Our annual trek to Walla Walla, Washington’s Spring Release Weekend found us searching out some new (to us) wineries to discover in addition to old favorites that we always visit. We really feel like we scored big with our choices of Long Shadows Vintners and The Walls Vineyards. In tone and ambience they occupy different realms, but in quality and drinkability their wines exist on an elevated plane together.
Long Shadows founder Allen Shoup’s vision was to recruit the world’s finest winemakers and provide them with the region’s best grapes and a winery which could meet their exacting cellar specifications. The call was answered by highly acclaimed and awarded vintners (each of whom have cast long shadows in their careers) from Australia, France, Italy and California who became part-owners in the enterprise, begun in 2003. The result is a collection of seven ultra-premium Columbia Valley wines (six reds and one Reisling), all rated at 92 points or better and offered at less-than-premium prices (current releases top out at $65 a bottle).
The winery’s facility sits among rolling wheat fields (a bright, fresh green on this spring day), a modern, low-slung, rust-red building set into a hillside. On the entrance level, the stunning Chihuly Tasting Room features a huge, suspended piece of the artist’s glass sculpture as well as smaller pieces rising up from the floor. Comfortable armchairs allow one to sip and savor the views of the countryside through floor-to-ceiling windows. We enjoyed the crisp Reisling before heading downstairs to the production floor where the other wines were being poured.
There we were able to see the ranks of oak barrels, stainless steel vats and even wine eggs (Qvevri) used to age and ferment the wine.
We even gained access to the private “cellar” reserved for Key Club members. There we enjoyed some nibbles of fruit, cheese, breads and charcuterie alongside some of the older vintages as well as the new releases.
We found all of the wines beautifully balanced with wonderful fruit and structure, delicious now but sure to improve and refine further with age. Although Harry swore before we started our trip he wouldn’t be joining any new wine clubs . . . you guessed it . . . he couldn’t resist the lovely wines of Long Shadows. Not that I’m complaining!
I’ll share our experience at The Walls Vineyards next week.
— Patty Vanikiotis, associate editor/copy editor
At FXExpress Publications, Inc., we can’t wait to #ComeBacktoTravel, and we can’t wait for the travel industry and others to #ComeBacktoGT. Join us over the next several weeks as we entice you with photos from some of the places we’re most excited to visit. Take a visual journey through some of the Florida Keys’ most breathtaking sights with us, just in time for the June 1 reopening.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
People need a “chance to get some well-needed rest, relaxation and fresh air.” This is a sentiment we all likely share, as does the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union. The EC included that phrase when it released its plan to help reopen Europe following the COVID-19 global pandemic. While most EU borders remain closed to international travel until at least mid-June, the EC’s plan starts with inter-Europe travel, and are non-binding recommendations and guidelines. European countries still have the final decision, so travelers are advised to check the restrictions of the countries they plan to visit. According to the EC, “blanket restrictions of free movement are replaced by targeted measures.”
Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
The cruise industry responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with updates on cancellations and rebooking policies. Here’s an update.
Star Clippers offers two complimentary hotel nights in Barbados or St. Maarten for Caribbean sailings December 2020–March 2022. For use before or after the cruise, the hotel deal also includes one breakfast and a ship transfer.
oneworld is an alliance of 13 world-leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and connecting you to more than 1,100 destinations around the world.
Two Florida hotels boast reopening offers as Florida begins its phased reopening.