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Fidelitas Wines


 

Skye Dissette
 
May 22, 2019 | Skye Dissette

Party on the Patio

What are your plans for Memorial Day Weekend? 

Every year Fidelitas hosts BBQ + Band on everyone's favorite patio. Did you know it's supposed to be in the 80's at our home on Red Mountain this weekend? What better way to celebrate the sunshine than by enjoying some delicious BBQ by Outlaw Catering, and listening to some soulful jams by Black Dolly? Pair that with some of our 2016 The Canyons Vineyard Red Wine and your weekend really can't be beat. An insider tip...we may be featuring a special wine that isn't being released until June. Any guesses what it is? Hint: we only produced 190 cases and it's our favorite summer sipper! 

We hope to see our members and their friends this Sunday, May 26th. We'll have a glass waiting! 

Time Posted: May 22, 2019 at 9:00 AM
Michelle Marsh
 
May 16, 2019 | Michelle Marsh

Free Ship Day

Today is Free Ship Day. Actually, yesterday was also free ship day but nobody knew about it.

We prepped the days before getting everything ready for lots and lots of packing and formatted our email late in to the night Tuesday until it was just right. We fiddled with our UPS strategies making sure the promotion was set up correctly and you’d receive free shipping just like we promised. Team Fidélitas was in place ready to field calls and emails and tell you all about the amazing wines that we could send your way.

When we sat at the computer early Wednesday morning and tried to send the email, unfortunately, we ran into technical difficulties. Of course, this happens on Free Ship Day! The posts were already out on social media so we thought that would be good enough and we worked all day with the amazing support team at WineDirect to get our emails back on track and try the email again Thursday. It turns out that the Facebook and Instagram algorithm didn’t like our posts because it included text on the image. We got only 20 likes (shout out to you 20 people!). 

Yesterday, technology was not on our side. The cool thing about it was the amazing people who worked together to resolve the issues and get us back on track today. Did you know that our small team sees every single order that comes in and, quite literally, does a little happy dance every time? Free Ship Day is more than a promotion to us. It’s a day when we get to send a little piece of Red Mountain out to all of our friends. We pack each box in house, by hand, with care obsessing over every detail.

Some days these are the tales of being a small business. We are so excited that today is (finally) Free Ship Day. We hope we get to send a piece of Red Mountain to you.

Order 6+ bottles by midnight tonight for complimentary ground or $25 2-Day Air.

Time Posted: May 16, 2019 at 2:30 PM
Will Hoppes
 
May 9, 2019 | Will Hoppes

5 Things I Learned from Chuck at the Leadership Summit

This past Tuesday the entire Fidelitas management team met for our First Annual Leadership Summit to plan our attack for the rest of the year + set our big long-term goals.  As is custom at these type of meetings we pepper my dad with questions about Fidelitas history, vineyard philosophy, his career, etc... Every time I hear him talk I learn new things and I'm reminded of things that I haven't heard in a while.  Here's my top 5:

1. The original 400 cases of the Fidelitas Meritage had "Fidelis" printed on the corks which was the original name of the winery before we got a cease and desist letter from Safeway re: a "Fidelis" liquor brand that was in their posession.  Does anyone have any of the original Fidelis brandy that they're willing to share? 

Pictures borrowed from Great Northwest Wine

2.  Although his first "official" vintage in Washington was in 1989 at Snoqualmie-Langguth working under Mike Januik the first ever Washington wine that my dad made was a 1983 Riesling from a vineyard just outside Pasco, WA made in my grandfather's, his father-in-law's kitchen.  His name, Daniel Fidelis O'Neil.

A young Daniel Fidelis O'Neil picture in the Seattle Times

3. He got hired on at 3 Rivers in 1999 as their first winemaker with the agreement that he'd be able to start his own wine label.  He spent the 2001 & 2001 harvests there commuting from Tri-Cities everyday.

