Category Archives: Flying Trout

Walla Walla Wine Tasting Suggestions

Mr. F and I are dreaming of a three day weekend to Walla Walla. If you’re interested in visiting the area, here are my suggestions!

I would skip over the awesome but more commerical Walla Walla wineries that you can find in grocery stores, for example, Tamarack Cellars, Northstar and L’Ecole. While some of my old favorites, they’re not as special as the smaller boutique wineries that are not easy to find in Seattle. (Although Northstar and L’Ecole have beautiful and delicious Reserve tastings!) Our top three favorite wineries in Walla Walla are Dusted Valley Vitners, Mannina Cellars and Flying Trout wines. (We joined all three of their wine clubs!)

Since it’s hard to visit all of my favorite wineries in one weekend, I’ll break them up into four main regions. (Yes, we are big wine nerds.) 

In the airport area, there are many good ones like Syzygy and Five Star Cellarsbut make sure to taste at Mannina Cellars and Buty. (We joined the Mannina Cellars wine club because their entire lineup of wines are amazing and consistently great.) In the summer, I really enjoy the Buty Sémillon, Sauvignon and Muscadelle.
 I also highly recommend trying Rose of the Stones, part of the second label for Buty, called the BEAST.  Even if you’re not a fan of Rose, taste this and it will totally changed your mind. 

Dusted Valley and Saviah (in Southern Walla Walla/Milton Freewater) are phenomenal. If you get a chance, enjoy the Walla Walla Valley Reserve Syrah and Grenache at Dusted Valley. They have a huge lineup and most of it is fantastically excellent. (We love being part of their wine club, Stained Tooth Society!)  Flying Trout, in Milton-Freewater, is a must taste BUT you have to call ahead, 541.938.8376. It’s worth it. I promise. They have a fantastic Malbec, one of the first to grow in Washington. The winemaker went to school with us and she spends three months of the year in Argentina. 

Lowden Hills is one of my absolute favorite wineries, particularly their See You There Syrah and it’s to the West of Walla Walla, near Highway 12. I’ve blogged about them in detailed before, please check out this link to the previous post!

Downtown Walla Walla is easy to walk around and to wine taste at night. DaMa has a fun tasting room. I’d also suggest Ash Hollow. Although, I’d skip Sleight of Hand, because it doesn’t stand out. Yellow Hawk Cellars can be found easily in Seattle but their “port” is delicious. 

Overall, if the grapes are from Ciel du Cheval vineyard or from any Red Mountain vineyard you can’t go wrong.  

If you like Mexican food, go to the Worm Ranch on the way to, or from, Highway 12. It’s a fish and tackle store, with unbeatable authentic Mexican food made by four cute little old grandmothers. Merchants is also a great place for a spaghetti dinner with lots of local wines. A more upscale option with an amazing local wine list would be Creektown Cafe

Feel free to ask me any other Walla Walla questions!!

My 26th year….in 26 pictures

My 26th birthday! Valentine’s beach walk at Golden Gardens!

My sister-in-law, Mirka, dancing on Valentine’s night! Janie and Me at Gasworks!Hiking with Mr. F on the Olympic Peninsula!  We stayed in Forks for his birthday.80’s Bachelorette Party in March! Beach walks in Magnolia! Yes, he has Crazy Creeks strapped to his backpack! Mr. F and I visited his cousin, Brian in Chicago, in May! Kappa bridal shower at the end of May!  In Walla Walla for a June wedding… and wine tasting!July 4th with Janelle!!Port Townsend for our first wedding anniversary! Colleen visits Seattle from Boulder! Visiting Vancouver and seeing Steph!Visiting Walla Walla again to go wine tasting with Beav and Janelle!Julia’s bachelorette party and wedding!  November, in Boston for a conference! It’s a Rock Band Christmas!Hawaiian New Year’s! Hiking to Rattlesnake Ledge in North Bend in January!

Flying Trout wine!

I am so excited to go to Walla Walla this weekend to meet our friends from Boise. I just got an email about Flying Trout’s new blends, see the tasting notes below. This will definitely be one of my first stops!

The wine maker, Ashley Trout, writes “This crush has been one of the earliest in recent Walla Walla history. Grapes are ripening and crushers are crushing. The following, therefore, will be brief. From now until September 30th, the following wines will be available for purchase: 2006 Deep River Red Blend (Sangiovese/Malbec) $29-2007 Cutthroat Blend (Syrah/Malbec) $35-Feel free to contact Carol for sales. 509-240-2219.

