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Spreading CompostSpring time brings vineyard work to us here at Cathedral Ridge Winery. We’d love for you to experience our weekly updates and see what it takes to run a full-working winery.
Here’s a little video of John and Francisco sledding and spreading compost in our new vineyard while Robb runs the tractor.

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Wine libraries are not at least. Wine library may conjure images of one’s dream collection of the world’s best wines or perhaps a collection of tasting notes from a self-proclaimed sommelier or it may just be a medieval term with wines as outdated as the name.

Commonly referred to as the wine cellar, the Cathedral Ridge Wine Library is our opportunity to showcase our best wines with a collection of tasting notes from our own sommeliers. With original Flerchinger Vineyard vintages, Halbtrocken lovers would be beside themselves, to Merlot and Zinfandel verticals and even our famed Rusty Red from the beginning, our Wine Library is a dream for those who love our wine.

With Passport Weekend upon us, we invite you to join us to venture into the library for a complimentary Reserve Cellar Tasting and if you love what you find, we’re offering 10% all reserve cellar purchases. But don’t fret; if you can’t make it this weekend, we welcome you to come in for a visit and perhaps an opportunity to venture into our library and our history. Enjoy the beauty of a different kind of library.

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In:Perfect Pairing

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Nothing scores higher on the intensity meter than syrah. A great syrah will entice with its notes of fruit, spice, and textures. As such, syrahs pair terrifically with meats from beef and lamb to pork, game, and tuna. It pays to play up syrah’s spice with use of aromatics like garlic and alliums, peppercorns and peppers (bells as well as chiles), cinnamon and clove, all mushrooms, mustards, ginger, bay, basil, mints, parsley, sage, rosemary, oregano, and thyme. Grilling and roasting are always good ideas, but bringing out the sweetly scented berry or plum qualities of syrah by first marinating any number of ways is also good. Herewith, three noteworthy syrah pairings: Cumin-spiced burgers with Harissa MayoShanghai Stir-Fried Pork with Cabbage and lamb Ragout with Olives and Peppers.

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It’s likely you’ve seen him roaming the winery grounds and there’s a good chance he’s attempted to solicit a pet or two from anyone that glances his way. Always bounding about, our hardworking and faithful winery dog Rusty, is a beloved CRW family member.

It seems like just yesterday that I missed a day of school to travel up north into Central Washington to pick-up the newest member of our family. Driving home, he was immediately dissatisfied with traveling in his crate and ended up making the journey home asleep in my lap and it hasn’t changed much since, even though he’s quadrupled in size. Growing up, Rusty was another brother. Always protective, an endless playmate and I even had to share the backseat on family road trips with him, wrestling for who got the most room and always losing.

Aside from being a brother, Rusty is also a top-notch bird dog, but you’ll have to read that story on the bottle of wine dedicated to Rusty himself, our Rusty Red. A complex wine with rich, jammy blackberry, hints of chocolate, a bit of smoke and a touch of earthiness. A little bit of everything, just like Rusty is to our family.

We invite you out to say hello to Rusty and of course have a glass of wine. And keep an eye out for our newest family member, Rhett, a bundle of exuberant puppy racing around the grounds. Something tells me that his tribute wine will be a bit more spicy.

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While it’s always a treat to go out to dinner, Valentine’s Day is one of the few nights that I’d prefer to stay in. Sometimes the prix-fixe menus and forced romantic atmosphere can feel stuffy. Staying in can still be a major indulgence with the right ingredients…I plan on trying the following menu this Thursday (thanks, Martha!):

Appetizer: Artichoke-Parmesan Crostini, Main:Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon, Side: Creamy Spinach and Slow Roasted Tomatoes, and dessert:Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse.

