In celebration of Taste Washington Wine Month and our signature Optu wine, I thought it might be fun to ask Team Fidelitas a very important question. What is your favorite vintage of the Optu? Let’s just say…this wine will forever be number #1 in our hearts.
Michelle: “2010 Optu Red Mountain. This wine was released just before I started working for Fidelitas so it has a special place in my heart, plus it’s one of the most unique! This vintage was Merlot based which I’m a sucker for and it was the first vintage sourced entirely from Red Mountain supporting the new name, Optu Red Mountain.”
Jess: “2002! First vintage where we called it Optu instead of Meritage. I secured some from the library when I first started and the quality and age ability blew me away! I also have a fond memory of drinking this wine while watching the sun set over Fremont in my old condo.”
Charlie: “I generally like the Optu from vintages that I have liked our other wines. The 2009 stands out as a great one and is tasting fantastic right now. Another would be our new release of the 2013, this one is probably my favorite out of the vintages that were sourced from Red Mountain.”
Amy: “Hmm…2013 is my favorite vintage because it features my favorites: raspberry on the nose and blackberries on the palate. My favorite Red Mountain vineyards are also featured in the vintage: Quintessence, Fidelitas Estate, Red Heaven, and Ciel du Cheval.”
Chelsea: “2012, this vintage has 77% Cabernet and small amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. It was the first vintage that was sourced from Quintessence (my new favorite vineyard) and had the first tasting of Fidelitas Estate vineyard, it truly shows the beauty and quality of Red Mountain fruit as well as the future of Fidelitas.”
As for myself, I have loved every vintage of the Optu that I have tried. When I first started with Fidelitas this was the one wine that stood out to me. From the way it tasted to the story behind it. It didn’t take me long to realize why this wine was so important to the winery. In my (almost) two year of being here, the Optu has been at every party, gathering, and meeting (yes wine is involved in our meetings, who would have thought!?). And because of that, every memory I have of my awesome team and our great club parties involves the Optu.
I think we can all agree that 2015 went in the blink of an eye. But, there is a positive to the year coming to an end and that’s the Holiday Shopping Party!
The time of year when our twinkle lights get strung in the tasting room and everyone is in the holiday spirit is always one of my favorites here. The only way to celebrate is by having a festive gathering with catered food, Christmas cookies (prepared by your wonderful Fidelitas staff), door prizes, and gift wrapping. Although we did make delicious meatballs last year, we thought this year we would take it up on a notch and use the fabulous Bis On Main as our caterer. And here is what they had to share with us…
Lamb Crostini with White Bean Puree
Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
Arancini (Risotto Balls) with Marinara Sauce
Duck Confit on a Potato Crisp Topped with an Amarena Cherry
Then we move to the Cookie Bar…
Peppermint Brownie Cookies
Ginger Molasses Cookies
Just 361 more days until our Holiday Shopping Party 2016 edition! We hope those who weren’t able to attend this year are able to experience all of the fun next holiday season.
Happy Holiday’s from Team Fidelitas!
If you haven’t heard of our new Friday Tastings then be sure to keep reading! We started this event in September as a way to bring out our members (and non members!) now that everyone is getting back into their normal routines. It’s an intimate Friday evening filled with an in-depth tasting, cheese, and charcuterie. Oh, and the lovely Kathleen of course. Each month we have a special feature with room for only 10 guests; these have been booking up fast so make sure to put it on your calendar. It’s a great way to enjoy your evening before dinner reservations at The Purple Café. If you are interested please contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org
PS. If you're a fan of Ciel du Cheval Vineyards...you don't want to miss out on tastings in October.
To top off our staff retreat we decided to conquer the actual hike up Red Mountain! No one in our group had actually taken on the challenge so we thought what better way than to do it together? Alarms went off at 6:30am so that we could all be ready for our trek at 7:00am. The reason for this was mainly to beat the heat which I highly recommend if you ever feel like accomplishing this hike. Getting to the top was more of a struggle than expected but it was definitely worth it in the end. Once to the top of the mountain you overlook all of Benton City, wineries, and Mount Adams (on a clear day). As we are walking and getting our panoramic views we notice a UTV speeding up one side of the trail. Six of us girls are a bit skeptical of whom this might be and as it is getting closer we start to plan our escape. There was a sigh of relief when we noticed it was Charlie Hoppes and Marshall Edwards, the Vineyard Manager of Quintessence. It turns out once they heard we were taking this hike they planned a surprise for us with coffee and donuts! Keep in mind that Charlie felt very guilty keeping this secret from us. As soon as we were full with those treats everyone made is safetly down the mountain, including Charlie and Marshall in the UTV (we were hesitant about that one). Hopefully we carry on this tradition into next year's staff retreat!
