Northwest Palate March/April 2011

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Urban Bazaars


Astoria’s Bicentennial Celebration


Long Shadows Wineries

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march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

8 Volume 25, Number 1 | March/April 2011 |



feat u r e s

Considering the Source

Digging for clams on the coast. Attending a winemaker’s dinner on top of a mountain, or at the very farm where the ingredients on the plate were grown. Experiencing the Northwest is about sense of place.

36 Putting the Farm on the Plate

Bishop’s, the iconic restaurant in Vancouver, BC, celebrates 25 years of showcasing locally sourced ingredients on its menu. BY TIM PAWSEY

40 Dining at the Summit

Take a trip to the top of Mount Hood for a winemaker’s dinner at Timberline Lodge’s historic Silcox Hut. By Peter Szymczak

44 Plating Perfection

From his early days cooking at Sooke Harbour House to his impressive run at Araxi restaurant in Whistler, BC, Chef James Walt has always sought out the freshest ingredients. By Angela Allen

48 Praising Shellfish

rece n t openings 8 Seattle’s Melrose Market and The Atrium in Victoria, BC are two new shopping and dining meccas on the Northwest epicurean landscape.

Making the case for shellfish to be the Northwest’s signature seafood. By Ethan Stowell

50 Casting a Long Shadow

Wine industry pioneer Allen Shoup has brought together under one roof some of the most towering figures from the vinous world to make wine in Washington state.

Date book 14 The early spring calendar is budding with gala auctions, winemaker’s dinners, food festivals, cooking classes, and much more.

By Cole Danehower

d epa rt m e n ts Fresh from the Northwest 22


Beyond the Bar 26

Stock up your pantry with our selection of Northwest-made confitures, preserves, jams, and jellies. By Kathleen Bauer

Class is in session with proudly old school bartender Kurt Fritzler of Portland’s Serratto. By Cole Danehower

Tasting Notes 24

Astoria at 200 29

Véronique Drouhin shares her thoughts on making wine in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, followed by our tasting panel’s recommendations of the finest recently released Northwest wines.

By MJ Cody

On the cover: Clamming with Seattle Chef Ethan Stowell. Photo by Geoffrey Smith

Oregon’s historic coastal town is celebrating its bicentennial this year.

Pick of the Palate 66 The 2009 Lazarus Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Matello takes top tasting honors. By Cole Danehower

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011



Winner, James Beard Award

Herbfarm Chef Keith Luce spent his

early years on a farm. “God really is in the details,” he explains. “Extraordinary food is always close to the source.” That’s why we gather our own eggs each morning. Churn our own cultured butter. Farm heritage herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Raise bees. Craft farmstead cheeses. Bake artisan bread. And cure and age all of our own meats. For starters. Experience the soul of the Puget Sound region with a 4½-hour seasonal dinner in 9 unfolding courses. Thursday thru Sunday. Call today or visit our web site for reservations and more information.

The Herbfarm 14590 Northeast 145th Street Woodinville, Washington 98072 425-485-5300


march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

A lot has changed during the past quarter-century, and yet so much hasn’t. The rise in awareness of Northwest food and wine seems preternatural today. Yet, when this magazine was launched there was already an established wine industry, popular guidebooks to Northwest wine countries, and nascent national recognition of our land’s vinous potential. On the food front, there may have been fewer restaurants back in the day, but wellregarded chefs were pleasing palates with menus based on locally sourced regional fare before there was a magazine called Northwest Palate. Our region’s agricultural, viticultural, and marine bounty, which we so proudly promote today, is not new either. Pioneering land use protection laws to preserve our farmlands had been enacted decades ago. What has changed during our lifespan as a publication is the widespread recognition of the Northwest’s profound culinary riches. What was once a shared secret among locals—our fantastic ingredients, creative spirit, cooperative communities, and commitment to respecting our resources—is now envied (and imitated) across the country. We like to think that Northwest Palate has had a hand in advancing the national understanding of—and appreciation for— the Northwest’s epicurean lifestyle. But rather than look backward in this issue at the hundreds of stories we’ve published on Northwest chefs, winemakers, restaurants, destinations, and ingredients, we decided instead to highlight the people and places that have come to represent the Northwest and its culinary culture. Some, like British Columbia chefs John Bishop and James Walt, Oregon winemaker Véronique Drouhin, Portland bartender Kurt Fritzler, and Washington wine pioneer Allen Shoup, are veteran influencers who continue to advance the regional epicurean scene. Others are gaining national recognition for elevating the region’s culinary reputation, like Jason Stoller Smith at Oregon’s Timberline Lodge and James Beard Awardnominated chef/restaurateur Ethan Stowell

photo by cameron nagel

Even our chickens help make your dining experience from scratch!

s Northwest Palate enters its 25th year of bringing you the best coverage of Pacific Northwest food, drink, and travel, I’d like to take a few moments to reflect on the occasion. Twenty-five years is, after all, a long time in the life of a magazine.

in Seattle, or the globally famous but new-to-the-Northwest winemakers at Long Shadows Vintners in Washington. To help us mark this point in our own history, we’ve redesigned the look of Northwest Palate. What stays the same is our unwavering commitment to quality reporting and bringing you the best of the Northwest’s culinary, drink, and travel scenes. Please raise a glass of Northwest wine with me as I make a toast to all that has been accomplished in our region’s food and drink worlds by so many talented people over the last quarter-century, and to the future of this spectacular region’s culinary culture. Cheers to the Pacific Northwest!

Cole Danehower, Editor-in-Chief

A Northern California

‘CULINARY EXPERIENCE’ featuring the best the region has to offer.

No Hassles No Fighting Traffic No Waiting on Hold No Searching for Parking No One’s Interests Ignored

The grandparents get to spend a day with their grandchildren, while the parents go their way. The day before was an all girls’ and an all guys’ day.

“You Decide and We Accommodate.”

“If you are a lover of farm fresh food, phenomenal views, unlimited activities and fabulous year round weather, then Northern California has something special waiting for you.”

“Two Party Tour” Here at the Custom Tour Concierge we have created a radically new tour concept: we call it the “Two Party Tour.” In this offering, we provide you the ability to separate your group’s agenda at no additional cost. For example, if half your party wants to travel to Napa for a cooking class, and the other half wants to stay in San Francisco to tour museums, then we will arrange for limos and escorts to accommodate each group. We currently specialize in three distinctly different Northern California regions; i.e., San Francisco, Napa/Sonoma, and Tahoe. These regions have long been the preferred destinations of domestic and international travelers, wine lovers, and outdoor enthusiasts.

Call to speak with one of our Select Experience Managers today at


or visit us online at

* 5 day/4 night Package Prices start at $3,535.00 per person (dbl occupancy) or $2,975.00 per person for groups of 4 or more. If you complete your trip by May 30, 2011, and book by April 15, 2011, we are offering an additional 10% discount (cannot be combined with any other discounts).

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011 IT’S SIMPLE, FLEXIBLE, SAFE, AND CUSTOMIZABLE.


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National & Regional Fatima Young 360-631-5883 •

Oregon Reagan Nauheim, Senior Sales Rep 503-805-6405 • Emily Stoller Smith 503-474-7262 •


Cole Danehower

Cameron Nagel

British Columbia & Washington



Art Director

Cole Danehower

Peter Szymczak

Vanessa Duff

Proofreader Penelope Friant

Ashly Berg 206-369-5736 • Brannan Willson 503-683-1525 •

Contributing Editors Tim Pawsey Shelora Sheldan

C o n t r i b u t o r s Angela Allen, Kathleen Bauer, MJ Cody, Ethan Stowell, Lorna Yee C o n t r i b u t i n g P h o t o g r a p h e r s Angela Allen, Hamid Attie, Dina Avila, Rob Campbell, Maryanne Carmack, Cole Danehower, John D’Anna, Jo Dickens, John Feit, Steve Li, Cameron Nagel, Jordi Sancho, John James Sherlock, Geoffrey Smith, Peter Szymczak, Raj Taneja, Erin Thomas, John Valls, Rebecca Wellman, Richard Wolak

T a s t i n g P a n e l i s t s Anita Boomer, Cole Danehower, Harry Hertscheg, Peter Szymczak Northwest Palate magazine (ISSN 0892-8363) is published bimonthly by Pacifica Publishing, Inc., 1321 SW Maplecrest Dr., Portland, OR 97219, and is available by mail subscription at the rate of $21 for one year, $39 for two years. • The Canadian subscription rate is $35cdn per year. The European air-mail subscription rate is $57usd per year. Send payment to: Northwest Palate, P.O. Box 10860, Portland, OR 97296-0860 Phone: 503-224-6039 or 1-800-398-7842. • Website: • Subscriber Services: • Letters to the Editor: • For advertising information and rate cards, phone: 1-800-398-7842. • Retail sales program available. • Periodicals Postage Paid at Portland, Oregon. Postmaster: Send address changes to Northwest Palate Magazine, P.O. Box 10860, Portland, OR 97296-0860. PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40035723. RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO EXPRESS MESSENGER INTERNATIONAL P.O. BOX 25058 LONDON BRC, ONTARIO, CANADA N6C 6A8 • © 2011 Pacifica Publishing, Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner, including photocopying, without written permission.


march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

our contributors





Multitalented photographer, columnist, and poet Angela Allen has covered the food and wine world for more than 20 years. She also teaches creative writing and the arts in Portland schools, and in 2009 she was the Eastern Oregon Writer in Residence. In this issue she profiles celebrated Canadian chef James Walt and his fellow Sooke Harbour House kitchen alumni (see “Plating Perfection” on page 44). Read more of her writings at www.

Kathleen Bauer recalls fondly one of her favorite breakfasts from childhood—well-buttered toast slathered with strawberry jam made by her mother—as the inspiration for her compilation of Northwest-made jams and jellies (see “Fresh from the Northwest” on page 22). A frequent contributor to Northwest Palate, Bauer also writes about the region’s culinary treasures for The Oregonian, MIX, and blogs at

Astoria, Oregon commemorates its bicentennial this year, so it’s no wonder MJ Cody is there to cover the celebration (see “Astoria at 200” on page 29). Cody is editor of Best Places to Stay—Pacific Northwest, co-editor of Wild in the City—A Guide to Portland Metropolitan Greenspaces; and author of Our Portland. Her regular column, “Sleeping Around the Northwest,” appears in the Sunday Oregonian travel section and online at www.

Geoffrey Smith is a graphic designer and photographer based in Seattle. He runs LookatLao (, a design studio that tends to work with people who love food, wine, and cocktails. His most recent work was shooting the photography for Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen; an outtake from these photoshoots graces our cover, and additional photos appear alongside Stowell’s essay on Northwest shellfish on page 48. When not wrangling his growing stable of restaurant clientele, he can be found cycling the Pacific Northwest backroads.

GO WINE TASTING IN THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY! Springtime in the Willamette Valley. A great time to go wine tasting. Known for its world class Pinot Noir, our beautiful valley is home to more than 180 wineries and tasting rooms surrounded by beautiful vistas and views of the Cascade Mountains. Explore quiet backcountry roads leading to a rustic barnyard tasting room or state of the art winery. Request a copy of our touring map and guide at DON’T MISS MEMORIAL WEEKEND IN THE WINE COUNTRY May 28-30, 2011

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


recent openings Marigold and Mint

photos by john feit

Tasting your way around Pike Place Market is a must when sleeping over in Seattle, just as any food lover passing through Vancouver, BC, would be remiss to not make a pit stop at Granville Island Public Market. Now add to this list a couple of new can’t-miss emporiums on the Northwest city landscape: Melrose Market in Seattle and The Atrium in Victoria, BC.

Exploring Urban Bazaars

Melrose Market Learn more at www.melrosemarket For more information call or visit the websites of individual retailers: see page 10.



atch out Pike Place— there’s a hipper, younger, sleeker market in town. Since its debut in late 2010, Melrose Market has become the shopping and dining hot spot for food lovers. Melrose Market brings together several independent businesses to create a one-stop place to eat, drink, and shop. The building, a former auto parts warehouse, occupies the triangular block at the intersection of Pine Street and Minor and Melrose Avenues in Seattle’s über-trendy Capitol Hill neighborhood. With every shop a veritable must-see—

march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

and must-taste—here’s a guide to navigating Seattle’s newest epicurean emporium. Whether you’re a seasoned at-home charcuterie-maker, or simply looking for a plump Stokesberry Farm chicken (sustainably raised in Olympia, Washington) to roast for your Sunday supper, you’ll do no better than to survey the offerings at Rainshadow Meats. Here, you’ll find everything from reasonably priced Carlton Farms pork (ask nicely and they’ll grind that shoulder fresh for you), thick-cut bone-in rib-eyes, to housemade pâté de campagne and quail liver terrine. While you’re there, pick up

a pretzel roll from one of the best bread bakeries in town, Columbia City Bakery. Whether you’re looking for a special after-dinner cheese, or just need a small wedge to tide you over until dinner, you’ll find a great selection of Northwest and international cheeses at The Calf & Kid. If you’re unsure of what to buy, the courteous counter servers are generous with tastes, or put one of the small cheese “samplers” (only $1 to $2 each) in your basket so you can taste at home. Ask for recommendations—occasionally, they’ll have extra-special selections, like Bellwether Farm’s sheep’s milk ricotta.

At Marigold and Mint, pick up some fragrant blooms (the sunflowers are particularly grand), chocolates, and a bouquet of earthy beets for roasting at home. Most of the produce is sourced from the store’s own two-acre farm situated along the Snoqualmie River, about 30 miles east of Seattle. Shopping works up an appetite, and you’ll do well to whet it at Chef Matt Dillon’s two Melrose Market watering holes. The open space at Sitka & Spruce, with sunlight streaming in from towering windows, chalkboard specials, and young couples huddled over roughhewn tables, all testify to local cuisine at its most vibrant. From emmer flour crêpes with roast lamb redolent of herbs, to rustic dishes of fire-roasted guinea fowl with honey and almonds, Chef Dillon prepares locally sourced Northwest ingredients in a casual, easy-going manner. This isn’t complicated food—just food that tastes good. If a drop of wine and a little snack is all you fancy, Bar Ferd’nand is just the spot. Nibbles range from pistachios and raw oysters, to pâté from 

Sitka & Spruce

Urban contemporary dining. Delight your senses at H5O bistro & bar. In Portland, where downtown meets the river. Check out special offers at

Perfectly Portland. 50 SW Morrison Portland, OR 877.237.6775

Elevated culinary experience. Excite your palate at Altitude. And savor The Spa. Less than an hour above Portland. Visit for seasonal packages.

Mt. Hood. Naturally. Just off Hwy 26 Welches, OR 877.439.6774

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011



recent openings


Rain Shadow Meats

 Here, you’ll find everything from reasonably priced Carlton Farms pork (ask nicely and they’ll grind that shoulder fresh for you), thick-cut bonein rib-eyes, to housemade pâté de campagne and quail liver terrine.

Rainshadow Meats or anchovies and bread. Like a particular glass of wine from the pour list? You’ll likely find a bottle of the same on their retail side to take home. If a grab-and-go sandwich is more your speed, check out Homegrown, a “sustainable sandwich shop” that serves up towering creations like spicy meatloaf BLTs with hazelnut romesco and organic greens on compostable, 100% recyclable materials. Those with a sweet tooth shouldn’t miss their Bluffernutter—a griddled sandwich stuffed with bacon, housemade marshmallow, and crunchy peanut butter. Pick up the new Pearl Jam at Sonic Boom, the iconic record store’s second Seattle location. With bright orange walls and an exposed brick interior, this

neatly organized shop stocks a wide range of vinyl and CDs from Northwest indie label bands and popular artists. With its no-frills, almost raw decor of concrete floors, exposed wood, and big windows that somehow still keep the room fairly cool and dim, Still Liquor mixes up everything from Martinis to cocktails destined to become classics. Try the Dragon’s Toe, an intriguing blend of bourbon and cucumber. The bartenders, like the drinks, are devoid of pretense— you’ll sooner find a baseballcapped guy behind the bar than one in a bowler hat. If you’re on the hunt for unique home furnishings, you’ll find them at Butter Home. Since opening in February 2011, this new addition to Melrose Market features handcrafted furniture made from

photos courtesy Homegrown and butter home

photo by John Feit

Butter Home


reclaimed wood and vintage metal work, a cute card selection, and locally designed jewelry. On the horizon for Melrose Market is the first “inland” retail location, joining stores in Shelton and Samish, of renowned seafood supplier, Taylor Shellfish Farms. “Oyster Bill” Whitbeck, who’s been selling Taylor’s ocean-fresh fare at farmers markets and directly to restaurants, says the 1,200-square-foot space will have live tanks stocked with Dungeness crab, clams, mussels, and other assorted shellfish, and possibly a chowder bar and space for cooking demonstrations. Whether you’re in the mood for shopping, sipping, or supping, Melrose Market is a one-stop destination that’s sure to satisfy. —Lorna Yee

for more information


Taylor Shellfish Farms 360-432-3341,

Marigold and Mint 206-682-3111,

Sonic Boom 206-568-2666,

Rainshadow Meats 206-467-6328,

Sitka & Spruce 206-324-0662,

Homegrown 206-682-0935,

The Calf & Kid 206-467-5447,

Bar Ferd’nand 206-623-5882,

Still Liquor 206-467-4075,

march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

Butter Home 206-623-2626,

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (5 Stars, highest ranking) Robert Parker’s Wine Buyer’s Guide (7th Edition)

French soul ~ Oregon soil Please visit us, Wednesday through Sunday, 11am – 4pm Tours by Appointment

telephone (503) 864 -2700 ~


recent openings


AJ’s Organic Café


your complete Vancouver dining guide

photo courtesy D'AMBROSIO

includes ipod guides, reviews and special diet information.

 A living wall heralds AJ’s Organic Café for grab-and-go lunches and office sandwich platters of the healthy variety. The small space opens to The Atrium’s interior, where natural light gives diners a feel-good respite.



he phrase, “If you build it, they will come,” best describes The Atrium. The contemporary, sevenstory structure in the downtown core is home to some of the city’s finest dining and retail spots. The central entranceway, located at the corner of Yates and Blanshard streets, opens to a lightfilled atrium, a welcoming gathering spot with seating and modern sculpture. Let the delicious fun begin. Habit Coffee is in the coveted corner location and works like a magnet for the building, not only for the corporate tenants on the floors above, but also the laptop crowd. They come for expertly crafted caffeinated bevvies of the organic and single-origin variety. Long held back by their previous cramped quarters, Zambri’s has brand new digs here with double the seating in a chic room bedecked with baroque mirrors and chandeliers. Gone are the crooked tables, wobbly chairs, and open kitchen. A pizza oven has extended the menu choices, with an increased Italian-focused wine list, extra bar seating with a fun cocktail menu, and table service during both lunch and dinner. For something more casual, a living wall heralds AJ’s Organic Café for graband-go lunches and office sandwich





photo courtesy D'AMBROSIO


march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate



The Atrium



platters of the healthy variety. The small space opens to The Atrium’s interior, where natural light gives diners a feel-good respite. Alternatively, carnivores flock—or is it herd—to Pig BBQ Joint’s new locale for brisket, pulled pork, smoked and crispy fried chicken, fried mac & cheese, and over-the-top specials such as a pork belly and fried egg sandwich with tater tots loaded with pulled pork, beans, and chipotle sour cream. Craft brews and bourbon wash it all down.



For the avid home chef, Cook Culture offers a finely curated selection of quality cookware, books, cook’s tools, specialty ingredients, and cooking classes. Some of the island’s best-known chefs and culinary personalities, from Food Network celebrities to cookbook authors, get behind CC’s decked-out kitchen, teaching everything from chocolate arts and Thai, Italian, and Indian cuisines, to bread and pastries. The Atrium is a virtual oasis of other lifestyle amenities, including a salon (Victory Barbers), shoe shop (Head Over Heels), print shop (Metropol), florist (Poppies), and integrated health clinic (Fix Health Care). Now that’s living! —Shelora Sheldan

recent openings


photo courtesy zambri’s


Zambri’s For more information

Pig BBQ Joint

Pig BBQ Joint 250-590-5193, Habit Coffee 250-590-5953, Zambri’s 250-360-1171, AJ’s Organic Café 250-419-2179,

Cook Culture

Cook Culture 250-590-8161,

photos by rebecca wellman

So much more...

than just great wine.

