This year was one of the best we've ever had in my opinion! From a crazy winter on Red Mountain, to releasing our first vintage of a Sauvignon Blanc. We celebrated 10 Years of calling Red Mountain our home in May. We made some minor upgrades to our Red Mountain Tasting room, we added a library room complete with all of our favorite vintages dating back to 2000.
During the warmer months we celebrated the year by taking a minute to enjoy the stunning views that over look our Fidelitas Estate Vineyard. It's crazy to think how smoky it was this year and how fortunate we are to work in such a supportive industry within Washington and the country. Summer wouldn't be complete without our Feast of St. Fidelis and Summer in the City events that feature our favorite Fidelitas wines and the perfect pairing of, That Guy Catering Tacos.
We've ended the year with stunning sunsets, no snow and enjoying the last of the 2014 vintage. This September marked our 3rd Annual Estate Dinner and one of the best ones yet, the sunset was unbelievable. All of our 2017 wines are tucked away for the winter and we are patiently waiting for next years release, that includes some soon to be new favorites like, the 2015 Old Vine Merlot and the 2015 Quintessence Malbec.
Cheers to 2017!
Thanksgiving is by far one of my favorite holidays and my big task is always bringing the wine to share with my friends and family. Whether it’s’ serving a wine with each course or giving a bottle to a dinner host, these wines are the perfect accompaniment for the holiday season.
In my opinion should be taken everywhere this year. It’s the perfect “red wine drinkers white,” a bright and crisp wine to share while putting the final touches on the meal and lastly it pairs beautifully with turkey. The Optu White Wine is balanced and has a great viscosity and mouthfeel. The long finish and balanced acidity are what give the wine is signature characteristics allowing it to be a staple for festive holiday dinners.
I wait all year for this wine and every year I make sure to share it during Thanksgiving, my family has begun to ask for it by name. If you’re making the dinner rounds this year, this wine is a great to share with a crowd. If you finished the Optu White before dinner not to worry, the Ciel du Cheval Merlot is a dense and herbaceous wine that grabs all those spices and herbs from the turkey and stuffing. This wine showcases aromas of brown sugar and baking spice with a smooth intake, polished tannins and a lengthy finish. The Ciel du Cheval Merlot is a seamless wine for dinner or even after as you avoid doing those dishes.
Dinner wouldn’t be complete at Fidelitas without our favorite varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon. As herbal notes of dried sage lift from the glass we can’t help but make the Quintessence Cabernet a signature wine this time of year. To be honest, I am usually hoarding this wine all to myself, but if you going to a wine lover’s home this wine is sure to be a showstopper. As it aged in French oak, this old-world style Cabernet uses clones 169 and 191. This wine is a gem that shines through the glass and it’s best enjoyed with the main course.
Each month, Fidelitas offers a Product Spotlight, where we feature a certain wine at a special price. Recent events, however, have impacted our friends and members near and far, and have us wanting to shine that Spotlight a little broader this month.
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September is just around the corner and we have been waiting months for one of our favorite releases of the year which include not one, but 3 Cabernet Sauvignons.
The first is our 2014 Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, designed to showcase the region we call home. Red Mountain Cabernet sources Clone 8 from our favorite vineyard sites on Red Mountain. This go-to Cabernet is a classic with hints of black cherry, blackberries and an expressive finish. It’s the perfect accompaniment for parties, dinners, and taking in the end of summer.
The second wine to be released this September is the 2014 Quintessence Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s been months since we had our last taste of Quintessence Cabernet, so we are greatly looking forward to the release of this gem. Sourced from our favorite vineyard on the Northeastern edge of Red Mountain, clones 191 and 169 add an old-world style to this wine. We find earthy tones and dark berries on the palate, along with brown sugar and toasted almonds.
Last, but not least, our 3rd vintage of the 2014 Fidelitas Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Sourced from the 3 acre, 2009 planting just outside our tasting room we use clones 2 and 6 of Cabernet Sauvignon to create an intense and expressive Estate wine. The palate is bold and round, offering dark fruit tones of ripe raspberries, dark chocolate, and cedar. This beauty won’t be in a club shipment so don’t forget to snag a few bottles to add to the vertical you’ve been collecting.
