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  • First Friday

Spokane’s Market Place Wine Bar

Everyone needs to have a place where he or she belongs, with a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere and a clear sense of family.  It’s this enormous feeling of community, and great wine, that transformed Marketplace Wine Bar from an ambitious dream to a thriving reality in a very short time.  A seemingly little advertising approach was greatly surpassed with the bout of encouraging reactions from satisfied customers and positive word of mouth.

Nestled slightly east of downtown Spokane on the corner of 2nd and Browne, the tasting room is located inside the new Spokane Public Market.  According to Valerie and Melody, part owners of EMVY Cellars and Bridge Press Cellars, respectively, the location seemed to fit perfectly as the spot to exclusively pour their wines.  With a budding downtown scene and the ever-growing desire from consumers to support local, the appeal seemed irresistible. Maintaining a very friendly relationship with the other venders and utilizing as many products sold in the marketplace as possible, the entire building itself helps enforce the goal of fulfilling a community venture, more than a business opportunity.  The fundamental set-up is very convenient carrying on the tradition of a one-stop shop.  Anyone can buy their meat, purchase fresh vegetables, and taste some wine to buy on the way home for dinner.  For those who want to settle in, Marketplace Wine Bar openly welcomes outside food to be consumed in the space while serving their own hummus platters and high-quality cheese trays for a perfect marriage of wine and light foods.

EMVY gets its name from the pronunciation of the first letters of the owner’s names, Mark and Valerie Wilkerson, as “M” and “V”.  The owners of Bridge Press, Brian and Melody Padrta, met at the age of fifteen while caddying for players at a Bridge tournament in the now-dilapidated Ridpath Hotel, hence their name and label.  Both owners jokingly attribute their collective passion for winemaking as a “hobby gone wild”.  Casually meeting as motivated consumers tasting at The Wine Cellar, by 2005, the two labels teamed up with Grande Ronde and Mountain Dome to start their dreams of producing fine wines.  The two couples quickly gained experience with the help of mentors and knowledgeable friends within the local wine industry such as David Westfall, John Mueller, and Michael Manz to name a few.  As Valerie from EMVY states, “once we got going, it was all about drink and spit” until they got it right.

Sourcing a majority of their grapes from the Pepper Bridge and Seven Hills Vineyards within the Walla Walla Valley AVA, the wineries work together in the same production facility, but blend their own wines and take different approaches using varied aging lengths, blending percentages, yeasts, etc.  Both wineries use 100% French Oak.  Bridge Press Cellars’ premier wine, their Cabernet Sauvignon, is a blend of 85% Seven Hills Cab, 12% Pepper Bridge Merlot, and 3% Seven Hills Malbec.  They also carry a Merlot, Pinot Blanc, Rose, and 600 Red Blend for being the 600th winery in the state.  EMVY uses 58% Seven Hills Cab, 38% Seven Hills Merlot, and 6% Pepper Bridge Merlot grapes for their Bordeaux style blend aptly named “Devotion” considering Mark and Val met at the age of four.  You can also check out their other varietals, Veba Blanc, Veba Rouge, and Viognier.  All wines are available on site.

All in all, with a mantra of “make the wines you like to drink” and an attitude to create a neighborhood within the constraints of a city, Marketplace Wine Bar is a grand addition to Spokane and seems to be marking its spot as a unique, permanent downtown destination.

32 W. Second Ave

509.474.1070

Thursday 12-6pm

Friday and Saturday 12-9pm

About The Author

Ben Hilzinger is a wine slinger at Nectar Tasting Room and at Arbor Crest Wine Cellars. During the day he masquerades as an aspiring drum teacher seeking to instill a sense of rhythm in wanna be rockers. In the evening Ben dons his rock star cape and travels the country with @weshotthemoon. Ben hopes to share the love of wine with his generation and has aspirations to be a wine maker. Follow Ben on Twitter @benhilzinger

Trezzi Farm Food and Wine

One part Italian food, one part Italian wine, mix in a country hillside and a dash of vineyard, round it out with a large helping of family and love, you have Trezzi Farm Food and Wine. No other tasting room in Spokane offers food pairings such as Polenta Marinara and Caprese Pasta along with estate grown Northern Italian wine. You had me at Italian food. Davide and Stephanie Trezzi moved to Spokane in 2005 on a friend’s insisting and fell in love with the Greenbluff area. There, they bought 22 acres of land and began their new adventure.