We offer world-class wines and genuine hospitality in a stunning setting. Now introducing our wine and culinary appreciation events! March 5 - cooking demonstration March 19 - wine appreciation $25/pp. To register call Emily Olds 503.864.3404

16161 NE McDougall Road Dayton, Oregon 97114 503.864.3404

Open daily from 11am-5pm

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Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


Datebook early spring MARCH 10

Culinaire Experience the best restaurants and purveyors of fine food and beverage the region has to offer, from Victoria to the Cowichan Valley and Saltspring Island. Fresh seafood, prime cuts of beef, artisan cheeses, craft beers, fresh baked breads, chocolate creations, regional wines, vegan desserts, and specialty coffees will be showcased for all to enjoy. Tickets are $28 cdn; partial proceeds will benefit the Camosun College Culinary Arts Program. For more information visit www. culinairevictoria. com.

Photos by Maryanne Carmack

Crystal Garden at the Victoria Conference Centre, Victoria, BC.

BRITISH COLUMBIA MARCH 8, 25, 29, & APRIL 4, 26 Market Dinners, Edible BC at Granville Island Public Market, Vancouver, BC. Enjoy a multicourse,

market-inspired dinner prepared by some of the province’s top chefs. The menu for March 8 features the Italian cuisine of CinCin’s Chef Todd Howard, followed by a Whisky Dinner with Chef Eric Pateman on March 25. Chef Bernard Cassavant from Wild Apple Restaurant comes to town on March 29; Joy Road Catering’s Chefs Cameron Smith and Dana Ewart take the range on April 4; and Chef David Gunawan from West showcases his refined cuisine on April 26. Cost is $90 cdn (plus tax and gratuity) per dinner; whisky dinners are $130 cdn. For more information visit

MARCH 13–15 Tales of the Cocktail on Tour, Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver, BC.This

first-ever mini-festival, an offshoot of the annual event held in New Orleans, will feature


march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

top mixologists at a series of parties and seminars held at the beautiful, recently opened Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel. Vancouver was chosen as the first tour city because of its growing influence on the world cocktail industry. For more information visit

MARCH 24–APRIL 14 Wine Exploration: Gems of the Okanagan, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, Kelowna, BC. This four-week program

takes place on Thursday nights from 6 to 8:30pm. Learn more about the Okanagan Valley wine region and discover which wines you take a shine to during the casual, interactive tastings. Cost is $199 cdn. For more information visit

MARCH 28–APRIL 3 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, various locations, Vancouver, BC. Housed in the luxe new

Vancouver Convention Centre East, this year’s International Festival Tasting will feature 702 wines from 176 producers spanning 14 countries. Taking center stage will be winemakers from the theme region of Spain and this year’s focus on fortified wine. Highlights include a “Sherry Caseta” where attendees are serenaded by the sound of Spanish guitar as they explore the unique characteristics and diversity of wines from the Sherry Triangle in Southern Spain. Another tasting station

will offer samplings of various sherries, Ports, Madeiras, and other fortified wines from around the world. Regional tasting stations offer a series of wine flights highlighting the unique terroirs of Alsace, Austria, Argentina, New Zealand, and host region with the most, British Columbia. For more information visit

APRIL 29 Winemaker’s Dinner, Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek, Oliver, BC. Come celebrate

the very first winemaker’s dinner at Tinhorn Creek’s new restaurant, Miradoro. Join winery owner/ winemaker Sandra Oldfield for a five-course dinner prepared by Executive Chef Jeff Van Geest and paired with Tinhorn Creek wines. Cost is $110 cdn. For reservations call 888-484-6467.

FUTURE FILE JUNE 10–12 EAT! Vancouver Everything Food + Cooking Festival, Vancouver Convention Centre, Vancouver, BC. Celebrity chefs, popular local restaurants, wineries, cookbook authors, artisans, and many others from the culinary world will be in attendance at this three-day festival encompassing unique food experiences, opportunities to learn from professional chefs, and intense culinary competitions. For more information visit

JUNE 17–18 BC Shellfish Festival, Comox Marina Park, Vancouver Island, BC. The

weekend kicks off Friday night with the Chefs’ Dinner, a six-course gourmet meal paired with local wines and served outdoors along the banks of Baynes Sound amongst the beautiful gardens of the historic Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park. Cost is $120 cdn. Admission to Saturday’s festival is $5 cdn: featured attractions include live music, cooking demos by some of the region’s top chefs, and lots of locally grown, sustainably harvested shellfish, including Comox Valley’s Best Chowder Contest and the BC Oyster Shucking Competition. For more information visit

If you have a food or wine event that you’d like to see listed in the next issue of Northwest Palate, email

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011



APRIL 15–17

MARCH 1–31 Dine Around Seattle, various restaurants, Seattle, WA. It’s March madness of

Spring Barrel Tasting, various wineries, Yakima Valley,WA.

the culinary kind. Sundays through Thursdays during the month, diners can enjoy specially priced prixfixe dinners for $30 and lunches for $15 at some of Seattle’s most delicious dining destinations (prices do not include beverage, tax, or gratuity). For a complete list of participating restaurants visit

MARCH 6 & APRIL 3 Cooking Classes, The Chateau Restaurant at Chateau Faire Le Pont Winery, Wenatchee, WA. Join Executive Chef Mike Ables at these fun and creative cooking classes. Learn how to stir-fry on March 6, and about the finer points of making soup on April 3. Each two-hour class is $45 per person. To make a reservation call 509-3379463, or visit

MARCH 6, APRIL 3, & MAY 1 Sunday Feasts, Tavolàta restaurant, Seattle, WA. Chef

Brandon Kirksey features “star” ingredients—whole roasted goat on March 6, wild fowl and eggs on April 3, and spring vegetables on May 1—at this monthly dinner series. Dinner starts at 6pm and is served family-style at the 30-foot communal table. Cost is $50 per person. For reservations call 206-838-8008.

MARCH 7 Cooks & Books Dinner, The Walrus and the Carpenter, Seattle,WA. The

literary-named restaurant The Walrus and the Carpenter provides the perfect setting for celebrating the publication of Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton, chef/owner of NYC’s Prune, who will be in attendance. Food, wine, and a copy of the book are included in the $85 ticket price. For reservations call 206-395-9227.

MARCH 9 Whiskey Dinner, Spur Gastropub, Seattle, WA.

Celebrate the rich flavors and history of whiskey at this fun, educational,


and above all, mouthwatering fivecourse feast created by Chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough, paired with five whiskey-based cocktails created by some of Seattle’s best bartenders. Cost is $80 (excluding tax and gratuity). For reservations call 206-728-6706.

MARCH 13 TASTE Walla Walla, Sodo Park, Seattle, WA. Sample

wines from more than 50 of Walla Walla’s finest wineries—without leaving Seattle! They’ll make the trek west to Seattle’s historic SoDo Park and pour their new releases alongside great local food and art displays. Tickets are $50. To purchase tickets visit or call 509-526-3117.

MARCH 14–15 The French Pig—Cochon & Charcuterie, The Herbfarm, Woodinville, WA. From 9am to 1:30pm each day,

join French farmer/butcher/charcutier Dominique Chapolard and American cook/writer/teacher Kate Hill of www. for this hands-on demonstration workshop on the intricate art of butchering traditional French pork cuts and the preparation of authentic charcuterie recipes. Students will receive instruction, recipes, a professional European butcher’s knife, and pork to take home. Cost is $279 per person per day. For more information visit

MARCH 14–19 Wenatchee Wine Week, various locations, Wenatchee, WA. The series of

events and wine dinners celebrating local wines kicks off with “Sensational Syrah” on Wednesday, and climaxes with Saturday night’s progressive

march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

photo courtesy wine yakima valley

Here’s your chance to get a jump on purchasing some of the best wines in the country. Visit valley wineries and sample yet-unfinished wines from the barrel. Enjoy food pairings and meet the winemakers at many of the 50 participating wineries. For more information visit www.

dinner—at four different locations diners enjoy a course with matched wines at each venue (transportation included). For a complete schedule visit events/.

MARCH 15, 29, APRIL 12, 26, & MAY 10 Cooking Classes, The IvyWild Inn, Wenatchee, WA.

Pots and puns! Chef/Innkeeper Richard Kitos covers a different cooking technique during each session: March 15 is “One Thing I Know Pho Sure,” while March 29 is “Take a Long Wok.” Each two-hour class is $40 per person. To make a reservation call 509-293-5517 or visit

MARCH 19 Early Spring Edible Plant Sale, Interbay Urban Center, Seattle, WA. Now’s

the time to plant your edible garden— veggie starts, culinary herb plants, edible flowers, berry shrubs, and fruit trees. People who want to shop early with the best selection come to the Early Bird Sale at 9am (tickets are $25; all proceeds benefit Seattle Tilth’s educational programs), before the gates open for the regular sale at 10am. For more information visit

MARCH 26 & ONGOING Cooking Classes, bin on the lake restaurant at The Woodmark Hotel, Kirkland, WA. Join new Chef de Cuisine R. Paul Hyman (formerly of Nel Centro in Portland, OR) as he demonstrates how to prepare the perfect risotto in

the inaugural cooking class of this ongoing series. Future classes cover Braising Basics (May 14), Seasoning and Grilling (July 23), and Confiting, Pickling, and Preserving (September 24). Classes begin at 3pm and cost $20 each. For more information visit

MARCH 26 & 27 Taste Washington, Bell Harbor Conference Center & Qwest Field Event Center, Seattle, WA. The ultimate wine and food experience for Washington wine lovers starts on Saturday with in-depth tasting and educational seminars. Rub elbows with Washington’s finest winemakers while learning the ins and outs of North America’s second-largest wine region. On Sunday, attend the Grand Tasting and sample wines from among the largest selection of Washington wineries assembled under a single roof, while noshing on bites created by some of the state’s finest chefs and restaurants to pair with specific wines. For tickets and more information visit

MARCH 27, APRIL 17 Sunday Suppers, Volunteer Park Cafe, Seattle, WA. Chefs Ericka Burke

and Heather Earnhardt prepare three courses served up family-style at their convivial communal table. Cost is $30 per person (wine and beer extra). For more information call 206-328-3155 or visit www.

MARCH 30 Winemaker Dinner, BOKA Kitchen + Bar at Hotel 1000, Seattle, WA. Executive Chef Angie

Roberts prepares an intimate fourcourse dinner paired with the wines

of Gilbert Cellars from Yakima, WA. Cost is $65. For reservations call 206-357-9000.

consecutive weekends, boutique wineries of the Lake Chelan Wine Growers Association will celebrate the release of their “nouveau” red, white, and rosé wines. Some wineries will also host live entertainment, vineyard tours, and food offerings—ooh la la! For more information visit

APRIL 1–2 Hop Scotch Spring Beer & Scotch Festival, Fremont Studios, Seattle, WA.

This benefit for the Seattle International Film Festival features more than 80 libations ranging from local microbrews and wines to Scotch and other spirits. Admission is $30 ($25 in advance) each day. For more information visit

APRIL 16–17 NW Wine & Cheese Tour, various wineries, Olympic Peninsula, WA. Each

APRIL 22 Terroir: Meat & Grapes, Urban Enoteca, Seattle, WA. Watch a meat-

of the seven wineries located in Port Townsend and Port Angeles will host a different cheesemaker from the peninsula this weekend. Tickets are $25 and available for advance purchase online at

March 25 & 26, 2011

APRIL 16–17 & 23–24 Chelan Nouveau, various locations, Lake Chelan, WA. Over two

cutting demonstration by an artisan butcher, who will fabricate an allgrass-fed hindquarter of beef. Chef Chris Opsata will then prepare a three-course dinner featuring the freshly cut meat, expertly paired with wines from Urban Enoteca’s selection of wineries. Cost is $165. For reservations call 206-467-WINE (9463).

APRIL 23 & ONGOING Children’s Cooking Classes, bin on the lake restaurant at The Woodmark Hotel, Kirkland, WA. The Woodmark Hotel’s Executive Chef Darren McNally (a father of two) hosts this Saturday series of interactive children’s cooking

classes. Kids ages 5–10 (with an accompanying adult) learn fun and healthy recipes to make at home. Topics include making cookies (April 23), pizza (June 18), dumplings (August 20), candy (October 29), and gingerbread cookies (December 17). The classes are from 2–4pm and cost is $10. For more information visit

FUTURE FILE MAY 6–7 UnTapped Blues Festival, Benton Country Fairgrounds, Kennewick, WA.

Local, regional, and national blues bands provide the entertainment, while 30 local and regional microbreweries provide refreshment, plus food vendors and wineries. For more information visit

APRIL 28–MAY 8 Washington State Apple Blossom Festival, various locations, Wenatchee, WA. This

nonagenarian festival shows no signs of slowing—the 92nd annual “applarian” celebration of the apple bounty of the Wenatchee Valley is Washington State’s longest-running major festival. A few of the main culinary events include a pie eating contest, apple pie bake-off, and new this year, on Saturday following the Grand Parade, attend “WINE-APPLEOOSA” between 1 and 5pm for live music and a wine garden featuring local wines. For a complete schedule of events and more information visit

MAY 14 PONCHO International Wine Auction for the Arts, Sheraton Hotel, Seattle, WA. Get ready for

an evening of big bottles, unique and rare selections, verticals, special collections, and an elegant fivecourse dinner. Tickets start at $400, with proceeds benefiting arts education programs in Washington. Call 206-623-6233 Ext. 205 or visit shtml for more information. WASHINGTON FUTURE FILE CONTINUES ON NEXT PAGE


“NORTH meets SOUTH” Food & Drink Jubilee

“North meets South” Food & Drink Jubilee offers a weekend of tastings, fun activities and a full list of topnotch producers from Canada to Brazil!

At The Benson Hotel, Portland, OR

to purchase tickets and for a complete list of participants, visit: Tickets are available for Friday March 25th or Saturday March 26th. You can also purchase a two day pass for a special rate.

Your “North meets South” ticket price includes: • A Complimentary Riedel Glass

• Complimentary samples of delicious food bites prepared by over 20 top Northwest chefs • Complimentary tastings of hundreds of wines, spirits and beers from international and local producers

• Exclusive wine tasting sessions • An “Indoor Luau”


• Live music from local R&B artist Patrick Lamb • Culinary and spirits competitions

• A silent auction benefiting Salud Wine Auction

• Chance to win a trip to British Columbia and much more

Enjoy special room rates at The Benson. Visit for information Produced by:

In partership with:

A percentage of ticket sales and 100% of silent auction proceeds will benefit Salud Wine Auction.

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


MAY 20–22 Spring Barrel Tasting, various locations, Wenatchee,WA. Visit the

wineries of Wenatchee Wine Country, including Saint Laurent, Martin-Scott, Stemilt Creek, and many others. Taste samples of future releases straight from the barrel and be the first to enjoy the wines of a new vintage. For more information visit www.

JUNE 18–19 Fremont Fair, Seattle,WA. One of Seattle’s

most beloved neighborhood street festivals coincides with the summer solstice and features a weekend full of eclectic attractions, including a parade, craft and art booths, local bands, and food and drink vendors. For more information visit

OREGON NOW–JUNE Taste, various locations, Portland, OR. Help

raise funds for Morrison Child and Family Services during this year’s expanded set of exclusive culinary experiences. Dine with Portland’s top chefs and prominent Oregon wine producers and distillers as part of the “Cooking for Kids” dinner series, while “The Experience” offers one-of-a-kind opportunities to cook alongside celebrated chefs at extraordinary sites. For more information visit taste.aspx or call 503-258-4290.

MARCH 2, 9, 16, 30, & APRIL 20 Winter Supper Series, R. Stuart & Co.Wine Bar, McMinnville, OR. A few of

Portland’s top chefs are bringing their cuisine to wine country on select Wednesdays this winter. The menu for March 2 features the Mediterranean-inspired cooking of David Machado, chef/owner of Nel Centro, Lauro, and Vindalho; March 9 will no doubt be all about pork with Morgan Brownlow of Tails and Trotters; Ethan Powell and Tobias


MARCH 4–6 Oregon Chocolate Festival, various locations, Ashland, OR. If

chocolate be the food of love, pile it on! The seventh annual ode to chocolate brings together the region’s finest chocolate makers, plus breweries, wineries, and coffee roasters. Headquartered at the elegant Ashland Springs Hotel, located just steps away from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival amphitheater, the weekend encompasses various tasting events, from truffle-making classes and educational seminars for kids and adults, to a multicourse chocolate-themed dinner and Friday night’s Chocolate Martini Facial Party. For reservations and more information call 888-795-4545 or visit

MARCH 5 Greatest of the Grape, Seven Feathers Casino Resort and Spa, Canyonville, OR. Based

on all the attention it gets, you’d think the Willamette Valley is where it all started. But in fact, the Umpqua Valley is where Oregon’s wine industry began. In 1970 winemaker Richard Sommer was the first to plant Pinot Noir at HillCrest Vineyard, just west of Roseburg. In addition to his belief that these grapevines would do well in this soil, he also thought wines should be shared and enjoyed with just the right foods. He was right on both accords. Sommer passed away in 2009, but the Greatest of the Grape lives on as the oldest wine event in Oregon. This year, the Umpqua Valley Winegrowers Association brings together the finest vintages from 28 Umpqua Valley and other Southern Oregon wineries, paired with 14 of the region’s best restaurants. Tickets are $75. For more information call 541-673-5323 or visit

march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

MARCH 5 Classic Wines Auction, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR. The grand dinner

features the cuisine of top Oregon Chefs Cory Schreiber and Adam Sappington, paired with wines from Rex Hill (Oregon), Hedges Family Estate (Washington), Cakebread Cellars (California), and Château de Beaucastel and Perrin & Fils (France). Proceeds from the auction and tickets ($750 each) benefit various children’s and family charities. Hotel deLuxe is offering special packages and room rates for auction attendees: call 503-219-8622 for reservations. For more information visit www.

MARCH 5 Flavors of Carlton, Ken Wright Cellars, Carlton, OR. The quintessential Oregon

wine country town of Carlton hosts this fundraiser for its community and youth programs. Sought-after wines and original artwork will be up for auction, plus food and wine for tasting. For more information visit

MARCH 5, 12, 19, 25, 26, & APRIL 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 29, 30 Guest Chef & Winemaker Dinner Series, The Steamboat Inn, Steamboat, OR. Perched on

a bluff with a commanding view of the North Umpqua River, The Steamboat Inn features cozy streamside cabins and tucked-away cottages. Providing extra allure is its fine restaurant, which hosts an ongoing series of intimate dinners featuring some of the state’s top chefs and wineries—Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards with Chef Jason Stoller Smith of Timberline Lodge on March 19, and Cascade Cliffs Vineyards with Chef David Anderson of Genoa on April 8, to name two. For a complete schedule visit or call 541-498-2230.

MARCH 11–12 Pouring at the Coast, Seaside Convention Center, Seaside, OR. There’s a

100% chance of Oregon craft beers being poured this weekend, starting at the five-course Brewer’s Dinner on Friday. At Saturday’s tasting event, sample a variety of Oregon craft brews from the likes of Rogue Ales, Astoria Brewing Company, and Fort George Brewery, to name a few, plus food offerings from local chefs. For more information call the Seaside Chamber of Commerce at 503-738-6391.

MARCH 15–19 James Beard Dinners, Gilt Club, Portland, OR. Chef Chris Carriker jets off to

Manhattan to cook dinner at the James Beard House on March 12. But why should New Yorkers get all the fun? The Gilt Club is putting on a series of dinners with the same phenomenal menu. For reservations call 503-222-4458.

MARCH 18–19 Explore Raw Vitality Wellness Workshop, The Resort at The Mountain, Welches, OR. Learn

about eating a raw diet and its potential health benefits. The weekend retreat features informative demonstrations, meals prepared by chefs and caterers who specialize in raw foods, seminars, and more. Nestled in the western highlands of Mt. Hood, surrounded by the natural beauty of pristine national forests and streams, The Resort at The Mountain provides the perfect setting. For more information visit

MARCH 10–13 Savor Cannon Beach Wine & Culinary Festival, various locations, Cannon Beach, OR.

Enjoy an extended weekend full of wine tastings, dinners, seminars, and an art walk in the quaint coastal town of Cannon Beach. The festival opens with Thursday night’s “Wine Throwdown,” with attendees tasting Oregon versus Washington wines head-to-head and voting on their favorites. Saturday’s Winter Wine Tour (some of the wineries in attendance include Rex Hill, Willamette Valley Winery, Sineann, Pleasant Hill, and Pamplin Family Winery) is a benefit for the Cannon Beach Children’s Center. Many local hotels and resorts are offering lodging and festival ticket packages, including Hallmark Resort, Inn at Cannon Beach, The Ocean Lodge, Stephanie Inn, Surfsand Resort, and Tolovana Inn. For more information visit

photo courtesy Stephanie inn


Hogan of EaT: An Oyster Bar march into town on March 16; tapas master John Gorham of Toro Bravo and Tasty n Sons is scheduled on March 30; April 20 is Cathy Whims of Nostrana. With only 20 seats per event, and tickets priced at just $25 per person (wine and gratuity not included), reservations are a must. Call 503-472-4477 or visit

MARCH 20 & APRIL 17 Sunday Family Dinner Series, Kenny & Zuke’s Delicatessen, Portland, OR. Roll up your sleeves for an Oregon Dungeness crab feed on March 20 and an Italianinspired meal served family-style on April 17. Cost is $35.50 (beverages and gratuity not included). For reservations call 503-222-3354.


