What's all the Buzz 🐝 about this Orange Wine & WT Vintners "Meet the Winemaker" Tasting🍷

What's all the Buzz 🐝 about this Orange Wine & WT Vintners "Meet the Winemaker" Tasting🍷
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Wine of the Week

Dominio de las Abejas

2023 Naranja "Orange"

Baja, Mexico

$29.99, $26.99 for Wine Club

If you happened to be with us for our annual Cinco de Mayo tasting a couple weeks back you were able to understand all the buzz around this producer, this wine, this very in-the-spotlight wine region.  That's right: Baja, Mexico. The region has a 300-year wine history, with the first wine produced in the late 17th century and marketed in the 18th.  So why are we just now really noticing?  Mostly due to a very energetic young man who noticed this potential some twelve years ago.  Patrick Neri of Beso Imports (based out of Anacortes, Washington) noticed the huge potential and took the leap of faith to become the leading importer for this historic region that was just waiting for him to bring to you. Time to get on the bus, people, and try something out of your comfort zone. 

Orange wine isn’t just a trend, it’s a glimpse into what wine may have been like thousands of years ago.  Orange winemaking hails from ancient traditions. We can find these techniques used as far back as 5,000 years ago in what is now Georgia (the country, not the state). Since we now know that Georgia and the greater Caucasus region is the original birthplace of wine and winemaking, orange wines offer a unique window into ancient wine.

All of the wines in the lineup from Dominio de Las Abejas are best summed up by a single word, “delicious”, as their balance of fruit, tannin, texture and persistence all seems to perfectly tweak the pleasure dial to 11.

This is a “skin contact” white wine, which means it is a white wine made like a red (the juice was left in contact with the skins during fermentation). The consequence of this is color (orange rather than yellow like most white wine) and a completely different body than your typical white wine. Here you have the textures, complexity and even some of the structural elements you are accustomed to finding in a red wine, but in the envelope of grace and elegance of a bright and weightless white wine. As good as it is, it’s going to be tricky to find because they don't make much of it.

A blend of 32% Chardonnay, 22% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Colombard, 19% Marsanne, & 7% Viognier.

The Best Food Pairings for Orange Wine
Bold flavors work best — try strong cheeses, charcuterie, or Moroccan dishes with cumin, pepper, cinnamon, paprika, and saffron spices. Indian curries, savory Spanish-style tapas, and grilled meats and fish also pair nicely.  You will be sure to get the lively conversation started when you pull this out for your friends. 

Abejas vineyard is located in a very unique section of Valle de Ojos Negros that was once a marsh, when the water table was much higher than it is now. The marsh was a resource for untold generations of migratory waterfowl all of which left deposits that enriched the soil. The marsh was gone long before they purchased the land, but the signature of this period is left in the rich and unique composition of the soil which has far more organic content than the surrounding area. At 2,200 ft in elevation, the main challenge of growing grapes here is the threat of frost during the growing season. They grow 10 grape varieties: Nebbiolo, Grenache, Nero D' Avola, Cinsault, Carignan, Chardonnay, Marsanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Colombard, and Zinfandel. 
The wines of las Abejas are made naturally. Ambient yeast fermentation, no corrections or additions, no filtration or fining and only a 30 ppm sulfite addition at bottling. This absolute gem of an estate is one of only a handful of organic certified vineyards in Mexico making 100% natural wine that is clean and precise, showing no faults of any kind. Their creations are at the top level of natural wines worldwide.



Notes by Hannah Green

Domaine Masson Blondelet

Pouilly-Fumé, France

Michelle & Jean-Michel Masson are an old-school power couple of wine. Michelle came from Loire winegrowing families, and when she married Jean-Michel, she brought with her cru holdings in Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre. Jean-Michel was the sixth generation of winemakers in his family. The two married in 1975, and together created Domaine Masson-Blondelet. They now hold a total of 55 acres, all cultivated using no herbicide, insecticide or chemical fertilizer. The estate is famous for their constant efforts to improve the quality of their vineyard soils. Today, the couple’s children, Pierre-Francois and Mélanie, are taking over the estate, becoming the seventh generation to farm the vines and make wine. 

Domaine Masson Blondelet Pouilly Fumé Les Pierre 2022

$26.99, $24.29 for Wine Club Members

Les Pierres de Pierre is a 5-acre vineyard site consisting of old vines (25 and 55 years old) on flint soil with south-southwestern exposure. 

"Old vines planted on stony soil by Pierre-Francois Masson have yielded a tight, structured and dense wine. With juicy acidity and a mineral edge, the wine is still young, packers with fruitiness. Drink from 2023. 92 points" Wine Enthusiast

Domaine Masson Blondelet Pouilly-Fumé Tradition Cullus 2020

$34.99, $33.29 for Wine Club Members

Tradition Cullus comes from 65-year-old vines planted on Kimmeridgean Marl, a soil of white clay and small fossilized oysters, remnants of a prehistoric ocean that covered what is now France. This Sauvignon Blanc combines hints of citrus fruits, a very subtle oakiness and a tinge of minerality with an unusual richness.

"This lightly wood-aged wine is smooth and offers ripe white fruits. Its hints of toast are beautifully judged, giving a rounded wine that will be ready to drink from 2024. 93 points" Wine Enthusiast

Domaine Masson Blondelet Pouilly-Fumé d'Or et Diamant 2020

$36.99, $33.29 for Wine Club Members

This wine is named "d'or et diamant," or "gold and diamonds." The gold is named for the sunset reflections on the Loire river along the winery's Sauvignon Blanc vines, and the color of this rare cuvée. The diamond is a tribute to the precious gem that is this unique terroir and its soils.

