(a note from the editor...harvest is a busy time! we're lucky to get bullet points from Charlie during these months.)
Merlot grapes in the Canyons Vineyard, days before picking
The view looking west from the Canyons: smoky and warm.
Scooteney Flats Merlot: picked August 26, 2015
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!