MARCH 25–27 “North Meets South” Food & Drink Jubilee, Benson Hotel, Portland, OR.

Internationally recognized wineries, breweries, distilleries, and chefs converge on Portland for a weekend of tasting events. The festival kicks off with a night of “throwdowns” featuring top chefs using seasonal ingredients to create the most delicious risotto, while the nation’s top mixologists compete to win top honor for the most innovative and original cocktail. At Saturday’s Grand Tasting, sample wine, beer, and spirits from around the globe along with tasty bites. Proceeds from silent auctions on Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as a percentage of ticket sales will benefit Salud!, a local nonprofit organization that provides healthcare to seasonal vineyard workers. For more information call 503-830-9467 or visit

MARCH 25–27 Better Living Show, Portland Expo Center, Portland, OR. This three-day festival showcases

earth-friendly products and services for the home and garden, from solar technologies and transportation to organic food and beverages. Admission is free. For more information visit

MARCH 26 Equinox in the EolaAmity Hills, Zenith Vineyard, Salem, OR. Under a moonlit sky, enjoy

sips from more than 25 area wineries, plus sweet and savory bites from local restaurants and live music. Cost is $40. For more information visit www.zenithvineyard. com/equinox.html.

MARCH 28–JUNE 10 Spring Wine Tasting Courses, Chemeketa Community College, Salem, OR.

Enhance your appreciation of wines by enrolling for these two continuing education classes: “Wine Appreciation” (6–9pm, Wednesdays) and “Sensory Evaluation of Wine Components” (6:30–9:30pm, Tuesdays). Students 

Are you enjoying this issue of Northwest Palate magazine? It's easy to subscribe! Just visit to begin a new subscription, renew your current subscription, or submit a change of address request. You'll also find a complete calendar of culinary events around the Northwest, and additional stories, recipes, and wine reviews. Plus, subscribing online entitles you to a discount price on your new subscription. Visit and save!

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


must be 21 years of age. Cost is $216 plus $122 fee. For more information or to register call 503-399-5139 or visit

APRIL 4 Chefs Against Hunger, Best Western Agate Beach Inn, Newport, OR. Chefs from Oregon’s

coastal towns team up with regional microbreweries and boutique wineries to raise funds for Food Share of Lincoln County. For more information call 541-265-8578 or visit

APRIL 4–8 & 11–15 Learning Feast, Lincoln City Culinary Center, Lincoln City, OR. Expand

your cooking repertoire at these two inspirational cooking workshops. From April 4–8, be inspired to cook French as the various regions of France will be explored, from the sundrenched coast of the Mediterranean, to the gentle gardens of the Loire, and the lush abundance of Burgundy. Cost is $400.

APRIL 16 Spring Brewers Dinner, Pelican Brewery, Pacific City, OR. Chef Ged Aydelott and brewer Darron Welch will explore the culinary delights of Thai cuisine paired with Pelican’s award-winning beers. Tickets are $75 per person, plus gratuity. For more information visit www.pelicanbrewery. com or call 503-965-7007 to make reservations. Special hotel packages are also available at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda, 888-965-7001.

APRIL 16 & MAY 21 Winery Barrel Tours, various locations, Umpqua Valley, OR. Enjoy the sights of the Umpqua Valley as you ride from one winery to the next, meeting the winemakers and tasting their wines. Choose from three tour options covering six wineries apiece in the north, central, and south regions of the Umpqua Valley. Cost is $50 per tour. For more information call 541-673-5323 or visit

APRIL 22–23 Spring Beer & Wine Festival, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR. Artisan

brewers, vintners, distillers, chocolatiers, and cheese makers offer samples of their craft, while top local chefs show how to create delectable dishes on the demonstration stage. For more information visit


march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate


oceanfront •

MAY 14 Indie Wine & Food Festival, The Bison Building, Portland, OR. Sample and buy

wines from the jury-selected, small-production winemakers while enjoying tasty samples from some of Portland’s creative culinary talents. Tickets are $75–$125. For more information call 503-595-0891 or visit

Let the tradition begin.

JUNE 8–11 The Craft and Business of Retailing Artisan Cheese, Portland,OR. This

three-day seminar is taught by Steve Jones, the cheesemonger/ entrepreneur who runs one of Portland’s great neighborhood businesses, Cheese Bar. Topics include the nitty-gritty of business planning, margins and markups, designing your shop, dealing with cheesemakers, importers and distributors, and hands-on cheese handling experience. For more information visit or call 503-335-3155.

• Spacious Balconies • Fireplaces/In-Room Spas • Kitchenettes/Free Wi-Fi • Pool/Sauna/Spa • Pets Welcome!

888.448.4449 cannon beach & newport - oregon

APRIL 24 Easter Sunday Tea, Pix Patisserie (N. Williams location), Portland, OR. Put on your best bonnet

and head to Pix for a formal, but fun, tea service. Enjoy a pot of tea from Townshend’s Alberta Street Teahouse and an extraordinary sweet and savory selection of bite-sized treats, including French macarons, soft-boiled quail eggs wrapped in prosciutto, and rotating flavors of chocolat chaud. Cost is $30. For reservations call 503-282-6539 or email

APRIL 29–MAY 1 Spring Unveiling, various locations, Cannon Beach, OR. One of the North Coast’s most

popular events attracts art and food lovers to the cozy coastal resort town of Cannon Beach. Various art galleries will unveil new works by local artists in mediums ranging from watercolor and oil, to sculpture, jewelry design, and glass blowing. Art of the culinary kind will be on display at local restaurants as chefs present new dishes on their menus and host artist receptions. For more information call 503-635-5100 or visit

APRIL 29–MAY 1 Astoria-Warrenton Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival, Clatsop County Fairgrounds, Astoria, OR. Enjoy Northwest seafood,

arts and crafts, many of Oregon and Washington’s finest wineries, a beer garden, and more. For more information visit astoria-warrenton-crab-seafoodfestival.

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011



from the Northwest by Kathleen Bauer

Jam on it

Forget Captain Crunch. Even Tony the Tiger couldn’t entice me, no matter how loud he roared. Snap, Crackle, and Pop made too much noise first thing in the morning. Pancakes? Too much fuss. Fried eggs and bacon? Meh. What I loved for breakfast as a child was toast slathered with butter and smeared with my mother’s homemade jam. She was a whiz, cooking up pots of strawberries, raspberries, peaches, and pears and pouring them into jars large and small that were saved from the ones we’d emptied the previous year. Opening a jar of her strawberry freezer jam was like an explosion of distilled summer, with its bright red color and deep, rich strawberry flavor. Wherever I travel, I try to bring back a few jars of local jams and preserves, made from fruit grown in the area, to extend my trip just a little bit longer, if only for as long as it takes to have breakfast.

Pennington Farms Olallieberry Jam transforms whole wheat toast into a delicious treat. Photos by Dina Avila

OREGON King Estate The organic fruit in their Blueberry and Raspberry Pinot Noir jams is grown on the winery’s estate near Eugene and infused with their outstanding wines. 9 oz., $8. Available online or at the winery.


Ayers Creek If it’s heirloom, orphan, or rare, farmers Anthony and Carol Boutard will try to grow it on their farm near Gaston. Look for Damson plum, Loganberry, and Italian Prune. Oh, and their blackcap jam also qualifies as a marital aid. 8 oz., $6. Available at the Hillsdale Farmers’ Market and online at Portland-based specialty food store, Foster & Dobbs.

march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

Republic of Jam

Marché Chef Stephanie

Master “jammelier” Lynnette Shaw makes low-sugar, artisan jams from Willamette Valley fruit. Most interesting is her Mostarda di Carlton Apple, a traditional Italian condiment that’s more like chutney—a tasty accompaniment to sausage or roasted turkey. 9 oz., $8. Available online and at the tasting room in Carlton.

Pearl Kimmel, founder of Eugene’s revered Excelsior Café, now owns Marché Provisions in the 5th Street Public Market. Her berry jams and pear butter are made from all-organic local fruit. 9 oz., $6.50. Available online and at the store.

Sassafras Southern Kitchen A budding project of four Portland women, the collaboration has cooked up Southern-inspired preserves, from fig to brandied plum, plus a few enticing relishes— Sunchoke, Pear and Meyer Lemon, and Heirloom Beet and Fennel. 8 oz., $8–$9. Available online and at some Portland retailers. www.sassafras

Oregon Growers A

Wild Harvest These

collaborative effort of several growers around Mt. Hood, these jams use less sugar than traditional recipes, allowing the full flavor of orchard fresh fruit to shine through. 12 oz., $6.50. Available online and at specialty food stores around the Northwest.

jams are made from hand-gathered mountain huckleberries, blueberries, blackberries, gooseberries, lingonberries, and black currants, sometimes snatched from the jaws of the bears and cougars who love them, too. 8 oz., $8.95. Available online and at stores statewide.

Sakuma Brothers This fourth-generation farming family in the heart of Skagit Valley grows their own berries and processes them into jams. Try the Tayberry, a cross between a loganberry and black raspberry. 12 oz., $4.95. Available online and at their market stand in Burlington.


Vista D’oro Great

Fore & Aft Caterers Patrick Brownrigg and Beverly Child make a pair of sweet-meetssavory flavors: balsamic jelly 8.4 oz. (250 ml), $6.95 cdn and red pepper 2 oz. (55 ml), $2.95 cdn. Available at Edible BC.

Pennington Farms The Penningtons started as flower growers in Colorado before moving to Oregon’s Applegate Valley to start a 90-acre berry farm and bakery. Their Strawberry/ Rhubarb (shown right) is pie in a jar. 16 oz., $6.50. Available online and at area specialty food stores.



Sunset Valley Organics Seven years ago, farmer Bob Wilt’s diabetes led him to shift his farm to organic growing methods. His blueberry jams, spreads, and preserves are made with as little sweetener (evaporated cane juice) as possible for health and flavor benefits. 10 oz., $5.95. Available online and at specialty stores in Oregon and Washington. www.








Blue Cottage Jams The

Aldrich Farms These jellies and preserves are a celebration of Whatcom county fruit. Check out the Cranberry Pepper and Blackberries & Brandy. 5.5–12.5 oz., $4.95–$7.95. Available online and at various area farmers markets.

Taste of the Okanagan It’s refreshing in this day and age when a company says, “We don’t put ‘JUNK’ in our jars,” meaning unequivocally no preservatives, additives, or food coloring. Their product line includes intriguing flavor profiles such as Apple Rosé Wine and Beer-Blasted Pepper. 8.7 oz. (260 ml), $9.50 cdn. Available online year round and from June through October at the Kelowna, BC Farmers & Crafters Market. Okanagan Lavender

WASHINGTON Martin family started making jams for themselves and their friends. Fifteen years later, their low-sugar preserves and butters, all made with Washington fruit, are in demand all over the state. Try the Montmorency Cherry Jam, made with a unique variety of tart pie cherries. 7 oz., $5.25. Available online and at select stores.

with pork or as an accompaniment to blue cheese, the Turkish Fig confiture is made with the excellent walnut wine also produced on the farm. 7.75 oz. (770 g) $8.95 cdn; 14.1 oz. (400 g) $14.95 cdn. Available online, at their farm store in Langley, BC, and at Edible BC.

1 Ayers Creek: Blackcap Jam 2 King Estate: Raspberry Pinot Noir Jam 3 Sassafras Southern Kitchen: Sunchoke Relish 4 Oregon Growers: Pear & Hazelnut Jam 5 Aldrich Farms: Cranberry Pepper Jelly 6 Mix Bakery: Gingered Plum and Nectarine Jam 7 Fore & Aft: Balsalmic Jelly 8 Vista D’oro: Turkish Fig Preserves 9 Joy Road Organics: Blood Orange Marmalade

Woodring Northwest Specialties Dale Nelson, a chocolatier by trade, also makes some fine fruit jams and preserves. Rare finds: Golden Raspberry, Gooseberry, and Mimosa Marmalade. 9 oz., $7.75– $9.75. Available online and at his store at Seattle’s Pike Place Market. www.

Canter-Berry Farms On their historic five-acre farm in Auburn, Clarissa and Doug Cross have made a living growing and making jam from some of the tastiest blueberries in the state. 11.5 oz., $7. Available online and at their Pike Place Market store.

Mix Bakery To accompany its awardwinning baked goods, this Vancouver-area bakery makes a selection of cool jams in flavorful combinations like Plumbleberry (plums with mixed berries) and Pear with Balinese Vanilla. 8.4 oz. (250 ml), $7.95 cdn. Available at the bakery and online at Edible BC.

Andrea McFadden started growing lavender when she inherited her father’s declining apple orchard. Now she captures the flavor of summer in lavender jelly—the best thing ever with lamb. 4.2 oz. (125 ml), $5.95 cdn; 6.4 oz. (190 ml), $8.95 cdn. Available online and at Edible BC.

Joy Road Organics A 100%-organic line of preserves created by two BC chefs from the Okanagan, Dana Ewart and Cameron Smith. Try their Blood Orange Marmalade, Red Haven Peach, and Coronation Grape. 8.4 oz. (250 ml), $7.95 cdn. Available online and at the retail location of Edible BC at Vancouver’s Granville Island Public Market.

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


tasting notes wine views & reviews NWP: When you first started making wine here, could you ever have anticipated the way Oregon’s wine industry has evolved?

Véronique: What impressed me the most was

how quickly people got interested in Oregon, even though in the world, Oregon was not, and still probably is not, the region people know best in the US, even for Pinot Noir. But so many more know about Oregon now!

NWP: Now that you have more than a couple of

photo courtesy domaine drouhin oregon

vintages’ worth of experience in Oregon, how do you think the character of Oregon Pinot Noir has changed over that time?

Véronique Drouhin

Domaine Drouhin’s winemaker shares her 24-year perspective on Oregon Pinot Noir. Few of today’s Oregon winemakers have experienced as many Willamette Valley vintages as the French-born, Burgundian-based veteran Véronique Drouhin. Since 1988 she has been the only winemaker for iconic producer Domaine Drouhin Oregon (known locally by the initials DDO) and has seen the rapid evolution of the state’s wine community from about 60 wineries when DDO was established, to nearly 400 today. The arrival in Oregon of the famed Burgundy name Maison Joseph Drouhin gave an immediate sense of credibility to the state’s early claims of Pinot Noir prowess. In the years since, Oregon has seen continuing growth in its wine industry, not only in the number and quality of Pinot Noir producers, but also in its expansion to other parts of the state, especially Southern Oregon and the Columbia Gorge. Living in Burgundy and repeatedly traveling to Oregon to check on her vines, blend her cuvées, manage harvest, and make her wines, Véronique has a uniquely “Oregundian” viewpoint (or is it “Burgonian”?) that blends an Old World perspective with New World experience. During a recent visit, Véronique shared some of her thoughts on the development of Oregon’s wine world and Domaine Drouhin Oregon.


march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

Véronique: I would say the wines are more complex and more elegant. The vineyards everywhere are getting older—10, 15, 20 years of age—along with better and better decisions in the vineyard and the winemaking. Another thing that was important to the development of Oregon was how people worked together. It is not like, “I am here” and “you are there.” People talk, people do things together— all kinds of people saying, “Let’s get together and see how we can progress.” That has been quite unique. NWP: Do you think there has developed a “Willamette Valley style” of Pinot Noir?

Véronique: No, I think there is quite a

diversity of style in Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. When you taste a range of Pinot Noir here there is great difference, even from neighboring vineyards, and still, the hand of the winemaker has a big impact on the style of each wine. I would not say there is one kind of style.

NWP: But can you recognize Willamette Valley

Pinot Noir as Willamette Valley Pinot Noir when tasted against Pinot Noir from other places?

Véronique: Yes, I think Oregon as Pinot Noir can be recognized. Against Burgundy I think you can say a wine has more of the Oregon character. NWP: Which is … ? Véronique: More spiciness. That’s something

very unique. You don’t get that in California, where the Pinot tends to be very ripe, very high in alcohol, sometimes very soft. Oregon has darker color—it may not look like Burgundy—and then the nose, the nose is quite unique with very spicy notes. I don’t like the herbaceous character, which is something you can get here, and not many other places that produce Pinot Noir show. If it is not too ripe, you can get this character.

NWP: What do you see as Oregon wine’s biggest opportunity?

Véronique: I think there is a lot of space for Oregon wines to go worldwide. The volume is there, the quality is there, there are importers willing to take Oregon wine. But first I would say, create more understanding of Oregon, because I still believe some people think Pinot Noir is Burgundy and say, “Well, you have to prove to us that Oregon also has very good quality Pinot Noir.” Quality is critical. One thing that worries me a little bit is that we see more and more pricing being drawn down in this economy. So people ask about a cheap Pinot Noir. We have questions from importers: “Can we provide a 5-euro, 5-dollar Pinot Noir?” No. The answer is, we cannot. And I am hoping nobody is going to try. That means mass production, that means quality down, and reputation can be affected. NWP: What is in the future for Domaine Drouhin Oregon?

Véronique: The estate is not 100% planted to capacity. We are very careful with what we plant, and we will have a few more vineyards in production with this coming vintage. We don’t have plans to buy more land. We will try to have a bit more sales outside of the US and expand our international distribution. We are lucky that Maison Drouhin in France already has that distribution network. But it is interesting. Sometimes today people taste our Oregon wine and then say, “Oh, you also make wine in France?” That is happening more and more—there is a mystique about Oregon. NWP: Do you have any favorite vintages from your 24 years at DDO?

Véronique: Oh, that is difficult! Going

back to the vintages and seeing how well they’ve aged … Well, they’ve gone beyond what we thought they would, which is nice. If we go back to ’88, the first vintage, it is not a young wine, but the wine is not over the hill. I would say 1993 definitely, 1998 was an excellent year. 2002 I like very much, 2000 also. And of the last few years, I think today 2007 is really drinking beautifully. I really enjoy drinking it.

NWP: Bottom line: what has your experience here meant to you personally?

Véronique: I don’t think I would have done this for so long if I didn’t get energy from this place. So it has been challenging, fascinating, socially wonderful, because when you come here the welcome is amazing, and working in this place nourishes me. If all this had just been about doing business, I don’t think I would have done it, but what you get in return is just great.


stellar selections

3 2



are this issue's reviewed wines that display uncommon character and are likely to age well. Our designations for wine reviews are: Recommended (wellmade, pleasing wines displaying good varietal character and balance), Highly Recommended (wines with added complexity and length on the palate), and Exceptional (memorable wines of varietal purity, seamless balance, and profound character).

Hyatt Vineyards WA


Bright spicy scents of dried lemongrass and white peach are clean and refreshing. Tangy and tart on the tongue, this lively wine offers spiced grapefruit and green apple flavors encased in forward acidity. The inherent spice quality of Pinot Gris shows well in this wine, giving it a vibrancy often lacking in warm-climate Gris. Clean and fresh, this is great for pairing with scallops or steamer clams. (814 cases made.)

Highly Recommended


1 2008 Chardonnay, Snake River Valley Muted scents of green melon and oak are at first timid, though with some warmth open more fully. In the mouth flavors of Rome apple combine with mint and minerals to produce a somewhat spicy characterization of Chardonnay fruit. The acidity gives the flavors some energy, but they are not overtly fruity. Notes of apple skin and pear become more apparent toward the finish. A great Chardonnay to pair with warm apple pie and cheddar cheese. (1,290 cases made.)



