Uncle Mike finally found his way to the Palouse for a day of wine tasting! (Can you believe it!?) He showed up Saturday evening and on Sunday morning we went into town to taste some of the finest wines the Palouse has to offer.

Our first stop was Merry Cellars in Pullman where we had a private tasting with winemaker Patrick Merry. I’d had a couple of their wines before but had never been to their winery for a full tasting so it was a fantastic opportunity to try everything they had to offer. And I think I’ve found a new varietal to add to my “favorites” list: Carmenere. It’s normally used as a blending grape, but I really did like it as a standalone. Yay!

Next up, we crossed over into Idaho to visit Camas Prairie Winery, where winemaker Stu Scott gave us a private tasting followed by a tour of the facilities. I’d been tasting there before and have always like the wines, but after learning that they are a “Clean Green” winery, recognized as a “Pollution Prevention Champion”, I’m even more impressed! Plus, I’m a fan of solar power and enjoyed the opportunity to see the solar panels installed on the roof of the building. [Oh, and Stu is retiring and wants to sell the business. If you want to buy it, tell him I sent you so that I can get the finder’s fee!]

For a third stop, we popped into the tasting room at Wawawai Canyon Winery along the Moscow-Pullman highway. I’d never had any of their wines so it was a real treat for me. Uncle Mike and the winemaker had a nice little chat about vineyards and pruning methods whilst I enjoyed the jazz music they had playing in the background.

Of course, because Uncle Mike is “in the biz” he got an industry discount. I was very pleased to have been extended the same discount for my own purchases, which helped to pad out my dwindling wine collection.

When we finally returned home, I gave Uncle Mike a quick haircut then we enjoyed a nice meal on the back patio with a couple bottles of wine.

The best part of the weekend – other than spending time with Uncle Mike, of course – was that he gave me a bottle of his own wine made with grapes from his vineyard. It’s not ready for market nor does it have a brand and label yet, but it’s some mighty fine wine.

Guess it’s time I head to Walla Walla to visit him next…