When we hear things like this from our members, we just have to share them with you! We welcome guest writer/blogger and beloved Club member Melinda Knapp to the Fidelitas Blog. This is what Melinda had to say about our most recent event...
"They say that “membership has its benefits”, at least according to American Express. The same could be said for being a member of the Fidelitas family. I have been a wine club member at Fidelitas for a little over 7 years. I’ve attended numerous events not only at their winery on Red Mountain, but also at their tasting room in Woodinville. They have always been well thought out and enjoyable! This year’s Magna Dinner on Red Mountain was no exception. We braved the triple digit temps this past weekend and drove over the hill because I knew we had a treat in store for us.
Saturday morning started off with a very informative tour of the estate vineyard, so we could see firsthand the new plantings. Hearing Charlie talk about the different clones that were planted makes me very excited for the future of Fidelitas wines! There is even a row in the estate vineyard with each clone planted right next to each other, so that as they grow and mature you will be able to see the differences in the vine and the fruit. Very cool and educational.
Dinner that evening was thoughtfully moved inside in the A/C, as the temps outside at 7:00pm were still in the mid-90s. The tables were dressed simply with these really cool centerpieces of baby vines. There were some passed appetizers to start, served with the newly release 2014 Semillion. The crispy purple cauliflower was my favorite. The salad course was a farmer’s market feast with greens, peas, radishes and asparagus. It paired beautifully with the 2014 Optu White. Our main course had a lovely selection of grilled meats and vegetables along with a very unique and tasty squash and farro bake. With those we sipped on Champoux Magna Red Blend, Optu Red & Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon all from the 2012 vintage. Then we watched the sun set over the estate vineyard creating this beautiful orange and pink canvas on the sky. A perfect end to a perfect evening. Thank you again Fidelitas for treating me and all your wine club members like family."
Thank you to Melinda and the rest of our loyal members! We cant wait for the next event here at Fidelitas.
The time has finally arrived! Our 2014 Klipsun Vineyard Semillon has been released and it was well worth the wait. I was able to pick Charlie’s brain because I wanted to understand why this white does so well in such a hot AVA like Red Mountain. His answer was not a surprise to me, vineyard management. Klipsun vineyard is a much more established vineyard on Red Mountain and is owned by Patricia and David Gelles but managed by Julia Kock. They grow many varietals but only two whites, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. With vines dating back to 1982 they have a grasp for what is most important when focusing on helping a white grape thrive. But who cares about the technical stuff…
This Semillon has zero residual sugar and is a dry, crisp, fruity and refreshing white to enjoy on your patio in this beautiful summer weather. If you like our Optu White which is 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Semillon, then this Semillon is sure to hit every one of your taste buds. It has beautiful aromas with notes of citrus, melon, and grapefruit that pair perfectly with your picnic salad. Be sure to come to our tasting rooms to enjoy a taste and buy yourself a bottle, or four, to have on hand for your summer parties!
How could we not celebrate the birthday of an AVA that is so dear to our hearts? Red Mountain was established as an American Viticultural Area on April 3rd, 2001. It all started with Jim Holmes (of Ciel du Cheval Vineyards) and John Williams, great pioneers of this lovely place we call home. Both men were trying to purchase inexpensive property in the 1970s and stumbled upon an area that seemed to have been deserted. They were able to purchase land for roughly $200/acre (what?!) and the planting began. Once some of the first wines had been produced people started to recognize what an amazing place Red Mountain actually was. Now, fourteen years later, there are 4,040 acres on Red Mountain and its home to some of the most sought after vineyards in Washington.
What did this birthday party consist of? Cupcakes, popcorn, balloons, and wine! All of the ingredients to make for a perfect evening in both of our tasting rooms. The party went from 5-7pm and we poured all of our delicious wines sourced from Red Mountain.
2012 4040 Blend
2012 Optu Red Mountain Blend
2012 Quintessence Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
2010 Ciel du Cheval Cabernet Sauvignon
2013 Klipsun Vineyard Late Harvest Semillon
If you were unable to attend this event, we hope you were able to celebrate at home. Cheers to Red Mountain!
Release weekend is something every club member looks forward to. We have just recently decided that a full day of fun is much better than a few hours in the evening…and what better day than Sundays! February was the first release of the year over here at Fidelitas and what a great release it was. We closed our tasting room doors in Woodinville on Sunday March 1st and welcomed only our club members from noon-6pm. We had a very delicious line up of wines to match the food we offered for this event…
2013 Klipsun Vineyard Optu White
2012 Northridge Vineyard Malbec
2012 Optu Red Mountain
2012 Red Mountain Merlot
2010 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet
Both our Woodinville and Red Mountain locations will be doing this (Red Mountain is a tad different) every release, four times a year. So be sure to keep an eye out and save the date for our pick up parties. They are such fun!