5 2009 Riesling, Willamette Valley Medium sweet. Subtle scents of honeysuckle and crushed green apple are fresh and appealing. Lively on the palate, lemon-lime flavors and a hint of pineapple dance on the tongue thanks to ample acidity. The sweetness is distinct, offering a honeyed character to the fruit, but never overwhelming the flavors with sappiness. Drying notes of minerality and grass add complexity, while the finish is rich and long. A dynamic and tasty Riesling that is enjoyable by itself, or paired with canapés on a spring afternoon. Good value. $14

color is indicative of this wine’s character, as is the rich and brooding nose of spiced blackberry and plum fruits layered with notes of mint, barrel spice, and freshly turned garden soil. Similarly weighty on the palate, the compact character shows tightly wound black cherry fruit surrounded by tones of licorice, autumn leaves, and baking spices. Despite the hefty weft of savory tonality, the underlying black fruitiness shimmers throughout the tasting experience, from attack to finish. Ample acidity keeps the fruit forward, while stout (but remarkably finely textured) tannins give admirable backbone. This is a beautiful wine that will only gain in grace with 3–5 years of cellaring. (250 cases made.) $60

Hightower WA 2007 Red Wine, Red Mountain Rich herbal

Sawtooth Estate Winery ID

2009 Pinot Gris, Rattlesnake Hills

Willamette Valley Vineyards OR

2 2008 Pinot Noir, Freedom Hill Vineyard, Willamette Valley Densely hued reddish black


Vintage Values are our picks of this issue's reviewed wines that represent particularly good value for the money. Stellar Selections

Very good value. $8

Lange Estate Winery & Vineyards OR

Very good value. $9

Roza Ridge WA 2008 Roadside Market Red, Rattlesnake Hills Notes of oak, vanilla, and chocolate are forward on the nose, with more subtle tones of raspberries and mint in the background. In the mouth a concentrated black cherry core is complemented by distinct oaky overtones and hints of cinnamon and graphite. Taut tannins and good acidity give the wine a tightly wound feel, and it will no doubt open up with some bottle age. Nevertheless, this straightforward blend is a good accompaniment to flame-charred steak kabobs. (734 cases made.) Good value. $15

and earthy aromas swirl around attractive tones of cassis and violet on the full and changing nose. On the palate the wine offers lush dark fruitiness, with flavors of cassis, blackberry, and plum surrounded by notes of graphite, tar, and molasses. Intriguingly complex, with flavors playing hide-and-seek with one another as the wine warms in the mouth. The acidity is well balanced and distinct tannins provide plenty of grip. Yet the whole tasting experience is remarkably satisfying, with an appeal to the mind to parse the flavors, and an attractive variable texture on the palate: smooth on the attack, more gritty toward the full finish. Serve with a grilled New York strip. (247 cases made.) $50

Pirouette WA 4 2007 Red Wine, Columbia Valley Vibrant ruby color and earthy dried sage-accented scents of currant and plum fruits make an enticing visual and auditory introduction to this wine. Lush and forward favors of sweet currant, raspberry, and plum are swathed by fine, furry tannins and tastes of molasses and tar. Toward the finish a violet floweriness shows, adding a high note to the earthbound core of this wine. Remarkably balanced, and still tightly wound and young, this is a wine to cellar for 3-5 years before it will show its inherent elegance. (59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec; 1,684 cases made.) $55

Black Hills


3 2009 Alibi (white blend), Okanagan Valley The fresh nose and vibrant palate showcase a trio of citrus characters: juicy lemon, tangy grapefruit, and zesty lime. Grassiness and tropical fruit add complexity. Exhibits freshness within a well-framed structure, so sips well on its own, but can also complement hard-to-match fish tacos. (75% Sauvignon Blanc, 25% Semillon) $30 cdn

Tasting Notes continues on page 56 

photos by erin thomas

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


to Serrat , OR Portl and



k u rt


Kurt r Fritzle

t l a n d,

t z le r • S

r at to • P or


Beyond the bar


photos by cole danehower

Sometimes S Old School is the Best School by Cole Danehower

In a Northwest drinks scene where it seems every young mixologist is out to spark a new cocktail trend using the latest hip spirit or funky technique, it is reassuring to know that there are bartenders like Kurt Fritzler who still focus on the fundamentals of their profession. “I don’t really follow the trends in drinks too much,” he says. “I prefer the classics. A great Manhattan, a great Martini, a great Old Fashioned—they are considered classics for a reason. They have perfect balance and great character. I pride myself in making them, and making them well.” Kurt’s refreshingly old school attitude comes from an unusually steady bartending career. He came to Portland, Oregon, in 1977 after attending the University of Idaho, finding his first job in a restaurant kitchen. When a bartender job opened a few years later at a restaurant called the Veritable Quandary—even today the “VQ” is a landmark Portland establishment—he took it. “They wanted someone without any bar background because they wanted to train them,” Kurt recalls. “The head bartender said, ‘Watch what I do, do what I do, and stay out of my way.’ I got two out of three right—but I really got in his way!” A few years later restaurateur Michael Cronan was planning to open an Italian restaurant called Serratto in what was then a rather down-and-out Northwest Portland neighborhood. Kurt had gotten to know Michael by serving him at the VQ. Kurt joined Serratto as bartender in 1983. He’s


march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

been there ever since. “It was never my thought to be a career bartender, and I never intended to be in one place this long,” says Kurt, as he sweeps a towel across the polished wood of what is today a stylish restaurant bar in the very definition of a happening Portland neighborhood. “But something about the work clicked with me. I love the intensity of it—imagine this place packed to the rafters and only one bartender behind the bar all night—and I learned that I can talk to anybody.” Cocktails, for Kurt, are a means to an end—not the end itself. “I have never considered myself to be a mixologist,” he says. “There are definitely some real mixologists in this town, people who think about—obsess about—blending flavors and textures and colors and making fantastic new cocktails. That has never been my thrust. Mine is to create a dynamic at my bar.”

Kurt knows he is in the people business, and that cocktails, no matter how creatively conceived, are ultimately about people. “If somebody comes into my bar with energy and helps create a positive dynamic at my bar, it is my job to encourage that. It’s like tending a garden: you weed out what doesn’t work and try to create an environment where people feel good and they talk to each other.” By way of example, Kurt recalls one summer night when “ . . . a little old man, hardly five feet tall, in an impeccable oldfashioned suit hoisted himself up on a barstool and asked for a menu and a wine list and a newspaper. I didn’t have one, but I went out to the corner and dropped a quarter in the box and bought him a paper. He ordered a rack of lamb and a half bottle of Barolo that we had. He wanted the paper to read his wife’s obituary. He had been her 24-by-7 caretaker; she had just passed, and he was taking himself out for the first time

Join us for a weekend of Art, Wine and Music!


Strawberry Spike Kurt Fritzler, Serratto, Portland, Oregon Makes 2 cocktails • 3–4 fresh basil leaves

in many years. It was a bittersweet moment for him,” Kurt recalled. “I tried to make his dinner a good one.” That is tending bar. Kurt proves that old school doesn’t mean ho-hum. “There was a time when I railed against making Mojitos. I mean, the guy who invented them wasn’t a born bartender. How could you be a busy bartender and make up a drink that required that much effort?” Yet for us today, Kurt’s making a kind of Mojito. The drink he’s come up with for a Northwest spring cocktail is a muddled fusion of sweet, spice, and picante. He calls it the Strawberry Spike. “Spring cocktails are not the easiest to intuit,” Kurt admits. “With summer and autumn it’s easier, because fresh fruits are in season … In early spring, what’s in season? Fresh grass?” Oregon strawberries, Kurt points out, are his choice: “They are some of the first fruit you see and they are incredibly delicious.” He starts the drink by muddling some fresh-picked basil leaves with a dash of lemon juice, some simple syrup, and an ounce of pepper-infused vodka by Bendistillery (see sidebar “Mazama Infused Pepper Vodka”). The bite of the pepper balances the sweet of the fruit to prevent cloying, and the spice of the basil complements the acidity of the lemon juice, making a well-balanced drink.

• 2 ounces Mazama Infused Pepper Vodka • 2 ounces purée of fresh Oregon strawberries • 1–2 dashes of simple syrup

Put the basil leaves in a shaker glass half-full of ice. Add 1 ounce of the vodka and muddle until the basil is thoroughly crushed. Add the fresh lemon juice, sweeten to taste with the simple syrup, and then add the remaining vodka. Combine with the strawberry purée. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini shell. Garnish with a sprig of basil.

Watching him make the cocktail, I note his lack of precise measurement. “Making a great drink is all about proportion, isn’t it?” Kurt asks rhetorically. “And I don’t know that you can teach that. I can’t say that a quarter-teaspoon of this and two ounces of that is the right measure. At this point in my career it’s more of a feel and muscle memory and a sense of proportion. I don’t measure anything anymore. And I couldn’t honestly tell you the measurements of some of the drinks I make routinely.” As he goes through the process he says to use “about” an ounce of the vodka, “add some more later” and drop in “some” simple syrup. “I’d say about two ounces 

Mazama Infused Pepper Vodka Bendistillery is a small-batch distillery located in Bend, Oregon. Founded in 1996, and boasting a long history of tasting awards, they are best known for their Crater Lake Vodka and Cascade Mountain Gin. The distillery uses its Crater Lake Vodka as a base (filtered ten times through charcoal and crushed volcanic rock), and infuses it with a blend of six different sweet and hot peppers to achieve the balanced bite of this lightly golden spirit. Named after Mount Mazama, the volcano that erupted to leave behind Crater Lake, this is vodka with heat that’s fiery yet doesn’t overwhelm the spirit.

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• 1 ounce fresh lemon juice

Passion & Purity 18 x 36 oil on board

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Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


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beyond the bar


of strawberry purée.” Then “shake the hell out of it.” The method is in keeping with Kurt’s ethos: it’s not as much about the drink itself as the people who will consume it. Sure, the drink needs to be balanced and delicious. Kurt knows how to do that. But the drink also needs to be satisfying to the customer—so they can help create the dynamic. And— here is another old school rule—it has to be served with a smile. Some days, he admits, you come in to work and you don’t feel all that social, but you know you just have to do it. Like the night in December when, just as he was getting to work, he got a call that his stepdaughter was in the hospital with a brain aneurism. Until a relief bartender could come in, Kurt had to put on his game face. “It’s almost like a part of you steps out from yourself and looks back and says, ‘All right, you’ve got to do it, you’ve got to smile.’” And you’ve got to serve a great drink. There are others who can serve a great cocktail in Portland’s burgeoning drinks scene. “We have great bartenders in this town, amazing personalities,” Kurt says. “When I read their menus I think about how extraordinarily creative they are. It would never occur to me to put the textures and flavors and colors together that they do.” What those bartenders don’t have is Kurt’s 28-year perspective. He’s serving customers today that he held as babies, when their parents first came into Serratto. He’s had Madonna in the house, the state’s governor, the city’s mayor, movie stars, and all the leading lights and known names of Portland’s society. He’s seen them huddle together in conference over a drink the night before momentous news is publicly announced, and he’s seen them stolidly sit alone with their ponderous thoughts. He’s seen them in triumph and tragedy. Sometimes they know him by name, sometimes it’s just a nod to a familiar face. It doesn’t matter. Kurt knows he has two things he can always offer them: a genuine smile and a well-made drink. If that’s old school, I’ll have another round, please.

Historical photo courtesy Clatsop County Historical Society. Astoria-Megler Bridge photo by MJ Cody.

Astoria at 200 TOP: Looking east over Astoria, Oregon, circa 1883. Below, Left to right: Dinner at Bridgewater Bistro, the Astoria-Megler Bridge, espresso at Columbia River Coffee Company, and winemaking at The Flying Dutchman.

I’m sitting in Fort George Brewery and Public House eating one of the most unusual yet delicious tuna melts I’ve ever had—a large slab of WA tuna, red onions, and Tillamook cheddar pressed between grilled-to-a-crisp flatbread. The sun is shining, and from this aerie several blocks up the hill from OR the Columbia River, I gaze out on the anchored container ships, set against dramatic mountains, and contemplate the scene. To think, near this spot 200 years ago Astoria became the first American settlement west of the Rockies. PACIFIC OCEAN





By MJ Cody


This year Astoria will celebrate its bicentennial thanks to John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company, whose traders raced to claim the valuable port for the US against Russian, Spanish, and British fur companies. The triumphant traders could have looked out in 1811 on the same scene as today, although they would have seen a very different assortment of ships. That’s all part of fairly recent history compared to the native Clatsop and Chinook Nations who were thriving here for thousands of years before the arrival of European explorers. In 1792 Captain Robert Gray sailed his ship Columbia Rediviva into the great bay at the mouth of the river thence known as—can you guess?—the Columbia. In 1805 Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery spent their famous dismal winter at nearby Fort Clatsop, barely surviving. They

surely would have perished without the help of Chief Coboway and the Clatsop natives, who shared hunting grounds and brought gifts and trade such as salmon, wapato roots procured from eastern tribes, anchovies, and clams. Anticipating an unfriendly takeover of the trading post during the British-American War of 1812, Astor’s fur traders sold their claim to the British Northwest Company. From 1813 to 1818 Astoria was known as Fort George. By 1818 the US established joint occupation of the “Oregon Country,” and Astoria regained its former name. Salmon and seafaring trade soon replaced fur trading, yet one might say “civilization” was still a ways off. In 1878, the Weekly Astorian newspaper noted that there were 30 saloons in town. The notorious shanghaier “Bunco” Kelly called Astoria the wickedest city in the world.  Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


astoria at 200

That same year, Astoria Mayor W. W. Parker, responding to a letter to the editor calling for him to eliminate public drunkenness and “places of low resort,” responded by asking the writer for ideas on how to manage “500 or 1,000 strong, vigorous, active, young, and middle-aged men, fishermen and the like…” Of course, Parker, like most of the city officials, relished the business alliance, unwilling to forgo the profit from liquor licensing fees. Rampant liquor consumption and bawdy houses were finally harnessed by the 1940s. Besides the Native Americans and Oregon Trail emigrants, Astoria attracted a wealth of Scandinavian settlers, primarily Finns in the fishing industry. The burgeoning city also attracted a significant Chinese population to work in the canneries. Astoria was no longer a grubby frontier

town, but had a prosperous downtown with Victorian homes dotting the hillsides thanks to a booming fishing and timber economy. As Astoria celebrates its bicentennial this year, you’ll find that the city retains its unique character. It has survived the decline of the fishing and timber industries, and you’ll have no worries these days of experiencing the culinary fate of Lewis and Clark or having to sleep in primitive log cabins. Astoria has become an epicurean nirvana with terrific restaurants, coffee houses, pubs, wine tasting rooms, and seafood markets. The handsome post-1923 downtown buildings constructed after a devastating 1922 fire are intact and today house shops, lodging, art galleries, and eateries. 2


From Left to right: Fisherman seining for salmon on the Columbia River. Contemporary lodging at the Commodore Hotel. Fresh goods are made daily at Blue Scorcher Bakery Café. The historic building which houses Fort George Brewery and Blue Scorcher.

You can stay in many of those charming hillside Victorian homes that have become bed and breakfast inns, like the eclectic Clementine’s. Or, immerse yourself downtown at the spiffy no-frills Commodore Hotel 1 or the more luxurious vintage Hotel Elliot. For opulent, whimsical weddings, parties, or overnight extravagance, check out The Banker’s Suite 4 . Owner Trish Bright has turned a vintage 5,000-square-foot, twostory bank into an enchanting marvel. If you prefer stunning river views with huge ships seeming to glide by at arm’s length and the Astoria-Megler Bridge spanning wondrously nearby, The Cannery Pier Hotel will leave you agog. Experience a touch of history firsthand near the site of that original Fort George, where you’ll find freshly baked breads and pastries and wholesome organic soups, sand30

march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

wiches, and salads at the Blue Scorcher 2 , which shares a historic building with Fort George Brewery and Public House 3 . On tap are a dozen brews: IPAs, stouts, a home-brewed wasabi ginger ale, and an 1811 lager commemorating the bicentennial. Brewery production tours are every Saturday at 1 and 4pm. Downtown, venture into part of Astoria’s historic underground at The Cellar on 10th for wine tasting every Saturday amid one of the largest selections of wines in the Northwest. Owner Mike Wallis’s extensive assortment of Pacific Northwest wines is almost legendary. Cheers to Astoria’s trading history with a French, Italian, or Spanish bottle of bubbly, or toast the Oregon Country with a Willamette Valley Argyle Brut Rosé. When hunger strikes, the Bowpicker is fun to be sure, with fish and chips served in a boat high and dry on a street lot, but

Photos: Courtesy Clatsop County Historical Society / courtesy The Commodore Hotel courtesy Blue Scorcher Bakery Café / by MJ Cody


there’s no comparison to Clemente’s 5 halibut, salmon, petrale (and sometimes sturgeon) fish and chips, flash-fried in rice oil. The seafood here is tops. Chef Gordon Clemente’s traditional Italian roots and his passion for fresh, local, natural foods meld perfectly with his wife Lisa’s dedication to healthy sustainable nourishment. Lovely light fare includes marinated Hijiki with lotus root, sesame, soy, and red pepper; local albacore tuna carpaccio with olive oil, black pepper, shallot, lemon zest, and garlic; or a traditional Adriatic cioppino made with seasonal fresh fish and shellfish. Oh, and the poke—sashimi-grade yellowfin in sesame soy with ginger and cucumber is delectable. Willapa Bay Manila steamer clams in white wine, onion, and garlic is mouthwatering. An aromatic Maysara 2009 Autees Pinot Blanc or a full-bodied 2007 Montinore

astoria at 200

Photos: by MJ Cody / courtesy Bridgewater Bistro and Drina Daisy


Pinot Gris complements the seafood. For a real treat, try the Momokawa Junmai Ginjo sake with the poke. Just up the block from Clemente’s is T. Paul’s Supper Club, a sister establishment to Astoria long-time favorite, T. Paul’s Urban Café. The more sophisticated supper club atmosphere with lounge is quirky— shark heads on the wall, feathers in vases, suspended-from-the-ceiling paintings—and serves a lunch and dinner bistro-style menu that includes quixotic quesadillas layered with smoked oysters, shrimp, and Dungeness crab, plus salads, sandwiches, and pastas. A highlight is the tender prime rib dip smothered in onions and mushrooms served with sweet potato fries, which goes nicely with an on-tap Fort George Vortex IPA. Combine several inventive items from the “small plates” menu at Bridgewater Bistro 6 for a fun-to-share meal. Choose from oyster shooters and Dungeness “crab-scargo” in garlic, herb, and hazelnut butter, to prosciuttowrapped figs, five-spice-encrusted pork tenderloins with orange-chipotle dipping sauce, or green garlic and herb butter gnocchi. Soak in the breathtaking river views while enjoying “coquilles St. Jacques,” scallops baked with mushrooms, garlic and white wine cream, and Asiago crumb topping, paired with an Erath Pinot Noir. You’ll find colorful locals at the tiny Columbian Café. The chef has an eclectic repertoire, including wonderfully fresh seafood cooked right in front of you, and it’s the place for breakfast with lacy potatoes, crêpes, scrambles, and freshly baked bread. Service can be slow, but yum! If you’re yearning for some Old World “comfort food” head to Drina Daisy 7 , a Bosnian restaurant downtown. Fordinka Kanlic learned to cook with her grandmother at age five near Sarajevo and has been honing her skills in the kitchen ever since. Just walking in the door, you enter another place and time—the savory kitchen aromas are 




presents the 29th Annual

Astoria-Warrenton Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival

April 29, 30 & May 1 More than 200 booths celebrating the delicious bounty of the Oregon Coast with hand-made arts & crafts, seafood, local breweries & Oregon wineries.

Toasting Astoria’s 200th Birthday!

Produced by the Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce (503) 325-6311

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


astoria at 200


Celebrating Astoria’s bicentennial Astoria’s 200th anniversary celebration gets into high gear in April, with various events taking place throughout summer.

April 29–May 1, 2011

Astoria-Warrenton Crab, Seafood & Wine Festival Don’t miss this three-day seafood extravaganza

at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds. Get ready for the legendary fresh-caught Dungeness crab dinner along with local fishermen and providers serving oysters, halibut, clam chowder, accompanied by locally crafted beer and Pacific Northwest wines. Shuttles are available from hotels, and park and ride locations. For more information visit

April 30 & May 14, 2011 Winemaker’s Dinners at The Cellar on 10th


June 17–19, 2011 Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival Enjoy the sounds of contemporary and traditional folk music, plus local arts and crafts and food vendors. For more information visit

June 17–26, 2011 Astoria Music Festival Music programs will include symphony, opera, chamber music, children’s concerts, and special Astoria Bicentennial events at historic locations. For more information visit www.

