“We are gathered here today, celebrating Jess and Ben, at a winery who’s name not only translates to ‘faithful, loyal, true’, but at a winery who’s owner, and our host tonight, embodies these words. And I cannot think of a better way to start a marriage.” Those are words that my uncle spoke during a toast at my wedding. And while I’ve pondered the meaning of the name ‘Fidelitas’ many, many times, the weight of it really struck me as I was sitting there, surrounded by the most special and important people in my life, marrying my husband.
That was 8 years ago this month, and while I seem to be attending more baby showers than weddings these days, wine is still my favorite gift for newlyweds. Here are my favorite three ways to share Fidelitas:
A bottle for now and a bottle for later.
This one is super easy. Grab a cute, reusable tote (I love my BUILT bag) and add a bottle of Red Mountain Malbec, which can be enjoyed this summer with BBQ, and a bottle of Quintessence Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, which could be opened on the lucky couple’s 5 or 10-year anniversary.
This is kind of similar, in that you’re encouraging people to hang on to the wine to open for a special anniversary down the road. Even better, grab a couple big bottles and have friends and family sign well wishes right on the bottle with a metallic sharpie. My brother and sister-in-law did a 750ml, 1.5L, and 3L, (for one year, five years, and ten years) used this as their guest book, and then have opened the bottles with friends in the years since. (pro note: contact us for current availability on large formats. we may be able to find something amazing!)
A Wine Club Gift Membership is a great way to give a gift that will last a while. We can give you a gift certificate to include with your card now, and then will send bottles to the couple throughout their first year of marriage. If they live locally, they can come out to the winery to pick up or join us at our upcoming events!
Let our Club Concierge team help you put together a wedding gift that celebrates faithful, loyal, and true, and a happy wedding season to you all!
With the release of the single vineyard Quintessence Cabernet early last month (the first single vineyard Cab of the year to make it to the tasting bar), a common discussion in the tasting room has been how many different "micro-fermentations" we do here at Fidelitas.
By this I mean both:
a) the methods: different oak vessels, metal vessels, different types of yeast, etc... and
b) the numbers: we have lots of unique tiny lots of different varietals and vineyard sites from all over Red Mountain which we crush, ferment, age separately + even within some lots of the same fruit, "Estate Cabernet" for example, we'll separate the same fruit into what I like to call micro-fermentations which only result in about a single barrel of finished juice (1 barrel = approximately 25 cases).
I specifically remember tasting the 2016 Estate Cab during last Christmas break, of which we have about 14 barrels - those 14 barrels are first broken down by the 2 different clones we use for our Estate Cab: 7 barrels of Clone 6, and 7 barrels of Clone 2. Within the 2 groups of clones, each barrel was fermented on its own in a different vessel, meaning we'll have 14 different "wines" which will need to be taken care of separately for the entirety of its 2 years of aging until it's finally blended together at the end with the other Estate Cabs!! Wouldn't it be so much easier to just throw all of the Estate Cab in one big stainless steel tank and call it good? It would certainly make for shorter days during harvest.
However, our winemaking team has found that the micro-fermentation method is well worth the effort: it adds a great deal more complexity of flavors and texture and gives us a more intimate hands-on approach with our fermentations. I liken it to a craftsmen spending time meticulously working on the individual pieces before putting the masterpiece together.
Another thing I'm reminded of when having discussions like this is how easy us second generations winemakers have it. Winemaking is all about experimenting and learning from your results - trial-and-error. However, unlike a chef who can make a new dish, try it, throw it out and immediately start over; winemakers only get to make wine once a year. The learning window is around 2-3 years until you have finished wine or even 5+ years depending on how much bottle time. Or even a decade if you're experimenting with planting differnet clones of Cabernet and how those result in a finished wine!! Lucky for guys like me, I have winemakers like my dad who have been doing this trial-and-error, and continuous gathering of data and experiences for multiple harvests who can pass their knowledge along. And for this I am truly grateful.
- Will Hoppes
Is anyone else in shock that June is just around the corner? Even though time is going (too) fast, this means that entertaining, BBQ’s, and nice weather have arrived. Can’t really complain about that! No matter the party, we know one item that should always be present. Whether you want to bring a bottle as a gift for the host, or pair with those ribs and salads, Fidelitas has you covered. Below are some of my current favorites for those summer festivities!
Releases June 6, contact us to pre-order! If you're looking for that perfect wine to pair with salads, this is your bottle!
A delicious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Merlot. My top pick for BBQ's and 4th of July! This is a fun addition to sip with anything off the grill.
You can't not have a Malbec at the party! Bring this phantom bottle to your gathering and I promise, people will be pouring themselves a glass to drink with ribs.
2015 Quintessence Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
This 94 point wine is a perfect gift for the host that will certianly impress. Convince them to open this bottle and pair with steak!
I tasted this wine last week and I was definitely impressed. Perfectly smooth, elegant, and some of the best fruits were noticeable. Let's face it, Merlot goes with everything!
Whether crossing the country, the mountains, or planning a stay-cation right in your home town here’s your no thought required itinerary for the perfect weekend on Red Mountain!
Arrive and check into The Lodge at Columbia Point. Use code "CORK" for a special rate. Check in begins at 4pm. Check out their daily happy hour featuring Washington wineries from 5-6:30pm.
Head to dinner at Fiction Restaurant at Bookwalter. You can often catch live music on the patio!