4. In 1993 he was hired as the head Red Winemaker at Chateau Ste. Michelle after focusing on their white wine making from 1990 to 1992.  His first task was to manage the Canoe Ridge facility which was the first, modern, large-scale red wine-making facility in Washington state.  He said from 1993-1998 so much was getting thrown at him that he was able to learn massive amounts in such a short period of time all while at the forefront of red winemaking in the state.

A bottle of 1993 Ste Michelle Cab that we were able to enjoy recently courtesy of Compass Wines. We were amazed at how well this wine was holding up, Mike Januik wasn't lying!

5.  His first job in the wine industry was in 1985-86 as a lab tech at Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma while studying at UC Davis.

Time Posted: May 9, 2019 at 5:00 PM
Skye Dissette
 
April 18, 2019 | Skye Dissette

More Releases Still to Come...

As we near the end of club season, some might be wondering how they are going to wait until September for a whole new set of releases. Don’t worry, Fidelitas will always have you covered (except for that one time we ran out of wine). To pair perfectly with your summer BBQ’s, family reunions, and parties galore we have two wines that you'll need to add to your collection.

2018 Red Mountain Semillon

coming in June

2016 The Canyons Vineyard Malbec 

coming in July and only 96 cases produced

But before we add those two new additions to the tasting lineup, there are a couple of wines you might want to snag now before they sell out.

2017 Red Mountain Optu White

only 55 cases remain

2016 The Canyons Vineyard Red Wine

only 95 cases remain

members only, contact me to order 

All four of these wines together create the perfect bundle. Does someone want a 100% Semillon, or something with a little more acidity like the Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend? Do you have a big Malbec lover at the party, or someone who likes a blend but still enjoys what Malbec has to offer? Be sure to get on our mailing list if you’re not already so you can stay up to date on our newest releases.

Time Posted: Apr 18, 2019 at 1:10 PM
Michelle Marsh
 
April 3, 2019 | Michelle Marsh

Five Reasons to Attend Feast

The Feast of St Fidelis is our longest running annual event dating back to when we first opened our tasting room on Red Mountain in May 2007. While this is only my 6th time attending, I must say the Feast is my favorite way to ring in warm Spring days on the patio while celebrating our wonderful members and the anniversary of making our home on Red Mountain.

Five Reasons You Should Attend the Feast This Year:

  1. It. Is. Finally. Spring. After the long winter we had, do you need any other reason to party? Pull up a seat in one of the Adirondack chairs overlooking the Fidelitas Estate Vineyard, which will be full on blooming by that point, and enjoy a warm spring evening of fresh air and solitude on Red Mountain. Watch the sunset over Rattlesnake Mountain by the firepit or cozied up with a blanket, we’ve got you covered.
  2. Brand new wines and a stroll through the Estate. Get a VIP ticket to come early and join Charlie for a tour of the vineyard and enjoy our newest wines from the 2016 vintage. Our favorite taco wine, Red Mountain Malbec, will be flowin’!  
  3. Can you believe that we’ve had the same taco wagon at Feast for over a decade now? I still remember my first Feast when my turn came up in the taco line, long time employee Alissa was beside me and gave me the pro-tips: Get 4 tacos, trust me. Ask for onions and peppers. Don’t skimp on the salsas. Drooling just thinking about it…
  4. We got a band!! I am sooooo excited to announce that this year we are kicking up with fun times with one of our favorite local bands The Knutzen Brothers. You can catch them at all the good spots around town and we can’t wait to turn up the volume on the patio!
  5. Good times for all. In years past we’ve kept this event mostly exclusive to Club members in an effort to give members a private party to say thank you for the support. However, we realized that our members have friends that like wine too and bringing people together to share good times over a great glass of wine at our favorite place on earth is possibly the best thing ever. Members can now bring up to 4 guests with them. Not a member yet? There’s still time to join so that you can come too! 

Members can purchase tickets here. See you in the taco line! 

