visits on schedule already for what should be a very busy voyage of discovery.

That’s it for now. There’s a solid six hours of driving to McMinnville awaiting me…

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