If you’re feeling up for a night cap stop in at Tap + Barrel to pick and choose what you want to sip on from their WineEmotion. They have an amazing selection of wines from Washington, Oregon, California, and beyond. Plus beer, cider, and food available too!
Otherwise, head back to the hotel and get a good night sleep in those comfy beds…you’ll be getting an early start on wine tasting!
Enjoy the sunrise while drinking coffee on your hotel room balcony and be sure to fill up at the complimentary breakfast bar. Don't skimp on the carbs, you've got a full day of wine tasting on the slopes of Red Mountain!
11:00am start your day with a tour and tasting at Col Solare. Col Solare is a partnership between two influential wine producers who are recognized leaders in their respective regions: Tuscany's Marchesi Antinori and Washington State's Chateau Ste. Michelle. They are my favorite place to start because they give a great lay of the land during their tour and have a view overlooking Red Mountain vineyards.
12:15pm Come see us at Fidelitas! Grab a spot on the patio and relax while taking in the Fidelitas Estate Vineyard. If you let us know ahead of time we can even plan to have a cheese plate ready for you upon arrival. Feel free to do a self-guided tour through the Fidelitas Estate Vineyard (just be courteous of the vines) and don’t forget to check out the magnificent Library!
1:30pm Visit Red Mountain originals at Kiona. The William’s family planted the first vines on Red Mountain in 1975 and their family run winery has one of the best stories around, not to mention great wines from their Estate. My personal favorite is their Old Block Cabernet Sauvignon!
2:45pm Just down the road you will hit Frichette. Owners Greg and Shae are living their dream on Red Mountain and their energy is contagious. Pair that with a great glass of wine and you are set!
4:00pm Cross on over to Anelare. Here is truly one of my favorite experiences in the area! Anelare sits just outside of the AVA borders but has a divine view looking back at Red Mountain. Anelare sources grapes from some of our favorite vineyards including Ciel du Cheval and Boushey and makes an outstanding Syrah. Order up a flatbread and enjoy the view of Red Mountain!
5:15pm Find your way back to Sunset Road to go to Cooper for one last stop. He’s one of the only wineries open until 6pm and will be sure to have a handful of Estate grown wines open for you to taste and a fun and memorable experience.
After all this tasting you are definitely ready for dinner! Head back to the hotel, freshen up, and walk next door for some great eats. Don't forget to take your wine out of the car where it will get hot!
7:30pm Dinner at Budd’s Broiler. Budd's is a premier steakhouse owned by Anthony’s restaurants. Their patio sits alongside the Columbia River and is perfect for catching the sunset. I always order the ‘Steak Oscar’ which is Wagyu top sirloin grilled to your liking and crowned with Dungeness crab, asparagus and bearnaise. I should also mention Budd’s wine list is one of the best in the area! Go ahead, order a glass of bubbles with your appetizers. That’s what Charlie would do!
Walk off your meal with a stroll on the pathway at Columbia Point. This serenity is just what the doctor ordered.
Take advantage of those hotel room black out curtains and…SLEEP IN! Not into catching extra Z's? Run or walk the path along the Columbia River.
Walk over to Anthony’s for Brunch from 9am-2pm on Sundays. Upon arrival you will be seated with a complimentary fresh fruit plate, warm blueberry coffee cake (to die for), and a glass of bubbles or a mimosa. And that’s all before picking out what you’ll have for breakfast! I recently had the Northwest Dungeness Crab Cake Bowl and was in heaven.
By this point you’ll probably be ready to hit the road. At least you’ll have wine as a memento and reminder of your weekend away on Red Mountain. Cheers!
There's tons more to do in Tri-Cities and surrounding wine regions. For more reccomendations email me!
PRO-TIP: It is always best to book tasting reservations ahead of time. Appointments can be made by visiting a wineries website or giving them a call. You will most certainly get the most bang for your buck if you let wineries know you are headed their way so that they can prepare ahead of time for your visit. I usually plan for about an hour at each winery, or longer if they have a great patio to relax on or if you plan on doing a food and wine pairing. It’s always best to ask the winery how long you should plan for. The wineries listed in this post are no more than 5 minutes drive apart from each other.
Note this is not an inclusive list of all Red Mountain wineries. If you have time, do stop and visit more of our neighbors on Red Mountain! We are blessed to be among so many great wineries.
Many of our visitors to Red Mountain are looking for a more unique experience, more information and more history on the region we call home. We have created our Fidelitas Estate Experiences to offer our guests further insight into this beautiful region. The spring is one of the best times to visit Red Mountain, we have experience bud break, the weather is great, and the patio is open.
On Select Saturday mornings, we explore the Fidelitas Estate Vineyard that sits outside our Red Mountain Tasting room. The tour begins promptly at 10 a.m. Our small group of 10 joins us at our tasting room and we venture through the vines and make our way to the heart of our vineyard. We then return to the tasting room to enjoy a seated tasting of wines sourced from the Red Mountain AVA with light bites.
Estate Experience tours are $20 for members and $30 for non-members, which can be waived with wine purchase.
Spring 2018 tours are scheduled at 10AM on: May 12, May 26, June 2, and June 16.
To reserve your space, or for more information, contact Chelsea Larson: firstname.lastname@example.org or 509.588.3469
Please book at least 48 hours in advance.