July 30–31, 2011 Astoria Open Studio Tour Astoria artists will open their studios to the public, with displays, demonstrations, and works for sale. For a map of studio locations visit

During Crab Festival weekend, enjoy a five-course gourmet meal paired with wines from noted Southern Oregon producer Troon Vineyards. On May 14, Ken Wright Cellars from Carlton, Oregon, will be featured. The wine dinners are held all year long; for a complete schedule and more information, call 503-325-6600 or visit

August 11–14, 2011

May 19–22, 2011

Astoria Bicentennial Super Homecoming

Astoria Bicentennial Opening Events Four days

of fun, music, and food. Attractions run the gamut, from museum exhibits, history lectures, historic and Hollywood film location tours, tall ships, Chinese dragon dancers, Native American ceremonies, heritage fair, and other family-friendly events. For more information visit

May 8–October 9, 2011 Astoria’s Sunday Market features arts, crafts, food

booths, and entertainment—one of the best street markets in the Northwest!


medley and a meticulously arranged tower of fruit, it looks too beautiful to eat. But eat it one does! Paired with a full-bodied red Dingac, “Croatia’s most famous wine,” this is a treat indeed. Vegetarian (Zeljanica) or beef (Burek) pitas are baked densely filled layers of filo pastry. 8 (They take time, yet are worth it, so relax perhaps with a rich Piraat amber ale from Belgium). As Astoria celebrates its illustrious past, now is the time to visit and sample the historic city’s richly evolved cuisine.

march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

Astoria Regatta Reba McEntire headlines a weekend

of special events, including a barbecue, boat and land parades, and the black-tie Astoria Bicentennial Ball on August 13 (for reservations call 503-325-5889). For more information visit

September 14–18, 2011 Another spectacular weekend of attractions—Air Show, Fishermen’s Festival, Fur Trade Encampment reenactments at Fort Stevens, and Judy Collins concerts on September 17 and 18. For more information visit


Getting around Astoria To get your bearings and enjoy Astoria’s unique heritage, hop on the vintage Riverfront Trolley 9 for a firsthand look at waterfront piers and remnant canneries (including the aftermath of the sad December 2010 fire that destroyed cafes, shops, and a premiere lodging, once the executive offices for Bumblebee Tuna). Watch for eagles perched on pilings! You’ll likely see and hear sea lions, too. From the Astoria Column atop the hillside you have the overview of Astoria’s dramatic location with the river, bays, mountains, and ocean. You can spend hours and hours at the outstanding Maritime Museum looking at historic photos, boats, and interactive exhibits fun for kids and adults. Steer a ship, tie knots, measure whales, spot sunken shipwrecks near the Columbia bar— the most dangerous in the world. Learn about John Jacob Astor, the fur trade, and the War of 1812 at the Heritage Museum’s new exhibit. And of course, there’s Lewis and Clark’s encampment at Ft. Clatsop. 10 For more information on Astoria go to

October 8–9, 2011 Astoria Timber Festival Watch axe throwing, choker

setting, spar pole climbing, and logrolling competitions at this festival honoring the region’s rich logging history, held at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds. For more information visit

Photos Courtesy Clatsop County Historical Society, Astoria and Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce, and National Parks Service

sure to take you back. Fordinka’s husband Ken Bendickson greets guests warmly, making certain to enlighten diners about unfamiliar menu items and the mostly Eastern European beer, wines, and spirits. Arrive early enough in the evening if you want the succulent roasted lamb (Jagnejetina na Rostiflju). It’s not only Old World (no embellishments, no fancy sauces), it’s out-of-this-world delicious. Arriving on a platter accompanied by a fresh green salad, a vegetable

Astoria Travel Planner wine tasting The Cellar on 10th 1004 Marine Dr. 503-325-6600 www.thecellar Flying Dutchman Tasting Room 20 Basin St. Suite B 503-325-8110 www.dutchman

coffee/beer Astoria Coffee House & Bistro 243 11th St. 503-325-1787 www.astoriacoffee Columbia River Coffee Roaster 279 West Marine Dr. 325-275-5800 Fort George Brewery + Public House 1483 Duane St. 503-325-7468 www.fortgeorge

seafood specialties Bruski’s Dock 80 11th St. 503-325-2470 Josephson’s Smokehouse 106 Marine Dr. 503-325-2190 Uniontown Fish Market 229 W Marine Dr. 503-325-0688 www.uniontownfish

where to eat

Silver Salmon Grille 1105 Commercial St. 503-338-6640 www.silversalmon T. Paul’s Urban CafÊ 1119 Commercial St. 503-338-5133 www.tpaulsurban T. Paul’s Supper Club 360 12th St. 503-325-2545

r o t s A O r e g O niA # Wine tastings every Saturday from 1–4pm

places to stay The Banker’s Suite 1215 Duane St. 425-417-6512 www.thebankers Cannery Pier Hotel 10 Basin St. 503-325-4912 / 888-325-4996 www.cannerypier Commodore Hotel 258 14th St. 503-325-4787 www.commodore

Fine Wines & Champagnes Large Northwest Selection Over 4,000 bottleas Wine Tasting Bar Gifts & Accessories

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Clementine’s B&B 847 Exchange St. 800-521-6801

Bridgewater Bistro 20 Basin St. Suite A 503-325-6777 www.bridgewater

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Northwest Palate | march/april 2011



march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

25 years

considering the



o be a chef in the Pacific Northwest is to seek out the freshest ingredients—even if it means digging them up yourself, as does Seattle chef Ethan Stowell, whose essay in praise of our coastal bounty of shellfish appears on page 44. For Jason Stoller Smith, the new chef at Oregon’s iconic Timberline Lodge, it means finding innovative ways to transport them up a snow- and ice-covered mountain, where few food vendor trucks dare to tread (see “Dining at the Summit” on page 40). It’s a passion shared by James Walt (see “Plating Perfection” on page 44) and his fellow chefs who have cooked in the influential kitchen at Sooke Harbour House on Vancouver Island. When they’re not harvesting edible flowers from the massive on-premise garden, these celebrated Canadian chefs are venturing out to nearby farm fields in pursuit of the best produce they can find. Twenty-five years ago, John Bishop tapped into the intrinsic desire of diners to know exactly where their food comes from— what a concept! But back then, the idea of putting the actual name of a farm on a fine dining menu was unheard of. How times have changed. To mark our own 25th anniversary of publishing Northwest Palate, we’ve turned the spotlight on a few of our region’s cherished culinary resources—the chefs who continue to define the cuisine of our region.

Clam digging with Chef Ethan Stowell. Read why he thinks shellfish are the signature Northwest seafood on page 48. Photo by geoffrey smith

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011



putting the farm on the

plate What does it take for a restaurant not just to endure but flourish for 25 years? In the case of Bishop’s, the distinctive Vancouver, B.C. dining institution, it’s owner John Bishop’s dedication to local produce, combined with his classic style and humble, yet estimable grace. By tim pawsey


t’s just over a quarter of a century since Vancouver’s John Bishop first opened the doors to his eponymous dining destination. On a rainy night this past December—25 years to the day—the dining room was filled with a mix of longtime friends and customers, many one and the same, and a smattering of press (those old enough to remember). All were pinching themselves that they managed to be there on the very day that Vancouver’s éminence grise of regional cuisine was celebrating his quarter-century anniversary. “Celebrating” might be an overstatement. True to form, there was no outward self-congratulatory sign, except for a small table displaying scrapbooks and a few yellow-faded, early press clippings sporting such prescient headlines as “Bishop’s a Keeper” and “Worth the Trip.” The fact is that Bishop, ever the consummate host, had been too busy running his restaurant to plan for the milestone approaching. It’s typical of the man, a tireless promoter of all things regional who rarely if ever blows his own horn. Bishop’s rise on the restaurant scene dates back to the mid-1980s. In 1985, he ventured out on his own following a ten-year stint as chef at Umberto Menghi’s iconic Il Giardino, whose meteoric success (aided in no small way by Bishop) had been sorely tempered by the times. “There’s never a good time to


march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

photo by Raj Taneja

Above, clockwise: Plates at Bishop's feature lamb raised in the Fraser Valley,

scallops from Qualicum Bay, and goat cheese made locally by Farmhouse Cheese in Agassiz, BC. Right: John Bishop opened the doors of his eponymous restaurant 25 years ago. Photos by Hamid Attie

open a restaurant,” says Bishop, who recalls that it was far from an easy period. Vancouver was then gripped by a recession that saw interest rates around ten percent and near matching unemployment. It was also a time when even a whisper that might have sounded like “BC cuisine” was rarely heard. Undeterred, Bishop had the driving motivation to go it alone. His determination stemmed largely from his fervent belief and keen

tion that the West Coast had so much to offer in the way of pristine and widely available local ingredients, yet continued to be so blatantly ignored, thanks in great part to entrenched, still quite colonial attitudes. Prior to the arrival of Thai dining in the 1970s, followed by a string of other Asian cuisines, the city’s fine dining scene was cosseted in Continental, white linen, overbearing French service. “Thirty years ago—and even as recently as twenty,”

says Bishop, “you’d go out for anything but local food. You might head down to Steveston for fish and chips or clam chowder. But fine dining was still all about Dover sole, Icelandic scampi, New Zealand lamb, and so on.” While it took a year or so to build a solid business, John Bishop never looked back. And the notoriety of guests who sought him out—such as Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and performer Liza Minnelli—served quickly to

raise the profile of the intimate, two-tiered restaurant, which actually dared to be different, shifting well away from the rigid fine dining mold and basing itself almost entirely on local ingredients buoyed by the owner’s unique brand of highly personal service. If the glitterati were beating a path to the front, knocking on Bishop’s kitchen door in increasing numbers was a small but growing community of artisanal and organic producers. Nowadays, 

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


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march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

Photo by Jordi Sancho

Bishop’s dining room is warm, elegant, and welcoming, an ideal setting for enjoying its timeless West Coast cuisine.

virtually every ingredient on Bishop’s plates, from Sloping Hills pork to Sidney Island venison and Kyuquot Sound sablefish, is locally sourced and, often as not, organic. It’s an achievement of which John Bishop is understandably, though always unassumingly, proud. “Never underestimate the impact of leading restaurants on the rise of the artisan producer: it’s a symbiotic relationship,” he says. His association led to many more farmer-chef relationships and also proved to be a vanguard that helped to establish with diners an early understanding of the true value of local organics. He helped sow the seeds of today’s widespread locavore movement. Today we inhale the mere mention of producers on our menus with gusto. When Bishop launched his regional vision, stating the provenance of ingredients was viewed at best with vague amusement, if not with outright derision. But Bishop’s (as well as Sooke Harbour House) set the standard and shaped a philosophy soon emulated by other regional champions, such as Janice Lotzkar’s groundbreaking Raintree, resulting in the early nucleus of what is now readily and widely accepted as Pacific Northwest cuisine. Almost as impressive is the considerable group of now-prominent chefs and managers whose early careers were shaped by time spent in Bishop’s kitchen or in

front of the house. Based on their mentor’s philosophy, the culinary community grew to share his same passion. Former protégés include the likes of James Walt (Sooke Harbour House, Araxi), Andrey Durbach and Chris Stewart (Pied-à-Terre, La Buca, Cafeteria), Vikram Vij (Vij’s), and Adam Busby, now Director of Education at the Culinary Institute of America—to mention but a very few. Even Lumière founder, now Cactus Club Chief Food Architect, Rob Feenie apprenticed during the formative years of his career. These chefs and restaurateurs now fervently impart to the next generation that same, clearly defined regional style instilled in them by Bishop. In recent years, John Bishop has become increasingly outspoken on the need to support and redevelop our agricultural communities. Featured in the seminal 2002 documentary Deconstructing Supper, he was among the first to point the finger at the dangers of overblown agribusiness and the looming threat posed by genetically modified foods and organisms. Behind the scenes, he’s extremely active with the Chefs’ Table Society of BC, which works with local chefs to build collaborative and educational programs around the regional industry. Bishop marked his quarter centenary with a menu of updated Bishop’s menu classics reinterpreted by the restaurant’s current chef, Andrea Carlson, who is famous in her own right. She gained

Left: John Bishop with fellow Vancouver, BC Chef/ restaurateur Vikram Vij. Below: Bishop with Executive

Chef Andrea Carlson.




ww.vancou ve


fame for creating the very first 100-Mile Menu served in Vancouver (at Raincity Grill, another restaurant dedicated to local, seasonal cuisine). For starters she served a Warm Goat Cheese Salad featuring cheese locally made by Debra Amriens-Boyes and George Boyes of Farmhouse Cheese in Agassiz. “No one even knew what goat cheese was back then,” says Bishop. “Now goat cheese salads are old hat.” How times have changed, almost as if by Bishop’s decree. Bishop’s 2183 West Fourth Avenue, Vancouver, BC, 604-738-2025,

“Never underestimate the impact of leading restaurants on the rise of the artisan producer: it’s a symbiotic relationship.” —John Bishop Photo by ha

mid attie

Local Guest Chefs Caprial & John Pence

Wed ~ April 6th ~ 7pm ~ In Hillsboro

Doors open at 4pm for sampling and wine tasting Call 503.640.1360 for details visit for information

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


dining at the




On a southward slope high atop Mount Hood, one thousand vertical feet above Timberline Lodge, stands the smaller, lesser-known yet equally historic structure, Silcox Hut. This alpine cabin is the sensational site for a monthly series of dinners hosted by some of Oregon’s crème de la crème wineries and featuring the fired-up cuisine of new Executive Chef Jason Stoller Smith. story By Peter Szymczak • Photos by cameron nagel


ore than one million people visit Timberline Lodge each year. It’s one of Oregon’s top tourist attractions—second only to the alluring azure blue waters of Crater Lake in the southern part of the state. Most people come here to ski or snowboard, except for the approximately 10,000 climbers who annually attempt the treacherous ascent to the mountain’s peak. Fewer in number, and some might say far safer in their pursuit of pleasure, are those whose sole purpose is simply to bask in the fireside glow and warmth of the handcrafted splendor and architectural marvel of the lodge itself. Today there’s a new reason to take to the slopes—the cuisine prepared by the lodge’s Executive Chef Jason Stoller Smith. He took over the culinary program from one of his mentors, Chef Leif Eric Benson, who retired last year after an astonishing 31 years as Timberline’s head chef. The lodge operates six restaurants: Cascade Dining Room, Ram’s Head Bar, Blue Ox Bar, Market Café, and Black Iron Grill in the Wy’East Day Lodge, and Ice Axe Grill at the Mt. Hood Brewing brewpub in Government Camp. But it’s at the monthly series of winemaker’s dinners held at Silcox Hut where Smith’s cooking reaches its apex. “I had done a couple dinners up here back in the day,” Smith says, referring to his previous tenure at Timberline almost ten years ago, when he was a young chef still on the rise. “You don’t know what a crazy location this is until you’ve been up here. It’s just amazing.”

magical history What’s amazing is that the hut still stands at all. Silcox Hut was constructed in 1938 by the same workers who built Timberline Lodge as part of the Works Progress Administration, the US government’s massive public works project during the Great Depression. Originally, Silcox Hut was the top terminal of the Magic Mile Lift—only the second chairlift in North America (the first was built in Sun Valley, Idaho). “It was just a rickety old chairlift. I don’t know if you’d even want to ride on it in this

day and age—little leather seats, the towers were something right out of a child’s erector set,” says Jim Tripp, ski patrol director and Timberline historian. Tripp also drives the snowcat that transports guests from the lodge to the hut. (See the sidebar “Staying at Silcox Hut” on page 43.) The original chairlift was in operation until 1963, when the second-generation Magic Mile Lift was built. During that phase of construction, everything was torn down—except for Silcox Hut. Thereafter it was used off and on for years as a meeting

place for different groups and functions. But slowly it fell into disrepair. “When I came in 1980, it was a nasty little place,” says Tripp. “You pulled a piece of plywood away from the window and squeaked on in, jumped down onto the cement floor and had to find your way through the dark. The bar was all carved up with people’s names, and eight to ten inches of rock-hard dirt was over the floor.” At one point the US Forest Service, which owns the land, considered burning it down. A group of climbing enthusiasts and guides who couldn’t stand to see their safe haven go 

Ski patrol director Jim Tripp drives the snowcat that transports the chef, food, wine, and guests to the winemaker's dinners held at Silcox Hut. photo by peter szymczak

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


a living museum Every piece of Timberline Lodge and Silcox Hut is historic. The hut was named after Ferdinand Silcox, the fifth Chief of the US Forest Service, who served from 1933 to 1939. All restoration work is done by hand in the traditional methods. Details at every turn inspire close inspection and appreciation, from Craftsman-era woodcarvings done by skilled carpenters, to the chainmail fireplace curtains wrought today by the same company that did all the original ironwork, much of it utilizing the very snow chains and rails that transported building supplies up the mountain for the lodge and hut’s construction.

course meal prepared personally for 24 adventurous diners. These occasions also give Smith the opportunity to reconnect with friends in Oregon’s wine country, where he cooked for the previous eight years at the Dundee Bistro and Ponzi Wine Bar. Previous winemaker’s dinners have featured the wines of Joe Dobbes, Cristom, R. Stuart, Ponzi, and Domaine Drouhin Oregon. The series runs ten months out of the year, taking a hiatus during the busy winery harvest months of September and October. Nancy Ponzi, who along with her husband Dick Ponzi helped pioneer Oregon’s wine country, is another important mentor in Smith’s culinary career. “She was the one who said, ‘Keep it simple. Just cook good food,’” he recalls. “That really stuck with me.”

Chief curator Linny Adamson weaves all the textile work on her own loom. This local, handcrafted ethos extends to the nourishment on the plate. Chef Smith is striving to source as much of the food as locally as possible, and he’s changing the menu more frequently depending on what foodstuffs are currently available. It’s a tall order, considering not only the volume of food that is required to feed a million ravenous lodgers each year, but even more the fact that provisions must be transported to the lodge up the snowy, oftentimes icy roads. Chef Smith has a full plate tending to the lodge’s regular guests, which makes the series of winemaker’s dinners at Silcox Hut all the more special. Once a month he gets to showcase his cooking skills during a five-

photo by john valls

up in flames stepped in to save the structure. Banding together in 1985, they established the nonprofit organization, The Friends of Silcox Hut, and restored it. Over an eight-year period, hundreds of volunteers poured $400,000 of donated funds and an equal dollar figure of donated materials and services into the structure. They constructed bunkrooms capable of housing 24 overnight visitors in the space that originally served as the bullwheel room, where the chairs actually used to come into the building. They did a colossal amount of work, including digging drain fields, laying water pipes, installing bathrooms and showers, building a modern kitchen, replicating the wood and iron work of the original hut, wiring the structure, and refurbishing vintage furniture and fixtures.

The snowcat pulls right up to the hut, so it’s just a few steps through the snow to the hallway that leads to the great room. A long banquet table bedecked with wine glasses and plates, polished until gleaming, stretches out the length of the room. Scents of roasted meats and wine permeate the air. A fire radiates waves of warmth from the hearth at the far end of the table, dispelling any remaining chill.


march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

photo by john D’anna

wine on the mountain Under the stewardship of David Villali, Timberline’s wine program manager for the past 23 years, the lodge has amassed a cellar full of Northwest wines that has grown from about 70 bottles to representation from more than 650 Northwest wineries, including more than 300 different Pinot Noirs. The lodge has hosted winemaker’s dinners since the early 1990s, and over the years the wine list has earned many accolades. But, the new series of winemaker’s dinners at Silcox Hut is what’s exciting Villali right now. Chef Benson had already started to source local, seasonal food for the lodge, but Smith is taking it to another level. “His style really matches Timberline and what we’re trying to do here,” Villali says. Smith is calling upon all his food vendors to help him find ways to bring products up the mountain, and he arranges supply runs into Portland at least once a week to restock the local goods that aren’t easily deliverable. “Buy good food, and prepare it simply, otherwise you’re just going to ruin it,” Smith says. He got his start at Timberline almost 15 years ago, working under Chef Benson for four years before departing to cook

The feast

Applewood Bacon Wrapped Sturgeon

“Buy good food, and prepare it simply, otherwise you’re just going to ruin it.” ja son Stoller Smith

in wine country. Prior to rejoining the Timberline staff this past year, he drove cross-country with his father and hundreds of pounds of alder wood and salmon to Washington, DC, where he and a crew of volunteers prepared a traditional salmon bake on the White House lawn for President Obama and the US Legislature. “It’s a fairytale—to have those four years with Leif, get to know Oregon and this hotel, and then go down to wine

country and get to know the winemakers, be mentored by and further refine my cooking with Nancy, and then be able to bring it all back together up here,” Smith says. He looks forward to the day when the renovation of Timberline Lodge and Silcox Hut are complete, and hopes that President Obama will rededicate the historic structures—and maybe attend one of his winemaker’s dinners at Silcox Hut.

Silcox Hut is likeTimberline Lodge, but in a much smaller, more Spartan, intimate setting. To get there, your options are to hike up the slope, or take a ride in the snowcat, a vehicle that combines tank, snowplow, and school bus in one super-snowtraversing machine. Plop down on one of the school bus-style bench seats and brace yourself for a bumpy but fun ride to the hut, where the grand feast awaits. The snowcat pulls right up to the hut, so it’s just a few steps through the snow to the hallway that leads to the great room. A long banquet table bedecked with wine glasses and plates, polished until gleaming, stretches out the length of the room. Scents of roasted meats and wine permeate the air. A fire radiates waves of warmth from the hearth at the far end of the table, dispelling any remaining chill. Glasses of wine are being poured and oysters on the half shell rest on a bed of—what else?—snow. As you take that first transcendent bite, look out the window at the snow outside and savor the safe and cozy confines of this haven that has comforted countless climbers before you. Now, take your seat and settle in for a five-course dinner featuring local, seasonal foods paired with some of the finest wines from Oregon.