 

Time Posted: Apr 3, 2019 at 4:00 PM
Jess Zander
 
March 26, 2019 | Jess Zander

Taste Washington Survival Guide

I almost hate to admit it, but I have worked every Taste Washington since 2007…making this year my 13th consecutive celebration of Washington wine. (writing that out, it makes me realize that is the same number of years I spent in my K-12 schooling…yikes) Year after year, it is a wonderful chance to see old friends and meet a few new ones. And with this many Tastes logged, I think I’m close to calling myself an expert. Here is my updated survival guide for Taste Washington.

Figure Your Ride

This is so key in advance. You do not want to plan on you or someone in your party being able to drive home. If you are going to consume any wine…do not plan on driving. Extra fun this year: did you know that it’s the Mariners’ home opening games versus the Boston Red Sox? That is just going to make traffic and parking even worse. Since my last post, we now have the light rail, ride share options are so easy, and the Commission has partnered with even more hotels around town.

Figure Your Plan of Attack

The 2019 Taste Washington event guide is now available! Take the time to scan through and highlight your must hit list. Challenge yourself to try a few new things! I love meeting people for the first time who have never encountered our wines before. Try a new winery (and learn their story!), a new varietal, or a restaurant dish that you’d never order on your own.

It’s Hip to Spit

For the second time in this post, I’m going to age myself. Somewhere in my first few years, the slogan of Taste and associated events was “Hip to Spit”. Not the most hip slogan, but it’s a good message (super sorry, Taste WA 2019 - I don’t totally believe in must.taste.everything). You can’t have it all, nor is it responsible, nor will you remember it all (or your weekend) if you do. Try some amazing wines and be okay with spitting a few out. Use a spit cup to be discreet and dump at one of the many, many receptacles around the venue.

Elevate Your Experience

There is more to Taste than the 235 wineries at the Grand Tasting. There are dinners, lunches, seminars, and high end, intimate tastings. Charlie and I will be at Red + White this Thursday sharing some sold out, old vine wines out of the library. At the time of this writing, there are still Red + White tickets available! Find your red or white super suit and come down to see us on the waterfront.

Whatever the Event…Figure the Etiquette

Here is the basic sequence of tasting a new wine: smell, swirl, smell, sip, swish, swallow or spit! You want to experience the wine right when it’s poured, see what air does to the aromas with a light swirl, give it another whiff, and then taste it. Allow the wine to hit all areas of your mouth to get a feeling for the acids, the fruit, the tannins, and the structure of the wine. And then (see point 3) decide what you’re going to do with it.

Other basic etiquette involves caring about the wine beyond if it's red or white and holding your glass steady while someone is pouring (you don’t know many times I’ve poured wine on the table from people pulling their glass away - just because you move your glass doesn’t mean I’m going to stop pouring). If you really want to know what winery people are thinking, read THIS, which I’ll admit is old, but it makes me laugh every time I read it.

I can’t wait for another great Taste Washington weekend. Charlie, who has many more Tastes in the books, considers this a true celebration of the Washington wine industry, where we all gather to celebrate this amazing corner of the wine world. Please come by to say hi and check out the special wines we’ve brought to share. (hint: there is always a surprise for those who ask…)

Time Posted: Mar 26, 2019 at 9:23 PM
Will Hoppes
 
March 21, 2019 | Will Hoppes

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Wines

For those who aren't up to date on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (bettter known as Triple D), stop reading right now, reevaluate how you spend your free time, find a way to stream the episode that aired on March 8th called "Southern to South American" featuring Richland Washington's own Porters Barbecue and you may recognize a certain winemaker chowing down on a dino beef rib:

"Meat Boss"

Talking to some club members recently and helping them plan their trips to Red Mountain, suggesting food places that may or may not show up on a Google search got me thinking that I should gather all the food recommendations from team Fidelitas and create our own:

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Wines

Places to stop along the way:

Bale Breaker Brewing Company, Yakimaif your getting mezmerized by the rows, rows, and rows of hops and need a little beer to warm up your palate

Los Hernandez Tamales, Union Gap - authentic tamales from James Beard award winning chef, Felipe Hernandez

Garcia's Drive Thru, Grandview

Wine o'Clock, Prosser - wine bar and bistro located in Prosser's Vintner's Village