Trezzi makes food that is simple, full of flavor, and expresses what he grew up eating. “We’re simple people, we make simple food that is full of flavor,” says Davide. After opening the catering business, the Trezzi’s (pronounced with the same ‘zz’ as pizza), planted a vineyard. A vineyard in Spokane, “what the heck was I thinking,” Davide recalls. This adventure in farming explored the planting of Italian grapes Barbera, Nebbiolo, and Dolcetto. In 2008, Davide and Stephanie finally saw the fruits of their labor as they collected their first harvest of Barbera. Recently the Trezzis planted additional acreage of Pinot Grigio and Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir). Weather permitting we should see this experiment in Spokane winegrowing produce a harvest.

Times were tough. Growing grapes in Spokane is not an easy task. The Trezzi’s battle the short growing season, unpredictable frosts not to mention the deer, birds and wind. One day a fierce wind threatened their dream of estate vineyards with gusts that knocked the canopy off the trestle. Davide was faced with the choice to leave the newly planted vines to lay windblown and useless or work to reattach the vines to ensure a future harvest. “They become almost like your children,” Stephanie said as we drank from the result of Davide’s decision to work late into the night.

Trezzi, along with winemaker Don Townshend, created 287 cases of estate grown Barbera, (the only vintage grown estate fruit in Spokane), and a Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc. 100% of the wines are sold out of the tasting room. In 2010 the Trezzis will begin making their own wine.

Trezzi Farm caters with their fantastic Italian menu of pasta, polenta, lasagna, meatballs, appetizers, rustic chicken and tri-tip beef. On any given day people can be seen picking up pre-packaged meals to take home. Now, there is a wine to pair with those meals. On a side note, the Trezzis have opened up their farm as a venue for weddings and private events.

Do yourself a favor and plan a trip to Greenbluff. Stop by the tasting room (the trezzis former tractor barn) and enjoy some wine and food. Before you leave, buy a bottle or two of Barbera and some lasagna, and enjoy a meal that is completely created here in Spokane.

Location: 17700 N Dunn Rd Green Bluff, 99005

Hours: Saturday-Sunday 12-6pm

Phone: 509.238.2276

Website: www.trezzifarm.com

Facebook: Search Trezzi Farm Food and Wine

This article was published in the November 2010 issue of Spokane Wine Magazine

Townshend Cellar

A typical spring day in the Northwest, the clouds are simultaneously flirting with rain and sunshine. The rolling hills are a backdrop for the start of the Rocky Mountains in the distance and the first growth of fruit trees is in the air. Visitors to the tasting room are greeted with wine that is aged to perfection as they slowly sip and watch the storm clouds pass across the sky.

Townshend Cellar has grown from a small production boutique winery to a powerhouse of quality producing over 20,000 cases per year from a selection of 20+ wines. Located 20 miles north of Spokane in beautiful Green Bluff, Townshend Cellar is a destination for wine in the heart of apples, strawberries, peaches and pumpkins.

Townshend Cellar began in 2001 with the release of their 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon, plus three other wines. That wine won the Inland Northwest’s best Cab award and the praise has never stopped. Don Townshend, owner and winemaker, attributes the success of Townshend Cellar to the Cab and the T3. T3 is a blend of Cab, Merlot and Cab Franc that was originally only available in restaurants. Customers can count on the wine to be consistent and a good value. Townshend’s signature wines spend up to 30 months in oak and another 3-4 years in bottle before being released. Sourcing 500 tons of grapes from Preston, Willard, Alder Creek and more, Townshend is committed to quality wine that he releases when it’s ready to enjoy, not when the cost sheet says so.

A surprise to many is the variety of wine that Townshend produces. From bubbles to Tempranillo, you can experience just about everything in the tasting room. A visit to Townshend Cellar will bring many highlights including Malbec, Viognier, Huckleberry Brut and even a Pinot Noir.  Prices for most of the Townshend wine is under $30, the exception being a Reserve Red blend. Don is also committed to the community creating two signature blends for the Spokane Symphony and private blends for local restaurants. Check out the ‘Diamond T’ club for 20% off of club shipments and cases of wine and 10% off bottles of wine and merchandise purchases.

The current location was voted one of the top 10 places to have a picnic by Tasting Room Magazine, so bring a picnic up, enjoy a bottle of wine and the fantastic view and sunsets at Townshend Cellar.

Location: 16122 N Green Bluff Rd

Hours: Fri-Sun 12-6pm

Phone: 509.238.1400

Website: www.townshendcellar.com

Twitter: @townshendcellar.com

Facebook: Search Townshend Cellar

This article was published in the November 2010 issue of Spokane Wine Magazine

Mountain Dome Winery

Nestled in the foothills of Mount Spokane is a family of gnomes that is hard at work making bubbles. These bubbles are enjoyed across the state and beyond to celebrate life’s precious moments. If you look closely you can catch a glimpse of the curious creatures as they work their magic to turn an ordinary bottle of wine into something sparkling and full of life.