Staying at Silcox Hut Except for those dates when a winemaker’s dinner is being held, Silcox Hut is available for small gatherings to rent. Once in a while conditions are too treacherous to trek up to the hut—usually in the fall when the weather can be at its wintry harshest. For more information visit call 503-272-3251. Guests who attend the winemaker’s dinners stay at the lodge. Snowcat transport leaves Timberline Lodge at 5:30pm; dinner starts at 6:30pm in Silcox Hut. For more information about the winemaker’s dinners visit winemakers-dinner-series/or call 503-272-3251. Below is a list of upcoming scheduled dates: March 24: Lange | April 21: Chehalem | May 19: Elk Cove | June 16: Ponzi | July 8: Archery Summit

Seats to these dinners have become hot tickets to one of the coldest places in the Northwest, so reservations are recommended; and of course it’s always worth checking to see if there have been any last-minute cancellations.

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


Photo by Steve Li


plating perfection Chef James Walt seeks out the freshest ingredients possible. His goal: nothing short of perfection on every plate. By Angela Allen


ake it perfect, people—perfect,” chef James Walt says as he oversees a plate of wild sockeye topped with farm-fresh peas and a glittering tiara of salmon caviar. Who gets to demand perfection so amiably, so persistently, so often—especially when it comes to farm-to-table food? James Walt, that’s who. This time, on a sizzling midsummer night in the Pemberton Valley, he’s orchestrating an Outstanding in the Field dinner for 162 guests. He’s without the conveniences of Araxi’s first-rate kitchen, which he’s helmed for 14 years in the mountainside resort town of Whistler, BC. But that’s no big deal. At this event, he’s cooking outdoors at the foot of Mount Currie on Jordan Sturdy’s 60-acre North Arm Farm. He’s using Sturdy’s produce, which he does every day at Araxi, but here there’s no time lapse. He creates courses on the spot with just-harvested squash blossoms and a dessert with strawberries plucked three hours earlier. Then there’s locally grown beef short rib fritters that some smitten guests manage to cajole the waitstaff into serving them twice. Unlike the typical perfectionist, however, Walt is cheerful about it all. The self-described “laid-back” chef with an earring and no tattoos is known as James—just James. He calls


march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

Photo courtesy Sooke harbour house

Photo by jo dickins

left: At the foot of Mount Currie, chef James Walt harvests squash

blossoms for an Oustanding in the Field dinner held at North Arm Farm in Pemberton Valley. above: At Sooke Harbour House, chefs are given free rein to be creative—as long as they cook with local products and present their food artistically. opposite: Sablefish with fresh peas and house-made gnocchi, one of chef James Walt’s seasonally inspired dishes on the menu at Araxi restaurant in Whistler, BC.

photo by John James Sherlock

himself “grounded,” as do those around him. At 43, he is not only one of British Columbia’s most approachable chefs, but also one of its most lauded.

Before the sold-out dinners and the release of

his acclaimed cookbook (more on that later), Walt grew up with a large garden and a food-crazy Scottish-Dutch family in the Ottawa Valley on the other side of Canada. “Food was a big part of everything we did,” he says. At 13, Walt began his culinary career at a restaurant near his home. He started washing pots and pans, worked his way up to prepping vegetables, and by 18 he was finishing dishes. He was hooked.

He entered Stratford Chefs School in Ontario, graduated, and grew curious about British Columbia, specifically this little place on Vancouver Island called Sooke Harbour House he’d heard amazing stories about. At Sooke, all the food, minus sugar, lemons, tea, and coffee, is grown within a 30-mile radius. “I wanted to check it out, so I ate there first,” he recalls. Impressed, Walt pursued a job there. He was hired and for the next four years, from 1992 to 1996, created eclectic daily menus from the inn’s spectacular gardens, the Strait of Juan de Fuca that flows in front of the hotel’s front porch, and produce sourced from nearby farmers and foragers, including

mushrooms and shellfish gathered by the innkeeper himself, Sinclair Philip. At Sooke Harbour House, chefs are given free rein to be creative—as long as they cook with local products and present their food artistically. “Our chefs can really experiment,” said Philip, who with his wife and fellow innkeeper, Frédérique, was honored in 2010 with the Governor General’s Award in Celebration of the Nation’s Table for longtime dedication to innovative, local, and ecologically responsible cuisine. “We pick chefs who are young and passionate and don’t want to be restricted. They don’t want to paint the same painting every day.”

The list of renowned chefs, in addition to Walt, who have cooked in Sooke Harbour House’s kitchen (see sidebar “House of Higher Cooking” on page 47) reads like a who's who of top Canadian chefs.

For Walt, Sooke provided a finishing school and

shaped his attitude toward fresh products. He thrived on working directly with the growers, fishermen, vintners, and others who raised their food with a passionate commitment to full flavor. “It was a playground,” he says. In 1997 he was hired at Araxi. Since then, he has led the 150-seat restaurant to a host of awards, including Vancouver Magazine’s “Best Whistler Restaurant” for 

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


Photo by Steve Li

Chef James Walt (right) continues Sooke’s tradition of farm-to-table cooking as he orchestrates dinner for 162 guests at North Arm Farm. Photo by angela allen

Arctic Char with Salsify, Crosnes, and Rutabaga

Continued from page 45

Courtesy of JamesWalt, executive chef, Araxi restaurant, Whistler, BC

Confit of vegetables

For the confit of vegetables:

• 1 cup crosnes

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil on high heat and add a generous pinch of salt. Add the crosnes, followed immediately by the baking soda (it will foam a bit, and then subside; the baking soda preserves the color of the vegetable) and cook for 6 minutes. Drain in a colander, then place the colander under cold running water and rub the crosnes around the colander to loosen the skins. Peel off and discard the skins, then transfer the crosnes to a large bowl and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the duck fat in a medium saucepan on low heat, then add the bay leaf, the rutabaga, and salsify. Increase the heat until small bubbles begin to form in the fat, and then reduce the heat to low, cover the vegetables with parchment paper, and cook gently for 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the salsify to a small bowl and cook the rutabaga for a further 15 minutes. Transfer the rutabaga to the bowl of salsify. Remove and discard the bay leaf. (The duck fat can be saved for 7 days in the fridge or frozen up to 1 month and used to confit other vegetables or duck.)

• 1 Tablespoon baking soda • 4 cups duck fat • 1 bay leaf • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into ¼ inch (5 mm) slices • 4 salsify roots, peeled and large diced • salt Arctic char

• 4 fillets Arctic char, each 5 oz (140 g), skin on but bones removed • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only • 2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil • 1 Tablespoon + 1/8 cup unsalted butter • Juice of 1 lemon


For the Arctic char:

Arrange the fillets, flesh-side down, on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, make five or six incisions, each 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, about a quarter of the way into the fish. Press a quarter of the garlic and a quarter of the thyme leaves into the incisions on each fillet.

march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

photo by John James Sherlock

North Arm Farm in Pemberton provides Araxi with many vegetables, including some uncommon ones such as crosnes, also known as Chinese artichokes, and salsify, which has a taste reminiscent of delicately flavored oysters that makes it a great accompaniment to seafood dishes. Chef Walt cooks vegetables in duck fat—a confit of vegetables—for enhanced flavor.

Heat the grapeseed oil and 1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Season the char with salt and pepper, then place the fish skin-side down in the pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the skin is golden brown and crispy. Remove the pan from the heat, turn the fillets over, and allow the char to rest in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the fish to a plate and keep warm. To plate:

Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan and stir in the lemon juice. Keep warm. Place the rutabaga and salsify and any juices in a sauté pan on medium heat and allow them to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Turn the vegetables over and add the crosnes. Heat for 3 minutes, or until the crosnes are warmed through. Divide the vegetables among 4 plates, top each serving with a fillet of Arctic char, and then drizzle with the melted butter. Wine recommendation:

The succulence of the fish, combined with the richness of the confit of vegetables and butter sauce, finds its foil in a white wine with verve and acidity. To pair, pour a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Washington’s Woodward Canyon or try the Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend from BC’s Black Hills Estate.

10 consecutive years. With a celebrated international and BC wine list, Araxi attracts a worldly clientele and pulls in food lovers who are a “little more open-minded” than typical diners, Walt says. Though Whistler has a handful of excellent restaurants and chefs, Walt is the only local chef to have cooked at the James Beard House three times (in 1998, 2002, and 2006), each time to a sold-out dining room. Walt’s cookbook, Araxi: Seasonal Recipes from the Celebrated Whistler Restaurant (2009), was nominated for a James Beard Award in the “Best Cookbook by a Chef” category. It didn’t win, but the 245-page cookbook has collected steady praise, including a Cordon d’Or for the “Best Illustrated Cookbook” and Gourmand World Cookbook Award’s “Best Chef Book in Canada.” The visually compelling book represents western British Columbia’s ingredients, featuring such recipes as a silky corn soup for summer and a wintertime Arctic char with salsify and rutabaga. “I’m not one to hide in the chef’s office and push papers,” Walt says as he sends out yet another picture-perfect plate for the assembled diners. “I like being on the line.” And that’s perfect for him. Read more by Angela Allen at









house of higher cooking L

menu is the unwritten interpretation of the season and region.” Last year he opened his own place, Stone Soup Inn, a B&B and restaurant in the rural Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. “I grow and forage as much as I can. The culinary philosophy is clearly gleaned from [Sooke]. It has never failed me.” In 2009, Edward Tuson 5 , who worked at Sooke for 11 years, opened The EdGe in Sooke. Located just a stone’s throw from the Strait of Juan de Fuca, The EdGe was named one of the “Ten Best New Restaurants in Canada” by Air Canada’s EnRoute magazine (as were Stone Soup Inn and Haisai). The legacy of Michael Stadtlander 6 —chef, environmentalist, artist, and all-around gastronomical guru—traces back to his time at Sooke in the mid-1980s. His newest venture is Haisai in Singhampton, Ontario, about two hours northwest of Toronto. The wine list is Ontario-only, and the menu features produce grown on Stadtlander’s own Eigensinn Farm. Sooke’s famed edible garden inspired chef Andrea Carlson’s 7 passion for local ingredients grown and produced in a sustainable manner, leading her to take courses on organic farming. Today she is the executive chef at Bishop’s in Vancouver. “When I was there [at Sooke], every day we wrote a list of what we wanted from the garden, and our menu changed every day,” recalls Rhonda Viani 8 , pastry chef at

Kitchen at Sooke Harbour House

Chef Robin Jackson

photos by Jo Dickins

ike James Walt, what do many of Canada’s most successful top chefs have in common? Time spent in the kitchen at Sooke Harbour House. Innkeepers Sinclair and Frédérique Philip opened for business 31 years ago, espousing their philosophy of locavorism long before it became mainstream. “We have been fortunate to work with such excellent, creative people,” says co-owner Frédérique Philip. “We offered them total freedom and creativity as long as they were serving local and seasonal food.” “I must have cleaned 500 fish a week. It’s where I learned everything,” says Melissa Craig 1 , who worked as an apprentice at Sooke from 1998 to 2001. Named the 2008 “Best Chef in Canada” at the Canadian Culinary Championships, Craig recalls learning every plant and its culinary use in the inn’s massive gardens, and even raising suckling pigs. Today, Craig is the executive chef at the award-winning Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler, where she oversees a team of 20 chefs. Sam Benedetto 2 , Sooke’s chef from 2000 to 2003, and again from 2007 to 2009, now helms the kitchen at Zambri’s in Victoria, BC. Chef-owner Peter Zambri 3 also cooked at Sooke Harbour House. During his stint from 1994 to 2000, Brock Windsor 4 forged strong relationships with farmers. “They are the real stars, as their art is wrought from the earth,” he says. “My

Vancouver’s West. “The local farmers would bring by whatever they had that day, and that was what was on the menu.” Current chef Robin Jackson 9 is an exemplar of today’s new breed of culinary journeyman. Before landing a coveted position at Sooke, he cooked up and down the West Coast from Southern California to Alaska. No mere chef, he also brings to his craft a college education in environmental science and marine biology, knowledge which informs his foraging expeditions: “Today I harvested daylily greens, and down at the seashore I grabbed some bull kelp and some sea lettuce, which is just in its beginning cycle right now.” This new infusion of talent and passion for the natural and culinary worlds is what keeps Sooke fresh. “We’re always striving for something new and original,” Jackson says. What culinary virtuosity has sprung from the kitchen at Sooke Harbour House!

For more information visit Sooke Harbour House, 528 Whiffen Spit Road, Sooke, BC, 250-642-3421,; Bearfoot Bistro, 121 Village Green, Whistler, BC, 604-932-3433; Zambri’s, 820 Yates Street, Victoria, BC, 250360-1171,; Stone Soup Inn, 6755 Cowichan Lake Rd., Lake Cowichan, BC, 250-749-3848,; The EdGe, 6686 Sooke Road, Sooke, BC, 778425-3343, www.edgerestaurant. ca; Bishop’s, 2183 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, 604-738-2025, www.; West, 2881 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC, 604738-8938, www.westrestaurant. com; Haisai, 794079 Country Rd., Singhampton, BC, 705-445-2748,

—Angela Allen & Peter Szymczak

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011



praising shellfish Photos by Geoffrey Smith and courtesy Oregon Department of fish and wildlife

By Ethan Stowell

left: Chef Ethan Stowell breaks from clam digging. Right: The Pacific razor clam is an exceptionally meaty shellfish abundant on Northwest ocean beaches.


might be biased, since I’m from Seattle. I’ll admit to that. But I dare you to argue that Washington State isn’t a damn good place to eat. The diners, the chefs, the farmers—we’re all in it together, enjoying the amazing foods from our backyards: a stellar array of wild mushrooms, juicy pears, crisp, flavorful apples, berries, lentils and grains.

But in my book, if there is a single food that defines Washington and sets us apart, it’s not apples. (Sorry Eastern Washington, I said I was biased.) No, seafood is our crowning glory, and our premier crop is shellfish. I think all kids in this state should be able to shuck an oyster by the time they are five, and I’m going to tell you why.


It begins with seasonality, a concept that is thankfully all the rage these days. Yes, eat those pears when they’re perfect, and wait for those first chanterelles. But wait we do, especially in these parts where there is no California sunbelt to extend our growing season to nine months of the year. In any given season there is shellfish available—be it razor clams, geoducks, clams, mussels, spot prawns, crabs, oysters—making for a delicious and versatile crop that is nearly always at the ready, a gift when the rain is falling and those spring vegetables are months off.

march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

It also has to do with eating local, the fraternal twin of seasonal eating. Because I’m a Seattleite, maybe you thought I was going to say salmon was our defining food. If so, a) you don’t know me very well, and b) Seattle might be famous for it, but we have Alaska to thank for that. Halibut, same thing. They’re fabulous fish and they do swim on the right coast, but if you’re adding up miles you’ll find it’s a long way from Bristol Bay to Seattle, and more than three-quarters of the salmon and halibut we eat hail from Alaskan waters. Thankfully, Puget Sound makes a perfect home for our local treasures. If you eat a geoduck in Washington, you know it was a local.

Lastly, of course, there is the sheer versatility and taste. It inspires me to the point I opened Anchovies & Olives, a restaurant showcasing seafood and featuring shellfish. As a chef I love that you can serve different parts of geoduck cooked or raw; that you can steam, boil, or broil clams and oysters, make fabulous salads, sandwiches, pastas, or just pop open an oyster and eat it right from the sea.

Baked Stellar Bay Kusshi Oysters with Garlic Breadcrumbs and Oregano Serves 4 as a first course

• ¼ cup breadcrumbs • 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped • 3 heaping Tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano • Grated zest of 1 lemon • 1 teaspoon kosher salt • Freshly cracked pepper • 24 Kusshi oysters • Rock salt • Juice of 2 lemons • Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the broiler on the lowest setting. Combine the breadcrumbs with the garlic, parsley, oregano, lemon zest, kosher salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Shuck the oysters over a bowl to catch the liquor. Discard the top shells. Put an inch or so of rock salt in a baking dish large enough to hold the shells. Stabilize the bottom shells in the rock salt and return the shucked oysters to their shells. Strain the reserved oyster liquor through a fine-mesh strainer and add the lemon juice. Divide the liquid among the oysters. Sprinkle the oysters very liberally with the breadcrumb mixture and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Broil for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crispy. Serve immediately. Reprinted with permission from Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen by Ethan Stowell and Leslie Miller, copyright © 2010. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House. Photo credit: Geoffrey Smith © 2010

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Northwest Palate | march/april 2011



casting a long

shadow by Cole Danehower

Under the umbrella of the Long Shadows Vintners name, some of the world’s most influential winemakers are shedding light on the huge potential of winemaking in Washington. 50


here is no other winery like it in the world. Seven individual wines made by seven globally famous winemakers at one state-of-the-art winery using only fruit grown in Washington’s Columbia Valley AVA. It’s an “only in the Northwest” kind of endeavor.

Long Shadows Vintners is the creation of Washington wine legend Allen Shoup. He hand-picked a group of equally iconic international winemakers to come to Washington to make wine. These are winemakers who, as Shoup puts it, cast “long shadows” thanks to their lasting influence on the improvement of wine quality. The goal of the winery is simple: prove that the Columbia Valley is world-class winegrowing territory. “Washington is at the very beginning of its viticultural history,” says Shoup, explaining the vision behind Long Shadows. “Viticultural regions last for a thousand years, so here we are very, very young. To take Washington to the next level, I wanted to see great winemakers from around the world coming here to make wine.” Shoup is in a special position to help make that happen. As former CEO of what is today Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, he was responsible for creating international partnerships that brought to Washington Italy’s Piero Antinori to craft Col Solare wines, and Ernst Loosen to make Eroica Riesling.

After retiring from Ste. Michelle, Shoup was determined to expand on his earlier vision by creating Long Shadows Vintners in 2002. He began by approaching individuals who had become famous both for the quality of their wines, and their mastery of particular varieties and styles: Armin Diel for Riesling, Randy Dunn for Cabernet Sauvignon, Michel Rolland for Merlot, John Duval for Syrah, Philippe Melka and Agustin Huneeus, Sr. for Bordeaux-style blends, and Ambogio and Giovanni Folonari for Sangiovese. Shoup offered a simple proposition to his invited winemakers: he would finance the development of a winery facility that met all their individual needs and give them each an ownership stake in their own winery to produce the single wine they would make from Columbia Valley fruit. They were to be partners, not consultants. In return they agreed to come to Washington each vintage to oversee fruit selection, determine the final blend, and the ultimate release of their wine. The opportunity at Long Shadows was intriguing. “To produce a high-class Riesling near the 45th parallel, in comparison to

the 50th parallel in Germany, was a challenge I could not resist,” says Armin Diehl, of Schlossgut Diehl in Germany’s Nahe region. “I had a basic understanding of Washington,” says John Duval, whose work with Syrah at Australia’s Penfolds gained worldwide acclaim. “When I visited with Long Shadows in September 2003 and saw the potential of the top Syrah vineyards, I was excited.” Similarly, famed Napa Valley Cabernet virtuoso Randy Dunn was attracted. “Eastern Washington is a neat area and an example of diverse agriculture that we don’t have in Napa Valley,” he says. “The area is basically a desert that has the luxury of a lot of water running through it and the viticulture is very different—I knew this would be a fun project.” But to make the project succeed, Shoup needed not only a winery flexible enough to meet the needs of each vintner, but also a resident winemaker who could work smoothly with each of the partners to execute their processes and shepherd their wines, day-today, throughout the year.