Miner's Drive In, Yakima - obligatory since I stopped here every away game for high school sports

Lunch spots for something to grab in between tastings:

Porters Barbecue, Richland

Graze, Richlandsoups, salads, and sandwiches, located right next to Porters for those who don't want the Dino Ribs

Tacos Super Uno, Richland - taco truck just off the highway on your way to Red Mountain from Tri-Cities, you need to have Mexican food while you're in Eastern WA.  Your best bet is coming to our Feast of St. Fidelis event May 3rd for some of this:

and this view:

Tri-Cities Tap and Barrel, Richland

Foodies, Kennewick

Andrae's Kitchen, Walla Walla

Dinner:

Drumheller's, Richland - located on the second floor of the Columbia Point Lodge overlooking the Richland waterfront, make sure someone at your table orders pasta

Anthony's, Richland - their back patio may be the best dining view in Tri-Cities

The Bradley, Richland - tapas bar

Fat Olive's, Richland - most popular after work spot for workers in the Tri-Cities research district

Fiction @ J Bookwalter, Richland

Carmine's Italian Restaurant, Kennewick - family-owned, it'll make you feel like you're at your Italian grandmother's for dinner

Europa Itialian & Spanish Restaurant, Kennewick

Proof Gastropub, Kennewick

Aki Sushi, Kennewick - best sushi I've had, Seattle included

Time Posted: Mar 21, 2019 at 5:00 PM
Skye Dissette
 
March 13, 2019 | Skye Dissette

Taste Washington this Spring

We’re in the midst of Taste Washington Wine Month which is the kick-off to all things happening in our industry! With spring around the corner, there are so many ways you can come out and support Washington wine and all it has to offer. I hope you’re ready to start planning, because we have a lot in the books.


March

Taste Washington: 28-31st

Travelling to the vineyards a little difficult for you this time of year? Purchase your tickets and enjoy all the wineries that will come to Seattle! For some insider tips, check out a previous blog post of ours.

April

Fidelitas Club Release Weekends: 13-14th + 20th

We are celebrating the release of our highly anticipated wines from Quintessence Vineyard on Red Mountain. Get more information on how to join our Wine Club and receive these member exclusive wines!

Yakima Valley Spring Barrel Weekend: 20-21st + 26-28th

Purchase your tickets and join the crowds who are getting out in the sunshine to enjoy all the wines Yakima Valley has to offer.

Fidelitas Winemaker Dinner at The Lodge: 28th

A lovely intimate dinner put on by The Lodge at Columbia Point in Richland! Be sure to contact them for more details.

May 

Feast of St. Fidelis: 3rd

Our annual club appreciation party on Red Mountain! Enjoy delicious wines, and the famous tacos from That Guy Catering. Members, an invitation will be sent in April with tickets and more information! 

Walla Walla Release Weekend: 3-5th

Be one of the first to try newly released wines that can only be tasted at the wineries. A beautiful time of year to enjoy the vineyards in Walla Walla.

Fidelitas Roadshow in Portland: 18th

After our first trip visiting our neighbors to the south, we just had to keep coming back! Come visit us for our 4th annual Portland Roadshow. Be sure to signup for our newsletter so you receive the invitation coming out in April. Open to all!


Do you live on the west side of the Mountains? Check out the Woodinville Wine Country here for a list of all the upcoming events starting in May.

With the sun finally shining, come out and support your local wineries! We'd love a visit. 

 

Time Posted: Mar 13, 2019 at 1:00 PM
Charlie Hoppes
 
March 6, 2019 | Charlie Hoppes

Snow on Red Mountain

Here on Red Mountain, we have had snow on the ground since the Super Bowl. It’s packed around the chairs on the patio and covers the entire Fidelitas Estate Vineyard.  Here are a few, quick facts, about the snow and potential impact that we can expect on Red Mountain.

