Team Fidelitas decided we would head from Red Mountain to Walla Walla in mid-September. As Jess would put it, “we wanted to see what all the fuss was about.” Everyone came to the same conclusion. Fantastic wines and fantastic people. The great thing about the wine industry in Washington is that we are all friends, even if we have never met. Each winery greeted us with open arms and delicious vino. And that is what helped make our experience in Walla Walla so memorable. It was my first time and will certainly not be my last.
Here is a peak into our three-day itinerary.
Day 2 (the ultimate tasting day):
Spring Valley Vineyards
If you are planning a trip to wine country look no further! From Yakima Valley to Red Mountain to Walla Walla, we have you covered. Just reach out. We will give you some great recommendations.
Where are our white wine lovers at because we have a surprise for you! The day has finally arrived where we will be releasing our first 100% Sauvignon Blanc sourced from Quintessence Vineyard (yay!). We all know that Charlie makes some fantastic whites and he thought it was time to add to his collection. And what better vineyard to source from (seeing as how the Cabernet is so delicious)? Both whites that we currently produce are sourced from Klipsun Vineyard, an amazing more established vineyard on Red Mountain. Quintessence however, was planted back in 2010 with more acres planted in 2012 and 2014. It’s definitely turning into one of my favorite vineyards and we are excited to be introducing a white from a younger vineyard into our lineup! The 2016 Quintessence Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc will be released next year so keep your eye out! The Fidelitas staff will definitely be rushing to snag their share.
I started helping Michelle with our Wine Club last summer and one event that she always told me I should look forward to was Magna Dinner. Well, she proved to be right once again (I might regret saying that). On Saturday we started the morning off with a cellar tour led by Charlie himself. Spudnuts and coffee were of course provided along with some exciting barrel samples of our future releases. It’s rare that we hold those types of tours and we were thrilled to bring in our Magna Members to see what goes on behind the scenes! Once the tour ended everyone parted ways to taste at other wineries, eat lunch, and relax before an eventful fun-filled dinner.
This year food was provided by Olive Catering and man was everything delicious! Once bus’s arrived our members got to try our two new releases: 2015 Klipsun Vineyard Semillon + 2013 The Canyons Red Wine. Just to make everyone hungry, here was the menu from that evening.
(paired with 2014 Klipsun Vineyard Optu White)
seared pork belly, pineapple
cremeux de bourgogne, cherry compote, crostini
Everyone sat down for dinner and the eating continued…
(paired with 2013 Champoux Vineyard Merlot)
seared amberjack, english pea tapenade, crisp plantain, fava bean puree
(paired with 2013 Optu Red Mountain + 2012 Fidelitas Estate Cabernet Sauvignon)
truffled agnolotti, porchini currant broth
wagyu Coulotte steak, morel mushroom demi, grilled spring vegetables
(paired with 2013 Klipsun Vineyard Late Harvest Semillon)
blackberry upside down cake with caramel whipped cream and candied almonds
Of course we had to add a surprise wine for members to enjoy. Right before dessert was served we threw in the 2012 Champoux Vineyard Block One Cabernet Sauvignon. And what a treat it was! This night was filled with awesome speeches, conversations, long time members (and new Magna Members!), laughs, high-fives, and hugs. Everything that our wine club is all about!
Lets add a bonus picture in the mix (hey, Jess!)...
Cheers to an amazing weekend! Already counting the days until Magna Dinner 2017.
Summer plans are in full force and we sure hope that Fidelitas will be part of yours!
With our new offering of Friday Tastings in Woodinville, Elevated Tastings for you and your friends, and the ability to reserve patio space on Red Mountain, there are so many options that could fit into your schedule.
We started Friday Tastings in Woodinville last fall and it was a hit! An hour of tasting with Kathleen, what could be better? These are held every other Friday starting at 6pm and includes cheese + charcuterie plates with space being limited. The next tasting is on Friday, June 3rd so be sure to sign up with Amy, our Woodinville Tasting Room Manager, before it fills up!
If Fridays aren’t a good day for you then do not fear! You can now schedule Elevated Tastings at either location (or Charles Fromage!) for you and your guests any day and any time. Do you only like Cabernet Sauvignon? Blends? Great! These tastings can be customized and also include tableside service. We all know how crazy our Woodinville location can be and having a guaranteed table for your tasting can make things easier on you.
Oh, you just want to relax and look out at vineyards while the sun goes down? We had a feeling. That is why you can now reserve seats on our Red Mountain patio. Bring some food, a little water misting fan, and buy a bottle of wine to enjoy next time you are at our Red Mountain tasting room. Contact Chelsea, our Red Mountain Tasting Room Manager, for more information.
Team Fidelitas appreciates each and every one of our customers. And that is why we want to give you the best experience every time you pay us a visit. Summer always goes by so fast, so be sure to include us in those fun filled months.
We can’t wait to hear from you!
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!