The Cutthroat Blend

2007 Cutthroat Blend

Case Production
72 cases made

Technical Notes

33% 2007 Konnowac Vineyard malbec, Rattlesnake Hills AVA
67% 2007 Phinny Hill Vineyard syrah, Horse Heaven Hills AVA
Used American oak

Recommended Cellar Time
Open 2012 – 2016

Tasting Notes:
Fleshy blueberries on buttermilk biscuits with a side of plum jam, trailed by whole black pepper, cardamom, with just a pinch of Chanel No. 5 and leather. This practically blue wine might be my weirdest and favorite blend yet. Many Argentine wineries are doing syrah/malbec blends, but they rarely make it up here because of politics and marketing- such a shame.

[I just adore this tasting note. It’s descriptive and sassy. I can’t wait to try this wine to see if I agree with the wine maker.]

A few favorite mini vacations…

I’m so excited my husband and I are going to Vancouver B.C. this weekend. Granted, it is for his firm’s retreat, but it’s still a mini vacation! I haven’t been to Vancouver since I was a teenager. I can’t wait to rediscover the city for 3 days.

One of my favorite weekend getaways is going to Walla Walla for the wheat fields and wine. We like to meander around the Whitman campus and check out the new buildings and art work. There are also have several favorite wineries that I love to visit, for example, Flying Trout. (I blogged about more favorites last month,)

We also really enjoy watching the sunset from wheat fields. It’s magical watching the wind blow through the wheat fields at dusk.

Sooke Harbor via the Black Ball Ferry in Port Angeles is also one of my favorite trips. The drive to Port Angeles is beautiful and the ferry ride is picturesque in any weather. It docks in Victoria and then it’s a short drive to Sooke.

I was inspired to visit Sooke after seeing the romantic comedy Lucky 7, with Patrick Dempsey and Kimberly Williams-Paisley. Just like in the movie, my husband and I stayed at the romantic Sooke Harbor Inn. It’s a sweet bed and breakfast with amazing food, great art work on every wall, and several lovely gardens.This is the view from the room we stayed in. Apparently Orca whales can sometimes be seen from your room!

The Inn looks out at Whiffen Spit, which is a fun beach walk. There are many other rocky beaches nearby too.

Going to Ocean Shores is another one of my favorite weekend getaways. My family and I used to love playing in the sand and flying crazy kites. A few years ago we even brought our horses!

Favorite Washington Wineries

I’ve had a hard day. I’m opening the Flying Trout 2006/2007 Malbec to treat myself. While it breathes, I will introduce you to my favorite Washington wineries.

When I went to school in Walla Walla, only a few years ago, you could go to all the wineries in a weekend. Recently, my husband and I went back for a classmate’s wedding in June, and were astonished to learn that there were currently 97 wineries in the Walla Walla Valley! As ambitious as we are to try new wines, we decided to limit ourselves to three out of the five regions. We went to the Highway 12 West of town region, the in-town wine tasting rooms, and our favorite area, East of town near the Walla Walla airport. We tasted wines from over 20 wineries and our top favorites were Lowden Hills, Mannina Cellars, and Flying Trout.

The three things that we look forward to in wine tasting are the experience, the taste, and the value of the wine. Lowden Hills was phenomenal in each category. The winemaker, Jim, poured for us, while regaling us with stories of each vineyard, vintage, and how they decided on the labels. The most captivating story was about the 2005 “See You There Syrah”. The label features a picture of the winemaker’s mother-in-law in a tribute to her strong character. (The Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman has a wonderful blog about it!) It’s a beautifully bold, blueberry tasting syrah and my utmost favorite wine. It’s a must try! We also loved that several labels featured their pets, such as Casita Cuvee!

Mannina Cellars was also recommended to us, by our good friend from Boise, and it really knocked our socks off. It is a friendly, family-style tasting room, in one of the many charming renovated airplane hangers near the airport. Like Lowden Hills, we enjoyed everything we tasted, so we joined their wine club!

We stumbled upon the Flying Trout tasting room as we were wandering around downtown Walla Walla. We were pleasantly surprised to find out it was owned by a Whitman Alumni! The tasting room was rustic yet practical with sweet smelling barrels of freshly crushed wine. It was filled with lovely pottery and a chill dog. I highly recommend visiting and tasting at this winery!

The Olympic Peninsula is not well-known for its wines, yet. We have discovered two wineries in our trips to Forks and Marrowstone Island that positively delightful. Harbinger Winery, West of Port Angeles and Camaraderie Cellars are well worth the drive to their tasting rooms. The Raspberry Bliss at Harbinger is divine and tastes even better than fresh raspberries. In the tasting room we had it with a piece of Theo’s dark chocolate which was was simply ecstasy! Not far down the highway, Camaraderie Cellars is in an inviting garden surrounded by singing birds and lazy bumblebees. We loved the atmosphere and all their Cabs! I’m excited to find out that they are featured at The Tasting Room in Seattle.

My Malbec has opened up and it is simply delicious… even the label on the back is endearing.