WALLA WALLA -- It had been an astoundingly long day. More than five hours in the bus. Two outstanding wine tastings and about 15 very tired people.
Walla Walla Vintners was a breath of fresh air. The winery is surrounded by vineyards that stretch to the scenic mountains in the distance. The setting for our wine and pizza social was an outdoor picnic area shaded by trees and a stone's throw from the vines and winery buildings. The outdoor brick pizza oven was smokin,' producing a sumptuous variety of pizza including pizza with morels, German sausage and onion, blue cheese and figs and more.
I started with the Sangiovese, a natural pairing with my pizza. It didn't disappoint. The smooth wine, dappled sunlight and tasty food was a refreshing elixir. I also sampled the Cabernet Franc and found this to be a winning bottle of wine.
My impressions were confirmed as Andrea Robinson, master sommelier and noted wine authority, arrived at our event and expressed her liking of the Cab Franc. Andrea is very personable and took the time to chat with a number of us. I bought one of her wine buying guides a couple years ago and was impressed with how she made wine accessible to everyone -- while also giving some sophisticated tips. It was nice to have a personal visit with her and I'm looking forward to hearing her at the conference.
After savoring the wine and the setting sun it was off to the Inn on Blackberry Creek, a delightful bed and breakfast with innkeeper Barbara Knudson. I stayed in Monet's Retreat room and it was a masterpiece of comfort and class. A bed never felt so soft and comfortable -- plus the still warm cookies were a big hit with me.