Road Trip: Syrah and Merlot

Looking down a row of Barbera at Elephant Mountain
The first grape fetchin’ of the year happened last Friday. It got off to a bang — literally — when the house behind us burst into flames a little before 5am, just as I was waking up to get on the road. Luckily, no one was in the house and no one was hurt, but investigators now seem to think it was arson, according to news reports.

Leaving the smoldering ruin in my wake (as is my way), I got on the road about 6am, an hour late. Three and a half hours later, through a magnificent sunrise in the Gorge, I pulled into Elephant Mountain Vineyard with a trailer hungry for fresh fruit. It was soon sated…

Elephant Mountain swings its mighty trunk above the vineyard
The view from the scales near the entrance to the vineyard. Elaine said “It’s like the moon” — though in this case, made of wine, not cheese.

Panorama from a viewpoint above Elephant Mountain Vineyard, looking south
A panorama from a outcropping above the vineyard, looking south towards Yakima Valley. If you click the picture, a larger version of the shot will appear, giving you the full impact of this stunning landscape.

Elephant mountain from a rise above the vineyard
Looking north from the other side of the outcropping toward the dusty flanks of Elephant Mountain.

Merlot Sacrifice
Proof positive that the gods have been appeased with the traditional sacrifice of one cluster at Stonehenge, thus guaranteeing us 100-point wines and all the significant others we desire.

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