Lowden Hills Winery

It was a real pleasure to get to spend time with Sonja and Jim Henderson (and Lulu) of Lowden Hills Winery.  We tasted their ’05 See ya there Syrah and Sonja tells a great story in the video about the name. We also tasted the ’04 Lulu Red Table Wine and the ’04 Cabernet Sauvignon (a finish longer than the Kentucky Derby, quoting Jim).

It is also notable that Jim is a former golf pro and has a really cool collection of old clubs at the winery. He guarantees to cure your slice in 15 minutes, if you will just follow directions. He also inscribed a bottle for me, shown below.

Artistic Portraits ~ Kennewick, WA

I had a very relaxing morning chatting with Rob DiPiazza of Artistic Portraits. He has a gorgeous studio and portrait park and a great approach to setting himself apart as a professional portrait artist. It seems every soccer mom with a digital camera and a business card has taken to calling themselves professional photographers, and it just ain’t so. One look at Rob’s studio and the portraits gracing his walls will dispel that instantly.

We also spent some time sitting by the pond sipping a very nice ’00 Reserve Cabernet from Columbia Crest.

Russell Creek Winery

Russell Creek Winery in Walla Walla, WA is a great little place. You actually walk through the barrel room to get to the tasting room. They have art and wine nights every Thursday and Friday evenings, with an experienced artist on hand to give instruction (and the wine, I suppose, to add inspiration).

We tasted the ’06 Sangiovese and the ’05 Syrah, both excellent and scoring well with Wine Spectator. I am not a big fan of the point system, but in this case they got it right. I left with a bottle of the ’03 Cabernet, which I am really looking forward to.

When visiting, be sure to check out the collection of  old winemaking equipment as well as some of the old labels. Winemaker Larry Krivoshein is an interesting guy and the story behind the “Diggers” label is lots of fun.