At left: Hanging over The Benches estate vineyards like a grape cluster is a montage of Long Shadows partners/winemakers: Allen Shoup (at top, then clockwise, spiraling inward), Agustin Huneeus, Sr., Randy Dunn, Gilles Nicault, Giovanni Folonari, Michel Rolland, Philippe Melka, John Duval, and Armin Diel. Above: Sleek and modernistic, the Long Shadows winery affords each winemaker all the tools he needs to craft his individual wine. photos courtesy Long Shadows Vintners

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


Different methods require a lot of flexibility and a variety of tools in the winery— which helps account for the multimillion dollar, incredibly well-equipped winery building outside of Walla Walla. When Shoup was approached by Gilles Nicault, he knew he had his winemaker. The French-born Nicault had both international and Washington-specific experience, having made wine in the state since 1994 and as winemaker for Woodward Canyon since 1999. “I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with masters,” says Nicault. It has also been a challenging learning experience. “You might think that there is some traditional way to make wine that is similar in the way everyone does it,” says Nicault, “but I know now that no winemaker is the same.” For instance, says Nicault, Randy Dunn “likes really concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon, but also is against high alcohols, so I have to be very exact and pick on just the right day, as soon as the seeds turn brown and the stems begin to lignify.” By contrast, Nicault sees Michel Rolland, one of the best-known winemakers in the world, as being more tolerant of maturation and willing to allow additional time


to achieve ripeness. “He doesn’t like overmaturation,” says Nicault, “but I have more days to pick as he wants well-lignified and really brown seeds.” Techniques vary in the cellar as well. Syrah specialist John Duval uses stainless steel tanks for fermenting, and often employs extended maceration as well as a rack-andreturn process that removes the fermenting juice from the skins and then returns it. These techniques are designed to minimize harsh tannins by providing a gentle process of extraction. Napa Valley veteran Philippe Melka is also after silky tannins, says Nicault, but achieves them differently. Some lots of his wine are fermented in steel and others in 400-liter oak barrels. Like Duval, Melka doesn’t rely on punch-downs or pump-overs to extract color and flavor from the skins, but instead rotates the fermenting barrels in order to be as gentle as possible. Such different methods require a lot of flexibility and a variety of tools in the winery—which helps account for the multi-

million dollar, incredibly well-equipped winery building outside of Walla Walla. “What I promised them,” says Shoup, “was that they would have no excuse from a production standpoint not to make great wines.”

But what about the fruit?

After all, great wine (they say) is made in the vineyard, and each of the Long Shadows winemakers is famous for working with some of the world’s finest vineyards. The most consistent element at Long Shadows (besides Nicault and Shoup) is Columbia Valley fruit. The winemakers are sometimes dismayed at the distances they have to travel, but as they visit the vineyards throughout the region they come to appreciate the varied mesoclimates and flavors each appellation can deliver. “They’re all amazed at the quality of fruit here,” says Shoup. Philippe Melka, for example, says he was surprised by the “consistency of wine quality for all the appellations. I was thinking that Merlot grapes were the most expressive of this region … but I realized that most of the varieties are

From vine to vat, each Long Shadows winemaker follows a different winemaking process, requiring multiple equipment and process regimes in the winery in order to reach the finished, bottled wine.

march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

performing extremely well, from Cabernet, Merlot, through Syrah and Riesling.” Duval also likes the qualities of Washington fruit. “The elegance and the more savory expression of Syrah have been a nice surprise,” he comments. “With eight vintages under our belt, I am no less excited by the prospect of making great Syrah at Long Shadows.” The combination of fruit quality and vine youth appeals to the winemakers, who say they did not come to Washington with a preconceived formula of how to make wine here, but rather wanted to make wine here that reflected what they found in the fruit. “I think all of them were excited by their early experiences with growers here,” observes Shoup. “While they didn’t come here to show Washington how to make wine, they also were amazed to find the vineyard owners to be open vessels of willingness about how to improve the quality of their fruit. The growers would learn from the winemakers, and the winemakers would learn from the growers.” And learn they did. “Each of them would say something different about what is the character of Washington wine,” says Nicault. “For me it is difficult to put a name on it, but I think most would agree that it has to do with the texture of the tannins—the heat of the day melts and ripens the tannins nicely and the cool nights help them keep freshness. I love the freshness of the fruit here. We get great flavors.”

Each of the Long Shadows wines has evolved as the winemakers

become better acquainted with Washington terroir—a little more oak here, a little less maceration there, variable blending ratios depending on the vintage, perhaps a shift in fermentation technique. The result is explicitly not a recreation of their “home” wines, but rather their personal expression of what Washington is. And the critical raves for the wines have been impressive. All of the Long Shadows wines have achieved 90+ ratings from The Wine Spectator, for instance. But the thing that pleases Shoup the most about the success of Long Shadows is just how impressed each of the winemakers has been with Washington. “I think they’d all admit that they were not prepared to find the fruit as good as it is. Take any wine region in the world and they’ve all got some kind of viticultural challenge to deal with that we don’t have here.” Bordeaux, Shoup points

As resident winemaker, Gilles Nicault carefully manages the vines for each winemaker, determining when to pick in order to meet their individual needs. This challenge is made all the more difficult by the many mesoclimates among the vineyards that grow grapes for Long Shadows.

out, can get cold wet summers, Australia can have too much heat, in California the vines don’t always go dormant, in some places irrigation is not allowed, and in many regions the vines aren’t on their own roots. None of those challenges exist in Washington. “Coming into the project they just didn’t realize what we can grow here.” Which is not to say that Washington beats out the winemakers’ home territories. After all, without exception the vines these winemakers work with at home are much older, and often more expressive, than what is possible with Washington’s much younger vineyards. “The wines produced [here] have the character of a young wine country,” explains Melka, “more fruit-driven than earthy/terroir characters. I feel that the wines overall will become more distinguished with time as the vines get older.” No doubt. But in the meantime, Shoup is happy to see his belief in Washington’s wine quality proven, and his Long Shadows project a hit with the winemakers. “My most pleasant surprise has been to see the enthusiasm I’ve watched each one of them develop for the wines they were making. It is so gratifying to see the sense of pleasure and accomplishment that they have.” Has Washington’s wine quality been validated? It would seem so—at least for this group of winemakers. 

The combination of fruit quality and vine youth appeals to the winemakers, who say they did not come to Washington with a preconceived formula of how to make wine here, but rather wanted to make wine here that reflected what they found in the fruit.

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


The Winemakers and their Wines




Winemakers: Gilles Nicault & Allen Shoup (Long Shadows, Walla Walla, Washington)

Winemaker: Randy Dunn (Napa Valley, California)

Winemakers: Philippe Melka (Melka Wines, Napa Valley, California) & Agustin Huneeus, Sr. (Quintessa, Napa Valley, California)

After early winemaking experience in Côtes du Rhône, Provence, and Champagne, Gilles Nicault moved to Washington, where he’s been making wine since 1994. Nicault joined Long Shadows as its first in-house winemaker after a storied stint at Woodward Canyon, a seminal Walla Walla Valley winery. Allen Shoup spent 20 years at what is now Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, making it the largest winery in the Northwest and one of the ten biggest brands in the US, before founding Long Shadows Vintners in 2002. Chester-Kidder (named after Shoup’s grandparents) is a New World blend intended to capture the complexity of the Columbia Valley. It is composed of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, with small amounts of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Fruit is sourced from Red Mountain and nearby Candy Mountain—some of the warmest sites in the region—as well as from the Wahluke Slope, Walla Walla Valley, and Horse Heaven Hills appellations. The wine is aged an average of 30 months in predominantly French oak, plus a small amount of Hungarian oak. 2002 was the first vintage, and a little more than 1,600 cases were made in the currently available 2006 vintage.


march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

In 1978 Randy Dunn purchased the original 14 acres on Howell Mountain of what now constitutes one of the most revered Cabernet sources in California. Since its first vintage in 1988, the Dunn Vineyards Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon has been an iconic New World wine, noted for intense concentration, vibrant varietal flavors, distinct power, and (relatively) low alcohol. Dunn’s Long Shadows wine, Feather, is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and sourced from a variety of vineyards, including both The Benches in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA, Weinbau Vineyard in the Wahluke Slope AVA, as well as sources in Red Mountain and elsewhere in the Columbia Valley. Dunn inspects his vineyards periodically. Fruit is hand-harvested and fermented in small stainless steel vats, and then aged 22 months in new French oak using the same cooper (Vicard) as Dunn uses in California. The first Feather vintage was 2003; 1,991 cases were made of the current 2007 version.

Philippe Melka was named one of the top nine wine consultants in the world by Robert Parker and has extensive experience in Bordeaux (Haut-Brion and Pétrus) and Napa Valley (Dominus, Bryant Family, and many others), where he also makes his own Métisse and CJ wines. Agustin Huneeus, Sr. began his wine career in 1960 as CEO of Concha y Toro in Chile, growing that small winery into an international powerhouse. Subsequently, he headed Seagrams worldwide operations and later, as partner and acting president, transformed Franciscan Estates. Today he and his wife Valeria own Quintessa estate winery in Rutherford, California. Melka and Huneeus consult together on Pirouette, a classic Bordeaux-style blend driven by Cabernet Sauvignon with decreasing proportions of Merlot,

Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. Fruit comes from low-yielding sources in the Wahluke Slope AVA, including Sagemoor’s Old Vine Vineyard, as well as The Benches Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills. Incoming grapes are hand-sorted and given different fermentation regimes in small lots, including both stainless steel and oak fermenters. Instead of punch-downs, barrels are rotated for maximum delicacy of extraction. The wine is aged for 22 months in 70 percent new French oak. The first release was in 2003; 1,684 cases were made of the current 2007 release.

Poet’s Leap




Winemaker: Armin Diel (Schlossgut Diel, Burg Layden, Germany)

Winemakers: Ambrogio & Giovanni Folonari (Ambrogio e Giovanni Folonari Tenute, Greve in Chianti, Tuscany, Italy)

Winemaker: Michel Rolland (Le Bon Pasteur, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France)

Winemaker: John Duval (John Duval Wines, Tanunda, Barossa Valley, South Australia, Australia)

Perhaps the most influential winemaker in the world, Michel Rolland consults with over 100 premier wineries across the globe in addition to his own wines under the Rolland Collection umbrella, including his family’s estate, Le Bon Pasteur in Bordeaux. His techniques have been employed under his tutelage by many of the world’s finest producers, and his wines are noted for their sumptuous fruit, plush structure, and rich texture. Pedestal is a Merlot-driven blend that has varied between 86% and 75% Merlot since its first vintage in 2003, with smaller amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and, depending on the vintage, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, or Malbec. Fruit is predominantly sourced from Red Mountain, Wahluke Slope, and Horse Heaven Hills. Grapes are doublesorted, undergo whole-berry fermentation, and are aged 22 months in French oak from a variety of coopers. In 2007, 2,005 cases were produced.

After 29 years of making wine (including the post of chief winemaker) for Penfolds, one of the world’s most famous and respected wineries, John Duval started his own wine label in 2003. Also in 2003 he joined Long Shadows to craft from Columbia Valley fruit a wine from his favored variety, Syrah. Duval’s 2007 Sequel is 98% Syrah with a 2% soupçon of Cabernet Sauvignon and comes from fruit grown at The Benches Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills, Boushey Vineyard in Yakima Valley, and diverse selected sites from around the Columbia Valley. Harvested fruit is often cold-soaked and given extended maceration of up to 30 days. During fermentation, juice is removed off the skins and solids, and then returned in a “rackand-return” process for softer extraction. The wine is aged for 18 months in 65% new French oak and a proportion of American oak; 1,950 cases were made of the current release.

The Diel family has owned and operated Schlossgut Diel since 1802, producing renowned Riesling wines from the Nahe in a variety of styles, but always with signature rich fruitiness and supple texture. Diel, also well known as a wine writer and author, is considered something of a maverick by some, which makes it fitting that his Poet’s Leap was the first of the Long Shadows wines to be introduced. Diel selects only Riesling fruit from a block of German clones at the estate vineyard, The Benches, which were planted specifically for use in Poet’s Leap. Adding to the blend are old vine (for Washington, at least) Riesling grapes planted in 1972 from the Dionysus Vineyard and fruit selected from cooler Yakima Valley sites. The first vintage of Poet’s Leap was in 2005 and now around 3,200 cases are made each year.

The Folonari family’s winemaking history extends as far back as the 18th century in Tuscany. More recently, Ambrogio was president of Ruffino, originally purchased by his grandfather. He left in 2000 with son Giovanni to establish the current company, built around a core of prime properties including the wellknown estates of Tenuta di Nozzole and Tenute del Cabreo. For Long Shadows the Folonari craft a Super Tuscanstyle blend called Saggi (meaning wisdom), composed in 2008 of 45% Sangiovese, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Syrah coming primarily from the Horse Heaven Hills, Red Mountain, and Yakima Valley AVAs. The hand-picked grapes are fermented in twoand four-ton tanks for an extended period of up to 30 days, and then typically aged in small French oak for 18 months.

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


tasting notes wine views & reviews

Averill Creek BC

continued from page 25


Exceptional Highly Recommended

Tasting Notes provide readers with descriptive reviews of Northwest wines as an aid to finding wines they may like. All wines are reviewed blind (we do not know the producer). Well-made, pleasing-to-drink wines that display good varietal character and balance are Recommended. Wines that offer additional complexity, character, and persistence of flavors are Highly Recommended. The Exceptional rating is given to memorable wines that display varietal or stylistic purity, have seamless balance, and display profound character.

w Pinot


The flavor hallmarks of Pinot Gris include lemon-lime, melon, green apple, pear, pineapple, and grapefruit. These aren’t the only flavors, but good Gris often has some combination of these characters. Often the aromas display a sense of spice, ginger, citrus blossom, and/or honeysuckle. If oak is used, there are frequently vanilla and lemon curd tones. Winemakers have latitude in their stylistic choices. Pinot Gris can be made in a light and refreshing style that emphasizes clean acidity and fresh fruit, or it can be made in an oak-aged, rich, and emollient manner, stressing a full and round character. And remember, Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are the same grape.

2008 Pinot Gris, Vancouver Island VQA Partial malolactic fermentation contributes to a round-textured mouthfeel. Barrique treatment imparts vanilla hints. Varietal character is demonstrated by fragrant floral, ripe pear, and earthy walnut. Lighter-styled 12% alcohol ensures refreshment. Try with salmon tartare on toast. (900 cases made.) $20 cdn

Baillie-Grohman BC 2009 Pinot Gris, Creston Valley, British Columbia VQA Impressive first release from third-leaf vines from pioneering wine region by U.S. border. Effusive honeysuckle aromas join layers of apples, pears, citrus, and peach. Good mid-palate fruit concentration, with lingering mineral and honeyed residual sugar. A match for Asian-style pork. (135 cases made.) $22 cdn

Burrowing Owl BC 2009 Pinot Gris, Okanagan Valley VQA Apple pie, poached pear, and baking spice offer first impressions. More roundly textured than previous vintages. Lots of earthy pear and fruit peel flavors persist to the long, spice-flecked finish. Good match with vegetable torte. $20 cdn

w Riesling

Washington state makes more Riesling than any other place in the world. Long a frowned-upon varietal due to the masses of mediocre wines, Northwest producers in particular are changing that perception. Increasingly, amounts of well-made, even extraordinary, Rieslings are being produced in the Northwest. The relative abundance of cool-climate growing areas here is one reason, but even where growing conditions are very warm, like in eastern Washington, the cold nights and diurnal range give Northwest Rieslings strong varietal character and clean, crisp fruit flavors.

Brooks OR  2008 Riesling, Ara, Willamette Valley Dry. A somewhat subdued nose displays scents of dried mint combined with a creamy sense of citrus. In the mouth the wine takes off with an unexpected but satisfying juxtaposition of minerality and woodsy tones, reminiscent of river rocks and cedar shavings, evoking a feeling of hiking along a mountain stream. A complex Riesling with underlying tastes of dried apple and honeyed grapefruit, and a touch of lemony acidity adding verve. A prime candidate for cellaring, or pairing tonight with an über-classic Alsatian choucroute. $25

Chateau Ste. Michelle WA

Chateau Ste. Michelle WA 2009 Riesling, Cold Creek Vineyard, Columbia Valley  Medium dry. Subdued aromas of toasted nuts and broiled grapefruit are gentle in the nose. Light in style, with good flavors of spicy lemon-lime, kumquat, and green apples delivered on a gently sweet palate. There are hints of spice and minerality lurking in the background, but the wine seems tightly wound and might benefit from an additional year or two in the cellar before serving with Dungeness crab and drawn butter. $20

2009 Riesling, Eroica, Columbia Valley 


march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

photos by erin thomas

Off-dry. Clean aromas of melon and apple are fresh and forward. On the palate jazzy flavors of crisp Granny Smith apple, peach, and green melon are full and substantial, yet bright and forward thanks to great acidity. While the fruitiness is both lush and fresh, there is a keen balance between sweet and tart; a subtle background note of petrol-like spice adds complexity. The finish shows plenty of fruit, but also an apple skin bite. This apple-focused Riesling would be wonderful with coppa-wrapped scallop skewers with apple slaw. $20



Wild Goose BC

Elk Cove OR

2009 Riesling, Okanagan Valley VQA Off-dry. Mature

2009 Riesling, Estate, Willamette Valley Dry. Gentle waves of mixed grapefruit, mint, and mineral scents are somewhat subdued on the nose, yet incite thoughts of rain-dampened gravel. Much more energetic on the palate than the nose would suggest, multiple flavors of sweet peach, pear, and grapefruit are bright, lively, and fresh, giving a jaunty feel to the wine in the mouth. Good acidity focuses the flavors well, and notes of piquant spice and bitter tangerine peel add a rakish element. Excellent length extends into the fresh finish, leaving you craving more of this energetic wine. Pair with Chinese steamed buns for a sensual treat. (996 cases made.) $19

Mission Hill BC

25-year-old Okanagan Falls vines unveil delightfully aromatic fruit character with well-structured mineral notes. Papaya, pineapple, and spice scents precede flavors of tangy green apple, lemon-lime, and lingering hints of honey. Appetizing with canapés. $19 cdn

Wild Goose BC 2009 Riesling, Stoney Slope, Okanagan Valley VQA Medium dry. The southwest-facing, gravelly site unleashes exceptionally complex fruit. Enticing honeysuckle and tangerine on the nose. Rich fruit flavors speckled with cumin, nutmeg, and ginger on the palate. Wild honey and wet slate reverberate on the finish. Match with Asian-spiced chicken dishes. $20 cdn

2008 Riesling, Reserve, Okanagan Valley VQA Off-dry. The complex spectrum of aromas and flavors features elderflower, pear, apple, nectarine, and petrol notes. Tangy acidity plays well with the lingering honeydew melon and citrus peel on the finish. Pair with Asian pork dishes. $19 cdn

Poet’s Leap WA 2009 Riesling, Columbia Valley 

Silver Lake WA  2009 Riesling, Roza, Rattlesnake Hills Sweet. Creamy-seeming scents of clover and honey are sweet and dessert-like. On the palate sweet honey and candied pineapple flavors are forward and lush. Accents of orange marmalade and a touch of spice give some complexity to the sweet and almost sugary core. Sufficient acidity keeps the wine from being cloying. While not complex or layered, it is an exemplary after-dinner sipper, with or without cheese. Good value. $12

Tastes dry. Intense and extremely balanced aromas of white peach, melon, wet stones, and dried citrus blossoms. Dynamic in the mouth with almost electric flavors of peach, melon, and lime, all made lively by zestful acidity and a sense of stark minerality. Though the acidity gives a feeling of lean elegance, the fruit is actually quite full and rich on the mid-palate, with plenty of depth. There is a gentle nip of white pepper and spice at the back of the throat and extending into the long finish. A remarkably fruity and crisp Riesling that, while it will undoubtedly age well, would be delicious with fresh-shucked oysters. (3,200 cases made.) $20












Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


w Chardonnay

Chardonnay remains one of the most popular wines in America, and the Northwest as well. In fact, more Chardonnay is made in Washington than any other variety, and it is the second most produced in British Columbia. Northwest vintners seem to be homing in on a style that balances crisp fresh fruit flavors (often achieved by steel tanks and a lack of malolactic fermentation) with round mouth-filling richness (usually from wood fermentation and/or ageing, plus malolactic fermentation).

