You know, we’ve hosted seven wine weekends at Veranda Beach, only last weekend was not a formal wine weekend – it just happened. And like all spontaneous undertakings – it was superb!
Joined by Joyce Wegner – Chief Editor for Wineries Refined and her son Warren, we toured four local Oroville wineries: Copper Mountain at Taber’s Taste of Summer, Esther Bricques, Lake Crest Winery, Okanogan Winery and then had the rare pleasure of a barrel tasting of Veranda Beach’s own 2010 Barbera with Winemaker Berle “Rusty” Figgins. Our quest – to select one wine from each of the local wineries to sell at Veranda Beach General Store and to introduce Joyce to wines from the other Okanogan. When one thinks wine, the Okanagan area of British Columbia immediately comes to mind (along with Napa, Sonoma and Niagra) and the Okanogan area of Washington is somewhat of an extension of its’ northerly cousin, boasting superb whites, interesting reds and amazing ice wine. Our pics… Copper Mountain 2006 Chardonnay, Esther Bricques 2006 Ice Syrah, Lake Crest 2007 Merlot, Okanogan 2009 Gewurtztraminer and Veranda Beach 2010 Barbera (although it is still in the barrels). “twas a truly delightful sampling the rich bounty of the Okanogan area!
Our afternoon of wine touring concluded with a reception in one of the new vineyard cottages at Veranda Beach overlooking Lake Osoyoos and the vineyards from which we had just sampled. Just like good wine, vacation resort communities have a tendency to come into their own as time ticks by. As the plan comes together and the vision unfolds, things also tend to get a little more comfortable and laid back. And the finer things in life – like good wine! – take on a greater role. The Vineyard Cottages at Veranda Beach offer the rare opportunity to own in a working vineyard complemented with the Vintner’s Table wine program.
We added a little golf the next day and discovered poolside heaven with a glass of cool crisp Okanogan Pinot Grigio in the thirty degree weather. The sunshine has been a long time coming and we welcomed its warmth. The warmth of the day continued into the evening as we joined Veranda Beach Winemaker Rusty Figgins for his third annual Winemaker’s Dinner.
“A Vintner’s Journey through Latin America” commenced with Pisco Sour Cocktails from Peru and Pacific Salmon Ceviche on the Boardwalk, followed by Green Gazpacho Soup with grilled lime and cumin spiced sour cream – a cold soup and my husband’s absolute favorite in the warm temperatures, paired with a 2010 Casillero Del Diablo Carmenere from Chile. The first course & my personal favorite – Seared Tuna with a 2010 Don Miguel Gascon Malbec from Argentina, followed with Pork Two Ways – Red Chimichurri Tenderloin and Baby Back Ribs paired with a 2008 Juanico Don Pascual Tannat Reserva Roble from Uruguay – a definite crowd pleaser! And for desert, a spiced molten lava cake with Tavi Tequila Anejo – a truly unexpected pleasure. It was an evening of great food, great wines and great company, complemented with Jazz Operation offering latin inspired music so enticing that even winemaker Rusty Figgins was drawn to the drum kit for a song or two. It was a perfect summer night at the Beach and the Globe at the Beach staff did a terrific job.
We walked through the vines the next morning with our miniature australian shepherd, thankful for a wonderful, unexpected and forever cherished wine weekend at Veranda Beach!