As I pulled into the parking lot the other day, the vineyard rows were catching my eye a little more than usual. Every day I am fortunate enough to work directly from our Red Mountain tasting room, with that I get the joy of watching the vineyard change and grow with each day.
On this day, I noticed Veraison was taking place in the vineyard. Veraison is the change in color of the grape berries or the ripening of grapes. It’s the turning point in the grapes lifecycle, meaning it’s the moment the grapes begin to form sweetness. Up until this point the grapes are highly acidic. As Veraison is taking place sugar levels rise and the grapes begin to grow and turning them into juicy fruit clusters that make our favorite wines. After this point, we have anywhere from 30-70 for the grapes to become fully ripened, giving us a small countdown as to when harvest might begin. Then, it’s all about balance!
on the varietal, Veraison takes place at different rates. We also keep a close eye on the temperature as it could result in sunburnt grapes. Trimming the canopy and ensuring the vines are properly shaded, all while being exposed to the sun helps this process. As we see warmer temperatures on Red Mountain we need to ensure the acidity and sugar levels are in balance and the fruit is ripening at the desired rate. During Veraison white wine grapes are a yellow hue and red wine grapes are shades of red and purple. On your next visit to Red Mountain take a step out in the vineyard and look at the vines and watch the change!
We always celebrate and appreciate our members but this is a month where we celebrate ALL Members new and old. Just today, I had the opportunity to visit with a faithful, loyal, and true club member of nearly 10 years who is visiting us from Tennessee. It’s always such a pleasure to share the afternoon and tasting room with our local members too! I also was able to chat with some club members who recently joined and I hadn’t had the pleasure of helping them, we recognized one another but I hadn’t helped them in the past, but not today! We were both thrilled to have the opportunity to get to know one another. These are the little things that we appreciate, getting to know our members on a personal level and going the extra mile to make sure they feel appreciated.
If you are a current club member you may have received a special survey from our club team. So often our members get to hear from us but we always love to hear from you! This is your chance to tell us what you love most about Fidelitas. Is it the wines? The people? Charlie? Or, everything! The list goes on and on, do you wish to see more events, user choice options, or do you love free shipping. Sit down with a glass of your favorite Fidelitas wine, this time of year I am reaching for Optu White and fill out the survey that we are offering all month long. The best part is you are entered in a drawing to win one of our lovely Fidelitas logo picnic blankets.
If you haven’t taken the time to join our wine club yet, what are you waiting for? This is the perfect time! We are offering all new members a logo wine key, great for opening your first bottle from your upcoming members only wines that will be released in the fall. All current members who refer their friends to the wine club will receive a $25 referral credit to use on their next wine purchase of a $100 or more.
Upgrading your club membership is easy! Are you a faithful, loyal, true member who has recently visited the tasting room with your friends and you really want those additional complimentary tastings, then upgrade to our Optu level and receive 4 complimentary tasting per visit. The other benefit to our Optu Club is added 20% off all purchases, 25% off all mixed cases and you receive more wine, which is perfect for entertaining or cellaring!
We want everyone to take full advantage of our wine club so stop in today or contact a member of our stellar Wine Club Concierge team and we will get it taken care of!
I recently found myself with a stocked fridge of white wines, just in time for the warmer Summers in Eastern Washington. Typically, I have always been a red wine fan and of course a huge supporter of Rosé, until recently. I had the realization that I was shutting myself off to wine, I was developing a “house pallet” and I wasn’t allowing myself to drink wines that would open my mind to new regions, flavors and in the long run improve my tasting skills. I began to sample and purchase several new wines I generally wouldn’t, hence the fridge full of white wine.
Through this, I could explore tons of new varietals and find that I do enjoy white wines more than I thought I did. I love an oaked Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon or even a Chardonnay. Preferably one that’s dry and crisp with a full fruit on the pallet. Luckily for me, Fidelitas has just released our 2016 Red Mountain Semillon that has all those characteristics making it my favorite patio wine this summer.
The 2016 Red Mountain Semillon is all sourced from Artz Vineyard which is located on the lower portion of Red Mountain. The lower elevation and proximity to the Yakima River allow for bright acid retention, while the varietal and slope provide ripe fruit flavors of white peach, bosc pear, nectarine and honey.