With grape vines, we look at potential damage to the buds, as well as the phloem (bark) and Xylem (wood). We are lucky to have WSU’s Viticulture and Enology program providing us with real time cold hardiness monitoring. So far, they are showing that the outside temperatures are tracking well above what we’d consider critical temperatures that could lead to damage in the vines.

You’ll notice on these graphs that the temperatures and critical temps tend to track closely together. We were fortunate this year to have a slow decline in temperatures that allowed the vines to acclimate to the outside temperatures. A quick cold snap could have had a different result.

In addition to the cold temps, we saw a lot of snow, which is a good thing. A lot of people think snow = cold = bad. But, the snow is an insulator that allows the ground to freeze only to a depth of around 6 inches sparing the vine from root damage.  Without the snow cover the level that the soil could freeze would be deeper, with greater potential for damage. Think about what our front yards look like now. The grass is dead, but we know the healthy new green grass is below the earth, waiting to come up soon.

If we have a concern right now, it is the long-term impact that this will have on the season. Bud break could be 2-3 weeks later than usual, which could drastically impact the growing season. This is a time where we feel lucky to be on hot Red Mountain, where we’ll still expect the fruit to get fully ripe. Cooler regions such as Walla Walla the certain sites in the Yakima Valley may experience some ripening troubles. On the flip side, extreme heat could potentially get the sugars to the proper levels, but the grapes won’t be physiologically balanced.

I suppose it’s the farmer in all of us who worry about the worst possible scenario. We all like to talk about the weather but so much can happen between now and September. At this point in time, we’ll just hope for the temperatures to slowly warm. A slow melting of snow will allow the moisture to go directly into the soil as opposed to a quick thawing where the soil not able to absorb the water quick enough resulting in water running off quickly causing possible flooding. This is one of the joys of farming and winemaking…every vintage presents a new challenge and we get to still work with Mother Nature to create wonderful wines.

Time Posted: Mar 6, 2019 at 11:12 AM
Will Hoppes
 
February 21, 2019 | Will Hoppes

Spring 2019 Events

We've got a bunch of new events on the calendar for the Spring!

Friday Evening Tastings

Dates: March 8, March 22, April 26, May 10, and May 24 - 6:00-7:00 p.m. - $30 members, $40 non-members

Location: Woodinville Tasting Room

How to make a reservation: email will@fidelitaswines.com

Kathleen provides in-depth tastings through flights of 5 wines, both library and current releases, with hand-selected food pairings for each event.  Themes from the past include 5 Cabernets of Red Mountain, Vertical tasting of Optu Reds, and vineyard specific tastings featuring Ciel du Cheval and Quintessence.  Come taste some of the best Fidelitas has to offer in a more intimate setting.

Suite Mariner Games

Dates: March 29 - opening weekend, Red Sox + July 6 - Oakland A's

Location: Suite at T-Mobile Park

How to make a reservation: email michelle@fidelitaswines.com

Tickets include VIP ballpark access, premium gametime food in the suite, quality time with owner-winemaker Charlie Hoppes, and a selection of Fidelitas Wines to enjoy while you watch the game.

Winemaker Tasting Panel

Date: April 12, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Location: Woodinville Tasting Room

How to make a reservation: email will@fidelitaswines.com - Club-Only - $30

Join Charlie and our winemaking team for a special tasting and panel discussion + Q&A to follow.  Each ticket includes a flight of wines and the opportunity to learn from our team with 70+ years of combined harvest experience.

Club-Only Weekends

Dates: April 13-14 + 20

Location: Woodinville Tasting Room

How to make a reservation: no reservations necessary!

Every time we release new wines to the club in February, April, September, and November we close off the tasting rooms for the following 2 weekends to give our members the chance to come in, try the new releases in an extended flight, and pick up their wines.  Often this is the only time to sample and get your hands on limited wines after they're released!

Feast of St. Fidelis

Save the date and start planning your weekend: Friday, May 3

Location: Red Mountain Tasting Room

Watch for more information and an invitation to come in early April!

Cheers!

Time Posted: Feb 21, 2019 at 3:49 PM