"This comes from the best clusters throughout the estate and is consistently one of the top examples of Sauvignon Blanc made in Pouilly-Fumé. Made from a selection of fruits and wines, this is well structured. The wine shows steely Sauvignon Blanc at its best, shining with acidity and impressive in texture and structure. Still developing, the wine will be at its peak in 2024. 94 points" Wine Enthusiast

Only 2000 bottles made.



Notes by Candace Kiersky

Vietti Freisa 2019

Piedmont, Italy

$29.99, $26.99 for Wine Club Members

It’s not always easy to narrow down which wines we highlight in the weekly newsletter, but this Vietti Freisa Vivace (I love saying that, don’t you?!) of 2019 was certainly “it” for me. 

If you already know and love Piedmont reds, Freisa is your next best friend. According to DNA studies, it is most likely an ancient and indigenous parent to the Nebbiolo grape and is responsible for light and fruity, dry, balanced, and sometimes slightly fizzy wine perfect for summertime lunch - in this case just a little “prickle,” as Hannah likes to say, which some people notice, and some do not. 

Ruby-red in color, soft tannins, high acidity, ripe fruit and the slightest fizz all make this the PERFECT candidate for a chillable red in my world! Vietti’s 2019 Freisa Vivace is full-bodied and rich, and bodes finesse and a hint of blackberries on the palate. The slight sparkle is just the “cherry on top.”

Crispy lamb pitas, or char sui pork, or even your favorite cheese would be ideal food pairings for this little stunner. But your world is your oyster. 

Mullineux Syrah 2020

Swartland, South Africa

$39.99, $35.99 for Wine Club Members

Mullineux is a small, highly focused family winery based in the village of Riebeek Kasteel producing wines from the granite and shale-based terroirs of the Swartland Region of South Africa. The landscape is a series of rolling hills, with a few significant outcrops of rock that form the Paardeberg, Riebeek Kasteel and Piketberg Mountains. It is not an easy place to establish vines, and is a region that has as much of an influence on the vineyards and people who farm there as the people have on the land itself. 

The 2020 Mullineux Syrah was made up of six parcels from sustainably farmed vineyards. Three of the parcels were from the stony schist-based soils of the Kasteelberg, two hail from dry-land bush vines grown in the decomposed Granite terroir of the Paardeberg, and one from the Iron-rich soils just west of Malmesbury.

“Showing its youthful demeanor with a fresh, dark, red-fruited core, the 2020 Syrah is bright and firm. Medium to full-bodied, the palate offers an expressive tannic grip that drives the mouthfeel, expressing fresh plum skin and black cherry flavors alongside a delightful floral essence in the mouth. The wine glides to a firm and spicy finish and will remain food-friendly for years. Bravo! 92 points” Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate



W.T. Vintners

Meet the Winemaker with Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen

Friday, May 17th, 3-5:30 

We've invited Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen, winemaker and partner of W.T. Vintners to show off his deliciously interesting wines. That is, in fact, their whole approach to winemaking - to make wines that our friends, families, and customers want to drink often, convey a sense of place, complement a meal, and tell a story.

Jeff first developed his interest in wine while working in the corporate world as a buyer for Nordstrom.  While the paycheck was good he soon realized that his true passion was wine and food.  He went back to school and earned his Certifications through the Court of Master Sommeliers and currently holds the Certification of Advanced Sommelier.  He has since had the honor of working with some of the Pacific Northwest’s best restaurants, chefs and sommeliers while honing his craft.  Over the last  15 years, Jeff has created some of the Pacific Northwest's most dynamic and celebrated restaurant wine programs these include Cascadia, Wild Ginger Bellevue, Cafe Juanita, and Michael Mina’s RN74.

The old adage "great wine is made in the vineyard," is certainly at the core of W.T. Vintners' work. They maintain a "hands-off" approach that really champions Washington's extraordinary terroir in the most natural way possible - spontaneous/feral yeast, early and whole-cluster picking, and neutral French oak barrels. 

The Line up

2022 Boushey Vineyard Rosé $24.99
2017 Seven Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir $54.99
2018 Columbia Valley Syrah $27.99
2018 Destiny Ridge Syrah $25.99
2019 Boushey Vineyard GSM $44.99
2018 Boushey Vineyard Mourvèdre $44.99

Friday, May 17th. 3-5:30. $5 fee.
Wine Club Members receive one free tasting per membership at every event.

Upcoming Tastings

WT Vintners, Washington
Meet the winemaker-Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen
Friday, May 17th. 3-5:30 pm

Walla Walla Vintners
With Chelsea Miller
Friday, May 24th. 3-5:30

Gagiole Winery, Tuscany Italy
Friday, May 31st. 3-5:30 pm

$5 fee. Wine Club Members receive one free tasting per membership at each event. 


May 17th is Bike to Work and School Day -

A day to celebrate the joy of bicycling.

Ride into our shop Friday, May 17th

and receive 15% off for Wine Club Members, 10% off for non-members. 

In-store purchases only.

If you ride every day, this is your day. You’ll see familiar faces on the streets and trails. If you haven’t been on a bike for years, but you’ve been thinking about getting going again, this is your day. You’ll have lots of company and plenty of encouragement. Many schools and businesses will be hosting celebration stations in the morning. They’ll be cheering for students, employees and everyone on two wheels. 

In-store purchases only.

CLICK for more info


Shop Schedule

Tuesday-Saturday 10-6 pm.





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