For most wine lovers, we are all tasting and enjoying wine for different reasons and that’s great. My challenge to all of you is the next time you are strolling through the Fidelitas website, the grocery store, or your best friends wine cellar grab something you typically wouldn’t try. The Semillon is the perfect pairing for Summertime or even the perfect red wine drinkers white.
Upon entering the Red Mountain Tasting room your eye is immediately drawn to two things, the view and the wine wall. Many visitors have asked us over the years, “how long have you been here? The building looks so new.” As we celebrate our Red Mountain Tasting Room turning 10 years old this month I sat down with Charlie and asked him a few questions about the design and planning that went into creating the layout of the tasting room.
The vision of the tasting room
“The tasting room looks exactly how we designed it. We have a contemporary label and we wanted it to translate into the design of the tasting room.” There were two guys involved in the original design, Joe Farmer and John Hoke. The two of them worked for several months on the design of the building and everything you see here, the finished product “was by design.”
Unique components that changed over the years
The tasting room was never meant to be a functional production facility; however, we did store barrels in what is now The Fidelitas Library. The barrels were stacked and gave visitors a chance to see what a production facility might be like. This was the largest change we made as of recently, the barrels were removed from the tasting room several years ago and we now have The Fidelitas Library in its place. The room itself wasn’t functional before and now we are able to share our not only our brand but the history of Fidelitas with every visitor. It gives us the opportunity to look back at how far our brand has come since its first vintage in 2000.
Unique concepts that went into the design and construction
Bryan Alford tells a story of sitting out on the patio and studying the sunset from different angles, how did that play a role on the design. “He did, and we ended up changing the angle. If you can imagine how low the vineyard line is, that’s how low the tasting room would have been. We decided to bring in additional dirt and elevate the structure giving us a view that looks down at our Fidelitas Estate Vineyard.
Future dreams and concepts for the next 10 years
The patio is our next big project over the next few years. If you’ve ever experienced summer on Red Mountain, the largest concern is the heat. “We would try and do something with the patio to create more shading. It’s just too hot and with the winds it’s challenging. It’s something we are still open to doing. As far as what we wanted, this was it. It’s still relevant and reflects our label and who we are.
“I’ve visited many tasting rooms over the years and admired their designs but at the end of the day, this is our home. It’s comfortable and is a true reflection of our brand and who we are.”-Charlie
While every sports fan is making their bracket selections for March Madness, I realized I have never created a bracket. As I’m not the biggest basketball fan, (I know…tall girl who doesn’t like basketball is shocking) I decided to complete my first bracket, with wine selections.
That’s right! I compiled a list of my all-time favorite Fidelitas Wines and put them to the test. This was quite the challenge, for those of you who have asked me what my favorite wine is, you know I don’t usually pick favorites. I typically end up naming every wine we have in our lineup. For me, a physical challenge that pushed me to my wine limits.
For those of you who do follow March Madness, go ahead and use my bracket to pair each round with a new favorite!
This last month I had the pleasure of touring the Seguin Moreau Cooperage in Napa. First, to be able to do this is beyond amazing, so thank you to Fidelitas and Seguin Moreau for your generosity and allowing me to take a million photos.
Barrels are an essential tool to the winemaking process. The largest take away was that the entire barrel is used during the build, that everything from the left behind scraps are used to start the fires for toasting, this is to help maintain consistency.
At Fidelitas we are purchasing mostly French Oak and American Oak and using a medium-medium plus toasting. This is always dependent on Charlie’s preference and the expression of the wine.
The winemaker will order barrels to their specification and these guys handle the rest. If you notice the gentleman in the above photo he is hammering down the toasting hoops and rotating each barrel around the fire to ensure the proper toasting is achieved. We had the pleasure of smelling inside the barrels right after they had been removed from the fires. The most intoxicating aromas of fresh baked bread!
Then, after the barrels have slightly cooled they are then laid and start making their way to have the toasting hoops removed and replaced with galvanized steel hoops.
Then, the tops are laser cut to fit each barrel. Doesn’t it look like a giant stack of toasty, cookies?
Since French Oak is so delicate reeds are then woven in between the slats to prevent leaking. Then, the barrels move into the final stages, everything is then tightened, sanded, stamped and sealed.
As we begin to release our first club wines of the year we can’t help but cherish the tools that go into crafting each glass of wine.