Apolloni OR 2009 Chardonnay, Willamette Valley  A mélange of spice and fruit notes compose the eclectic nose, including green melon, pear, and grass. In the mouth flavors of kiwi, apricot, and melon are rich and satisfying, yet they also have a distinct verve thanks to fresh acidity. A sense of talc and grape skin imparts a gentle bite that complements the tropical fruit sense of this wine. The finish is long and flavorful. Serve with avocado soup. (348 cases made.) $18

Girly Girl WA 2008 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley Aromas of citrus juice and clean oak are forward. On the tongue plenty of green apple, lemon, and melon flavors are lively and straightforward. There is a tangy quality, with perhaps a touch of sour bite to the finish, but otherwise a clean and uncomplicated Chardonnay. Serve with cold roast chicken. (600 cases made.) $16

Pacific Breeze BC 2009 Chardonnay, Sangiacomo Vineyards, Carneros, California Although sourced from

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an ocean-influenced region, it exhibits a riper, richer style than expected. Yet, despite caramel, tropical fruit, and toasty oak characteristics, the acidity plays brightly, so will appease cool-clime palates. Serve with dishes treated by grill or with cream. (Vinified in New Westminster, BC; 250 cases made.) $23 cdn

Pend d’Oreille ID 2008 Chardonnay, Idaho Ample aromas of toasty oak and ripe pear are expansive in the assertive nose. On the tongue flavors of candied apple, butterscotch, and lemon meringue are lush, yet backed by good acidity that keeps everything fresh. The finish has verve and lasting fruitiness. Pair this wine with roast pheasant to contrast the radiant fruitiness of the wine with the earthy gaminess of the fowl. (675 cases made.) $16

Phelps Creek OR 2009 Chardonnay, Unoaked, Columbia Gorge Fresh and clean aromas of pear and melon are enticing on the forward nose. Equally pleasing full-on melon, white peach, and apple flavors are bright and fresh on the tongue. Plenty of acidity keeps the flavors lively, while a gentle roundness provides balance. Texturally there is surprising viscosity and weight, which helps give a feeling of substance to the wine. Though boldly styled, this Chardonnay would pair well with mahi mahi or other firm-fleshed fish. (567 cases made.) $18

Seven of Hearts OR 2009 Chardonnay, Crawford Beck Vineyard, Eola-Amity Hills 

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Fresh peach and crushed white fruit aromas are tinged with gentle oakiness on the nose. Mouth-filling flavors of candied peach, pineapple, and melon are given a jaunty character thanks to bright acidity, yet the substantial fruitiness has a more mellow aspect thanks to a background note of vanilla. Well balanced and a definite crowd pleaser. Pair with panfried chicken for an intriguing treat. (231 cases made.) $24

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march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate



Long a backwater of wine styles, more and more vintners are experimenting with creative blends of white varieties. Helping spur this trend is the increasing attention paid in the Northwest to Rhône grapes such as Viognier, Roussanne, and Marssane. These are still relatively new varieties here, but their tradition of being blending components is well established in Europe. Also popular are the more familiar white Bordeaux-style blends. Flavor-focused Northwest wine drinkers can find many intriguing new wines in this category.

Twisted Tree BC 2009 Viognier Roussanne, Okanagan Valley VQA Sourced from warm Osoyoos


2008’s released

Open for tasting daily! Reserve a room 30 days in advance and get a 10% discount.

East Bench estate fruit, this Rhône-inspired blend expresses varietal character. Stone fruits gush forth on both nose and palate. Rich peach and orange oil embrace the long, spicy finish. Its heft can handle a coconut sauce-based seafood dish. (52% Viognier, 47% Roussanne, 1% Marsanne; 560 cases made.) $22 cdn

w Other


There’s been a lot of activity in our region with new white varieties. Such unaccustomed grapes as Albariño, Auxerrois, Grüner Veltliner, Vermentino, and the aforementioned Roussanne and Marsanne are showing up in the market next to the more frequently found, yet still new to many, Viognier.

Wines true to the soil Wines true to the vintage®

Please celebrate Earth Day with us!

Saturday, April 23 – Sunday, April 24

10 am – 3 pm We will be releasing our new 2008 Dijon Clones and Wadenswil Clone Pinot Noirs, and pouring limited production Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay, Viognier, and Satisfaction Syrah. Kindest Regards, Dena & Ernie Youngberg Hill on


Vineyard & Winery

13531 Bursell Road, Dallas, Oregon Please visit our website for driving directions and to learn more:

Now in Carlton!

Mission Hill BC 2008 Viognier, Reserve, Okanagan Valley VQA Impresses with fragrant nose and

Tasting Room

complex flavors of orange blossom, stone fruits, tangerine, and spicy pineapple. Fresh acidity balances upfront peachiness, rich texture, and tangy lemon finish. Its elegance and viscosity pairs well with a variety of cheeses. Good value. $19 cdn

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Quails’ Gate BC 2009 Chenin Blanc, Okanagan Valley VQA Complex aromas and flavors of fresh grass, apple, citrus, melon, honey, and dried herbs command attention. Its lively acidity, unctuous texture, and elegant balance ensure food friendliness. Pair with savory seafood dishes, such as zuppa di pesce. (Includes 6% Sauvignon Blanc.) $19 cdn

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Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


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The wine grape variety most closely associated with Oregon had a great vintage in 2008. With growing conditions seemingly ideal for achieving the optimum combination of pure varietal flavors and full color and body, national critics have been raving about the state’s wines. And not without reason! While excellent wines are made in every vintage, no matter how panned that vintage might be (read: 2007), so far 2008 is displaying a multitude of fine wines.

Colene Clemens Vineyards OR 2008 Pinot Noir, Estate Reserve, Chehalem Mountains  Wonderful earthy and brambly aromas of dark cherry fruit with a subtle sense of cinnamon spice show in the background on the alluring nose. Immediately elegant, in the mouth rich flavors of ripe cherries mingle with dusky notes of mushroom and forest floor to create an intriguing quality of savory fruitiness. Though silky on the attack, a dust of finely honed tannins appears on the finish to give the wine a gentle, but apparent, structure. Reminiscent of Oregon Pinots of old, the perfectly balanced acidity, yummy flavors, and excellent grip make this a delectable wine. (440 cases made.) $42

Elk Cove Vineyards OR  2008 Pinot Noir, La Bohème, Willamette Valley Soft tones of dried mint and fleeting hints of sassafras are subtle on the nose at first, though time in the glass helps the aromas open considerably and show more fruitiness. In the mouth the wine has an immediate twang of tart raspberry and strawberry flavors, followed by gentle barrel and baking spice accents. Remarkably silken in texture for such a high-toned wine, the acidity gives distinct freshness while the tannin structure is fine and firm. There’s a lot of tight-knit power in this Pinot. Though quite tasty today, this well-balanced wine should age beautifully for 5-7 more years. (513 cases made.) $40

Erath OR  2008 Pinot Noir, Knight’s Gambit, Dundee Hills Lush scents of cherries, vanilla, and cola waft easily from the glass. On the tongue a silky texture carries seamless flavors of black cherry and blackberry fruit, backed by a gentle sense of dusty forest floor. Sweet fruit and tart acidity are delightfully balanced, and a barely noticeable dusting of fine tannins adds background structure. Quite youthful and a little closed, this Pinot needs an additional 2-5 years of cellaring to show at its best. $50

Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery BC 2008 Fats Johnson Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley VQA Fragrantly fresh floral, strawberry, and forest floor aromas capture attention. Firm acidity sets up taut cranberry and juicy cherry flavors, backed by lithe tannins. Clean minerality on the finish. Serve with prosciutto-inspired small plates. (4% Gamay.) Good value. $17 cdn

Lange Estate Winery & Vineyards OR 2008 Pinot Noir, Three Hills Cuvée, Willamette Valley Expansive aromas of sweet lavender, crushed rose petals, and red cherry fruits, ringed by notes of dry, dusty earth, are quite complex and distinctly alluring. On the tongue the wine delivers fresh and sweet flavors of ripe blackberries and black raspberries, backed by bitter orange zest and spice that adds layers of interest. Very well balanced with freshening acidity that frames the flavors, and fine—though distinct—tannins that speak of a long life for this wine. The finish is quite lengthy and rich with flavor. Pair this with a flamebroiled steak and mushrooms, or better yet, buy multiple bottles and put some away for 6-7 years of bottle ageing. (720 cases made.) $40

Luminous Hills OR 2009 Pinot Noir, Lux, Yamhill-Carlton District Attractive aromas of rose petals and red cherries combine with notes of dried tobacco and mushroom to create a sweet-savory nose. Lean in the mouth with a silky texture, upon first sip the wine delivers punchy flavors of tasty candied red cherries with a forest floor foundation. Additional sips show the fruit to have an appealing additional quality of dried roses and a nutty note of almond pit. The whole is quite elegant, with polished tannins, ample acidity, and a rousing finish that lingers well. Still a baby, this is a wine to cellar for 2-3 years to gain even more integration. (147 cases made.) $35


march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

Phelps Creek Vineyards OR 2009 Pinot Noir, Le Petit, Columbia Gorge Pretty blushing rose color and aromas that combine a leafy, herbal quality with scents of crushed red fruits create an appealing first impression for this wine. On the attack the wine delivers gently sweet notes of strawberries and red cherries, with buoyant acidity and definite fine tannins. A perky little Pinot in an easy-toquaff, friendly, and simplistic style. Pair with cold smoked chicken. (555 cases made.) $20

“2009 Washington Winery of the Year” Wine Press Northwest

“Best destination winery”

Seattle Magazine

Phelps Creek Vineyards OR 2008 Pinot Noir, Cuvée Alexandrine, Columbia Gorge  Distinctive and rather assertive aromas of savory dried hay, basil, roasted nuts, and dried fruit—more spicy than fruity, more savory than sweet. On the palate the wine delivers an immediate sense of dried and slightly sour red cherry fruit, ringed with graphite and minerals, a slight sense of barrel oak, and an earthy quality reminiscent of damp autumn leaves. Nicely balanced between fruit, acidity, and gentle tannins, there is good concentration of flavors and the finish is admirably long. This is a distinctively styled Pinot that, while well made and quite intriguing, will not appeal to every palate. Pairing it with herb-grilled salmon will undoubtedly bring out its best. (122 cases made.) $42

Come taste our nationally acclaimed wines and enjoy the stunning views on our extensive arbor.

Visit for a Toast to Passion February 12, 13 for Valentine’s Day Weekend

Art, Wine & Music


9774 Hwy. 14 Goldendale, WA

Visit our tasting room and sip bold Northwest red wines

OPEN DAILY 11am-5pm Then, savor Mediterranean-inspired cuisine in the Cucina and see why Food & Wine named us one of Oregon’s “Best New Restaurants of the Year!” 750 West Lincoln • Carlton, Oregon | 503-852-0002

w Merlot

Merlot is making a comeback. This everpopular grape endured a body blow to its respectability with the release years ago of a movie called Sideways, wherein a dubious character effectively mocked Merlot in favor of Pinot Noir. Not so fast. Merlot sales are on the rise again and more and more beautiful examples are being made in the Northwest’s warmer reaches.

The Ultimate Wine Country Experience

Arbor Crest WA 2007 Merlot, Four  Vineyards, Columbia Valley Bold aromas of

Pride. Passion. Pinot.

Tasting Room Hours Nov-March: Thurs-Sun, Noon-5pm April-October: Daily, 11am-5pm photos by erin thomas

crushed red and black fruits with hints of mint, mocha, and earth are expansive. On the palate the wine is dark and concentrated, with a crescendo of black cherry, plum, cola, chocolate, and coffee flavors. Definite tannin structure and a hefty sense of weight on the palate make this a wine to pair with steak frites. (2,500 cases made.) $18

Come celebrate the wine experience, Cuban style!!

26830 NW Olson Rd Gaston, OR 503.662.4545 •

open daily tasting starting April 1st 11am - 5pm 1754 Best Rd NW, Salem, Or 97304 503.588.1763 Check us out on facebook and twitter

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


Columbia Crest WA 2007 Merlot, Grand Estates, Columbia Valley  Wafts of mocha, vanilla, plum, and toasted nuts greet the nose. Clean flavors of loganberry, black raspberry, and plum are lean in style, yet full of flavors on the medium-bodied palate. There are definite notes of toasty oak, but they are well balanced and don’t get in the way of the fruit. The fine-grained tannins are in the background, and the overall lighter style conveys a pleasing sense of easy-going quaffability. A great house wine, serve with any informal meat dish—perhaps spaghetti bolognese. $18

Chateau Ste. Michelle WA 2007 Merlot, Canoe Ridge Estate, Horse Heaven Hills  A swirl of cinnamon, tar, crushed black fruits, and smoke greets the nose. Lush blackberry and cherry fruitiness fills the mouth with easy quaffing flavors, while balancing acidity gives lift to the wine. Touches of vanilla and oak complement the ripe fruit, while dusty and finegrained tannins add a pleasing structure. Serve this with braised rabbit and prunes for a great taste combination. (9,000 cases made.) $25


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Chateau Ste. Michelle WA 2006 Merlot, Columbia Valley Scents of tobacco, earth, and dried cherries provide a slightly savory aspect on the nose. Plump and full on the palate, flavors of ripe cherries and blackberries combine with mocha and a sense of cigar box spice to give a rich and satisfying taste. Sufficient acidity and plenty of furry tannins add ample grip, while the finish is full and medium-long. Serve with Italian-style lamb, abbacchio alla romana. $15

2008 Mount Richmond PiNOT NOiR



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march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

2007 Merlot, Columbia Valley  Initial notes of dried garden leaf and dusty earth blow off to display underlying plum fruit scents. Dark and somewhat ponderous on the palate, plenty of black raspberry and plum flavors are given depth by notes of graphite and tobacco. The fruitiness has an appealing intensity, though the tannins are burly. A somewhat brawny Merlot that calls for pairing with shepherd’s pie. (481 cases made.) $20

1-866-357-WinE (9463) or 541-387-3040

photos by erin thomas

w Malbec

An unusual grape in the Northwest, Malbec is best known as a blending component in traditional Bordeaux-style red wines. But as regional winemakers stretch their wings beyond the expected mass market varietals, Malbec is benefiting from new attention. Often noted for powerful tannins and dark colors, its best expression in the Northwest is yet to be determined.

Abacela OR 2007 Malbec, Umpqua Valley Fragrant aromas of red fruits accented by notes of earth and dried mint are appealing. In the mouth an immediate sense of lean damson plums, ripe red raspberry, and a touch of cassis wash over the tongue. Dense, but not heavy, the flavors are full and bright and pushed forward by wonderfully balanced acidity. The tannins are rich, broad, and forward, but they do not obscure the fruit; rather, they give a good structure that keeps the flavors contained without overpowering the palate. Delicious, and perfectly acceptable to pair with grilled lamb, it would also benefit by 2-4 years in the cellar. (380 cases made.) $22







Martin-Scott WA 2008 Malbec, Columbia Valley Clean, but subdued, scents of plum fruit and brown baking spices, with a touch of dried basil. Plush on the palate with an immediate sense of sweet, soft plummy fruit, backed by notes of mint. The appealing sweetness presents red plum and cherry flavors, with darker tones of tar and burnt caramel in the background. Though there is certainly sufficient acidity, the overall impression is of opulent fruitiness framed by controlled and fine-grained tannins. A tasty wine that would balance nicely a well-made and savory meatloaf. $24

Velocity OR 2007 Red Wine (Malbec), Rogue Valley Beautiful purple color leads to complex aromas of lavender, mint, plum, black tea, and dusty, dry earth. Brilliantly fruity in the mouth, with piercing red plum, red cherry, and strawberry flavors. Additional subtle tones of mocha and pencil shavings are in the background. The acidity is fresh, pushing forward the red fruit flavors, and the tannins are remarkably fine and polished. The finish is bright and long, with lingering notes of damson plum and perhaps persimmon. This very tasty and fruity wine will pair well with wild fowl such as heritage turkey or quail. $24

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


w Red


One of the greatest expressions of the winemaker’s craft is the ability to fuse disparate grapes into a harmonious whole. Red blends can range from traditional combinations of Bordeaux varietals to innovative (or perhaps oddball?) New World mixtures of Marechal Foch and Pinot Noir, for instance. While many in the Northwest are concerned to establish this variety or that variety as their signature grape, we may all be overlooking red blends as the signature style of our region.

Burrowing Owl BC

Pacific Breeze BC

 2008 Athene, Okanagan Valley VQA Named after the

2008 Big Red, Lake County, California An opulent

genus, Athene, of the burrowing owl, this inaugural release launches complex aromas of floral, blueberry, and whiffs of leafy black currant. Spicy cassis and black fruits preside over the full-bodied palate. The white pepper finish captivates. Hold for 2-4 years. (53% Syrah, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon; 663 cases made.) $35 cdn

Rhône-inspired blend smothered in 19 months of French oak. A parade of smoky charred meat, dense black fruits, jammy red fruit, wicked pencil shavings, plush tannins, and dark chocolaty finish. Okay boys, start your grills. (Vinified in New Westminster, B.C.) $25 cdn

Painted Rock BC

Dunham & Froese BC 2008 Amicitia, Okanagan Valley VQA Delightfully fragrant nose releases a mélange of red berries, black currant, and dried herbs. Sweet plum merges well with the savory palate. Deliciously quaffable with a long, smooth, chocolaty finish. Versatile with grilled meats. (Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Malbec, Merlot.) $28 cdn

2007 Red Icon, Estate Grown, Okanagan Valley Complex nose and palate showcase cherry, plum, and black currant fruit and spicy clove, vanilla, and chocolate. Richly textured and full-bodied, yet with elegant acidity and appetizing dried herbs. Mocha pervades the long finish. Will gain finesse with 2-4 years cellaring. (33% Cabernet Franc, 20% Petit Verdot, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 15% Malbec.) $55 cdn

JoieFarm BC 2008 PTG, Okanagan Valley Lots of aromatic action and rustic character. Look for wild berries, cherry cola, sassafras, and earthy thyme and mushroom on the lively nose and mediumbodied palate. The long finish highlights smoky bacon and a minerally backbone. Pair with beef bourguignon. (Passetoutgrain of 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Gamay; 780 cases made.) $30 cdn

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A Guide to the Wine Countries of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, and Idaho Open Open

by Cole Danehower photography by Andrea Johnson

Discover the riches of Northwest wine in the pages of this beautiful new guide to the wine countries of Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, and Idaho. Written by Northwest Palate copublisher and James Beard Foundation Journalism Award winner Cole Danehower, this book takes you through the viticultural riches of the Pacific Northwest. Photography by Andrea Johnson conveys the full beauty of this amazing wine region.

ISBN: 978-0-881920966-9, $24.95 • Published by Timber Press • 503-227-2878 •

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pick ofthe palate


Matello 2009 Pinot Noir, Lazarus, Willamette Valley (420 cases made.) $18

His own unpresuming character does not naturally push Marcus toward the limelight, and the small quantities of wine that he makes (around 2,000 cases of up to 11 different bottlings) are not widely distributed, necessarily limiting his broader market exposure. But once you taste through his lineup, you find yourself convinced of the charms of his fruit sources and winemaking skills. Take the newly released 2009 Matello Lazarus Pinot Noir. Only 420 cases were made, with Marcus selecting strictly dry-farmed fruit from vines that average 20 years old on

march/april 2011 | Northwest Palate

Whistling Ridge, Winter’s Hill, and Bishop Creek vineyards in the north Willamette Valley (two of which are certified LIVE—Low Input Viticulture & Enology). The wine’s pale rose color may seem dubious to those who mistakenly judge a Pinot by the intensity of hue, but once you begin sniffing, swirling, and sipping, you realize that this is a wine of grace, elegance, and force. The aromas are signature Oregon Pinot: crushed red fruit scents hovering above a dusty, earthy foundation, with wisps of mint and lavender. In the mouth there is an immediate sense of bright red cherry fruit that slowly devolves into red raspberry

and cranberry constituents. There is verve to the acidity that heightens the fruitiness, yet at the same time corsets the flavors and allows the fine tannin structure to emerge. Friendly and appealing now, this wine is still very young and somewhat tightly wound. A great companion for grilled salmon or squab, this wine will also mature well in the cellar for an additional 3 to 5 years (or more). An excellent Pinot Noir that shows well the qualities of the vintage and the vineyards. Though Marcus maintains an appealingly unostentatious demeanor, he is a man of strongly held winemaking principles that focus on, as he puts it, “exploring the methods of tradition.” These include: no irrigation, let the character of the fruit be your winemaking guide, and less is more in all you do to grow and make wine—all principles he skillfully employs to create beautiful wines. —Cole Danehower

photos by erin thomas and courtesy marcus goodfellow

Marcus Goodfellow is flat out one of the best winemakers in Oregon—it’s just that not many people know about his wines. Oh, the trade does; the insider industry folks all speak admiringly of the wine as well as the winemaker, and it is almost a rite of passage to indicate your familiarity with the sub rosa Matello label. Sadly, the average lover of Oregon Pinot Noir has yet to discover what Marcus does.

1,033 Certiied Organic Acres Family Owned & Independent Learn More: King Estate uses estate grown organic grapes and sustainably farmed grapes from our extended family of growers.

Northwest Palate | march/april 2011


Naked wines from washington state’s columbia valley are made with certified 100% organically grown grapes. Naked Gewürztraminer and Naked Riesling are pure expressions of the vineyards in which they are grown fresh and clean, with all the flavor nature intended. ENjoy ThE ElEGaNcE aNd puRiTy of vaRiETal flavoRS fouNd iN all SNoqualmiE WiNES.

Winery & Tasting Room Open Daily 10 to 5 660 Frontier Road, Prosser, WA 800-852-0885

Big Wines with Small Town Roots Item # 104 © 2011 Snoqua lmie Vineyards, Prosser, WA 99350

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