Today there are more than 120 wineries operating in the Walla Walla Valley, representing one in every seven in Washington State. There’s also a mini Walla Walla developing in Woodinville, where eight Walla Walla wineries have satellite tasting rooms, making the short trip to Woodinville an easy way for Seattleites to whet their appetite for Walla Walla wines until they can get over the mountains.
May 20-22 Barrel Art @ The Wineries; part of the upcoming Vintage Walla Walla & Entwine Grand Auction; The schedule of events will feature several of the Woodinville host wineries offering special tastings. Others will be featuring newly-released or tasting room-only wines. The tour is in Woodinville May 20 – 22 and in Walla Walla May 23 – June 18th.
Amavi/Pepper Bridge: While viewing artist Kristen Winn’s barrel-turned-chair, visitors can sip on the limited-production, newly-released 2010 Amavi Semillon or try the 2008 Les Collines Syrah, “one of the best values in the Northwest” according toThe Wine Spectator. Or compare three vintages of Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignons: the 2006, 2007 and 2008 are all currently available for tasting.
Dusted Valley: Visitors to Dusted Valley Wine and Art Gallery will be able to discover for themselves what makes Dusted Valley the Wine Press Northwest Washington Winery of the Year 2010 and the recipient of Wine Business Monthly’s attention as 2011 #3 Hottest Brand in the U.S.A. Available for tasting during the Barrel Art @ The Wineries weekend is a selection of newly-released, mostly winery-only and Stained Tooth Society wine club special access selections, including the 2010 Ramblin’ Rosé, the very first release off their new Estate Vineyard, Stoney Vine and the 2008 Rachis Syrah.
Long Shadows: The new Long Shadows tasting room at The Library in Woodinville is a small, intimate space, intended to receive guests by appointment, though they will do their best to entertain drop-in guests. For the Barrel Art @ The Wineries weekendthey will have all of their current releases and a special four-wine featured flight of Poet’s Leap 2009, Saggi 2007, Chester Kidder 2007 and Sequel Syrah 2009. Those wanting to set up an appointment can email Leslie Koby at firstname.lastname@example.org
Otis Kenyon Wine: Specializing in affordable Bordeaux and Rhone varietal wines from their estate and other proven Walla Walla Valley vineyards, Otis Kenyon will feature their current releases for tasting.
Isenhower Cellars: Isenhower Cellars limited production wines are only available at their Walla Walla winery or the tasting room in Woodinville. During Barrel Art @ The Wineries weekend, Isenhower will be pouring three special wines from magnums (1.5L): 2008 Columbia Valley Batchelor’s Button Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 Horse Heaven Hills River Beauty Syrah and 2008 Wahluke Slope Weinbau Vineyard Road Less Traveled Cabernet Franc.
Columbia Winery: Columbia Winery, a long time Woodinville favorite, is the only non-Walla Walla winery playing host to barrel art. This demonstrates the camaraderie between the Woodinville and Walla Walla wine communities. A full spectrum of wines from the Columbia Valley will be available in the tasting room.
The Barrel Art and Artists: furniture, garden art, games and more…
Give seven talented artists free reign to take a barrel and turn it into a magnum opus and you get seven quite different and amazing pieces:
Kristen Winn is becoming well known for her beguiling acrylic portraits of Washington winemakers. Taking inspiration from the wheat fields and vineyards of Spring Valley, Kristen layered her barrel with acrylics, varnish, and papers and transformed it into a chair suitable for indoors or out. This would be a wonderful addition to any home cellar, family room or deck.
Karl Longin works as a patineur at the Walla Walla Foundry and also practices the art of Tattoo. His paintings mix techniques and influences from each of those art forms and he takes his inspiration from his baby daughter, imagining a newborn’s view of the world. Gorgeous, lush flowers wrap their way around his barrel table. Picture this in the corner of your dining room!
No room for another table in the house? Then how about some wine barrel garden art? Portland-based Lynn Woolson works with recycled metal and steel and continuously explores different bends and twists. Her first passion has always been garden art designs so Lynn has chosen to disassemble her barrel and turn the metal hoops into garden spheres.
Game on! This is Karen Fields’ fourth piece of barrel art and it continues the game theme she introduced in the first three barrels. The top of the barrel has a customized game inspired by one Karen played as a child. But this is clearly the adult version –she’s named it the ‘Grape Cluster Sobriety Tester.’ It is bound to add hilarity to any dinner party.
Walla Walla artist Doug Gisi is well known throughout the northwest for his metal art and his custom reclaimed wine barrel furniture. He is one of the featured artists at the Dusted Valley Woodinville Art & Wine Gallery in May so visitors will be able to not only view his creation for Entwine but also other works.
A fourth generation native of the Walla Walla Valley and one of the original founders of Entwine, Jeff Hill’s work can be found in tasting rooms throughout Walla Walla. He transformed his barrel into hang-able wall art and painted a barrel head à la Van Gogh–a style for which he is known–with bright colors and vineyard scenes.
Candice Johnson now calls Walla Walla home but lived in Paris for many years and has had over 40 exhibitions in France. It was during her time in Paris that she began creating the small portraits she calls “Tetes”, French meaning heads. Candice has since produced hundreds of these imaginary, fascinating works of art, many of which can be seen at Walla Faces and form the basis for her barrel piece.
For detailed information about the Vintage Walla Walla & Entwine Grand Auction weekend visit www.onewineweekend.com