We’re havin’ a heat wave and a tropical heat wave calls for a visit to the islands, right? This installment of Washington Wine Month takes us to Vashon Island, a 15 minute ferry ride from the sweltering sprawl of Seattle.
Vashon Winery has been crafting boutique wines for over 30 years and they are one of the very few places in the Northwest producing wine from Chasselas Doré (chass-luh door-ray), a white grape that hails from Switzerland mountain ranges (unfortunately, this special wine is sold out). What winemaker Ron Irvine will be rolling out in the next couple weeks is a new bottling of their Isletage and Tramp Harbor Moon, the first a white blend that features Madeleine Angevine grown on nearby Lopez Island and the latter a 100 percent Mad Ang.
If Vashon is boutique, Maury Island Winery is nano but, as they saw, great things come in small packages. These are estate-grown wines and one of the wonderful things about wine is their sense of place. A pinot noir from Vashon Island? Yes, please. What’s the fun if all pinots taste the same? But possibly more apropos for record-setting temperatures is their 2016 Pinot Gris or 2015 Crémant de Maury—a fresh fruit-forward sparkling brut rosé.
To round out the three-winery Vashon Island tour, we have Palouse Winery. Of course, the above-mentioned wineries have reds and that is also the case with Palouse but triple digits call for crisp whites so that’s my focus. Going, going gone, the 2016 “Pearlescent” Cabernet Franc Rosé is now limited to club members only. Sign up to enjoy this nearly salmon in color number, an excellent accompaniment to crisp summer salads from fruit to shellfish. In fine supply is their 2016 “Golden Pearl” Viognier sourced from Crawford Vineyard in Prosser. I always swoon for the romantically floral notes of Viogner.