My husband and I will whip this up together while rocking out to some good records and sipping Rusty Red. This 100% Syrah is the perfect match for the pepper-crusted meat and veggies. It’s also the “Wine of the Month” at Cathedral Ridge Winery, so it’s a great time to stock up!
Cheers!     –AG

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The great American holiday of Thanksgiving is a mere two weeks away. Cathedral Ridge Winery has put together a holiday package of six bottles that have been especially selected for their compatibility with Thanksgiving fare. Herewith, a few recipes to inspire your planning and pairing…

Baked Brie with Pecans to pair with CRW 2011 Riesling

Herb-marinated cheese to pair with CRW 2011 Riesling or
Dampier Pinot Noir

White Bean and Caper Crostini to pair with CRW 2011 Riesling

 

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Blackberries are wildly abundant in September. In Hood River, one could easily fill a basket while walking through almost any neighborhood. I recently discovered the ultimate fall trifecta (blackberries! chocolate! Cabernet!) in the form of these perfectly grown-up cupcakes.  The recipe only calls for a 1/2 c of Cabernet, so you’ll want to enjoy a glass while you bake and–trust me–it pairs perfectly with a fluffy fresh-from-the-oven chocolate cupcake. –AG

 

Photo curtesy of www.bakersroyale.com

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For this coming Labor Day weekend, consider including a new element into any parties that you might host or attend.  A vertical wine tasting is tasting one particular varietal (from the same winery) from successive years to experience the nuances that can change from year-to-year. It’s a really interesting way to taste the way that unique weather patterns and soil conditions can slightly alter the resulting grape.  A fun way to do it is to place each wine in a bag so that the tasting can be blind. Take notes and share personal favorites. You might go in with some friends to enjoy both a white and a red vertical. A Cabernet would be especially versatile with summer grilling: Try the Cathedral Ridge September Special (the two newest cab releases against the vintage). Cheers!!

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The past several weeks have been Chanterelle mushroom season here in the Pacific Northwest, and those who know of a prime picking spot guard the secret with their lives. We happen to know of such a spot, where the Chanterelles are plentiful enough to fill large baskets if you hit it at the right time. After a picnic in the woods that included a little Pinot Noir (2009 Cathedral Ridge from Dampier Vineyard), we were like kids on an Easter egg hunt, plucking the golden delicacies until we had as many as we could carry.

After returning home with our bounty, we sauteed most of the mushrooms lightly in butter, and froze them to use throughout the year.  That night, we enjoyed the freshly picked Chanterelles with roasted salmon (caught by my father in the White Salmon river), which paired amazingly with the Dampier Pinot Noir.  I highly recommend the following recipe from Food & Wine…they suggest Oyster mushrooms, but encourage Chanterelles if they’re available.

ROASTED SALMON with CHANTERELLES IN RED WINE

Cheers! -AG

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This weekend, my husband and I had the pleasure of mountain biking to a remote section of the Lewis River in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington.  We camped next to the rushing river and enjoyed the solitude, campfire, and–of course–great food and wine.  We wrapped homemade burritos in foil and rolled them into the campfire and set a bottle of Cathedral Ridge Chardonnay Reserve in a shallow, rock-protected section of the river to keep it chilled (the river temp was about 55 degrees, which also happens to be a perfect temp for chardonnay–very convenient!).  We had a few glasses and kept the bottle in the river overnight.  The chilled chardonnay was waiting for us after another bike ride the next day, so we stretched out in the meadow and appreciated every detail that makes living in the Pacific Northwest so unbelievably great.

One of these reasons, among many, is that the Columbia Gorge happens to share geographic and climatic similarities with the Burgundy region of France.  Like the Burgundy region, the Columbia Gorge experiences sporadic weather ranging from unpredictable snow, rain, frost, and even heat. Cathedral Ridge grows their chardonnay grapes on the north side of the Columbia River at Huber (also known as Dampier) Vineyard in Underwood Mountain, WA.  Not very far at all from the spot where we enjoyed our bottle of Chardonnay Reserve, a luscious, complex, golden-hued wine.

While this region may share grape-growing qualities with France, the Pacific Northwest experience is truly unparalleled.  –AG

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