Mountain Dome began in 1984 and was named after the Geodesic dome that was built shortly after the Manz family moved to the area in 1980. Situated on 85 acres in Northeast Spokane, Mountain Dome was started by Michael and Pat Manz. The 9500 square foot production facility and 4,000 square foot dome were built by the family. Dr. Michael Manz was a child psychologist at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital until his passing in 2006. Manz built a legacy that lives through Mountain Dome and through the Children’s Hospital’s BEST program. Erik Manz, along with his uncle John Mueller carries on Michael’s legacy of celebrating life with every glass. “I love being a part of people’s celebrations,” says Erik, “every day you’re alive is worth celebrating.” Still a true family operation, each family member is represented on the label of gnomes.

Retail sales began at Mountain Dome in 1992 with their 1988 vintage. For 18 years, Mountain Dome has been the only ‘bubble maker’ in Spokane. They also sparkle wine for other wineries like Townshend, Lone Canary, and Arbor Crest. Mountain Dome makes sparkling wine in the méthode champenoise style. With this method the bubbles for more complex wines are produced by secondary fermentation in the bottle. The process is very involved and Erik is hands on from riddling (turning of the bottles) to a special freezing machine that assists with removing the lees before disgorging.

The current line-up at Mountain Dome includes their non-vintage “gnome” label, non-vintage dry sparkling rose, vintage sparkling and their elegant Cuvee Forte. Each wine contains the traditional champagne grapes using approximately 66% Pinot Noir and 33% Chardonnay all from Washington vineyards. Erik is excited to release Blanc de Blanc (sparkling wine using 100% Chardonnay) as well. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the beautiful view from the outdoor patio. If you’re lucky you may catch a glimpse of those magical bubble making gnomes in action.

Location: 16315 E Temple Rd

Hours: Saturday-Sunday 11-4pm (Call ahead)

Phone: 509.928.2788

Website: www.mountaindome.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/MountainDome

This article was published in the November 2010 issue of Spokane Wine Magazine

Nodland Cellars

That is so cool, he makes his own alcohol,” exclaimed Tim during a family reunion trip with Tracy’s extended family. By the fall of 1999 Tracy and Tim acquired some Walla Walla Cabernet, hit the books, talked with winemakers and began experimenting with making wine. Over the years, one wine turned into five different wines and by 2007, Nodland Cellars became Spokane’s lucky 13th winery. Those early pre-release years were all about education and refining the process. Classes at UC Davis, Walla Walla Community College and the “school of hard knocks,” says Tracy led to their passion for “creating a small amount of the best wine we can make.”

The Nodland Red Blend is a traditional, pre 1870 style, Bordeaux blend. They drive across the state to source all six original Bordeaux varietals; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and even Carmenere The majority of their fruit comes from one acre each at Pepperbridge and Seven Hills vineyards. Their blocks are next to the same blocks used by Leonetti, Reininger, and Pepperbridge. When the vintage is right, Tim and Tracy also craft a Riesling and have recently introduced a 100% Carmenere and Rockin’ Red blend.

Tim is a lawyer by day and an accomplished jazz musician. Tracy is always hard at work at the tasting room and their 1200 square foot wine making facility. She is a talented artist. “I make wine, I drink wine, and I paint wine,” says Tracy. Often times you can arrive in the tasting room and find Tracy painting something new while Tim jams on his guitar. Tracy even puts a little bit of Nodland wine into every painting. The residue sentiment is collected when they clean the barrels and that dark inky purple paste is added to anywhere wine is used in a painting.

Tim’s love of jazz and Tracy’s love of art is how the Nodland Cellars label was born. Tim and Tracy discovered artwork by Tim Rogerson and as luck (or fate) would have it, Mr. Rogerson agreed to paint the label and created a beautiful image of Tim on guitar, and Tracy on the microphone (with a glass of wine in her hand). The Nodland’s produce 400 cases per year and self distribute almost 100% of the product through their mailing list, tasting room and local restaurants and retailers. Tim and Tracy would love to keep production low but are always looking to expand if the fruit is special.

Location: 11616 E Montgomery Rd

Hours: Saturday 12-4pm (call ahead)

Phone: 509.927.7770

Website: www.nodlandcellars.com

Twitter: @nodlandwine

Facebook: Search Tim Nodland

This article was published in the November 2010 issue of Spokane Wine Magazine

Liberty Lake Wine Cellars

Liberty Lake Winery’s story is not uncommon; a hobby that grows beyond the boundaries of a single cellar. What separates Doug and Shelly Smith is their passion for the Liberty Lake and Spokane community. “If we could just enjoy a glass of wine with everyone in our area, we’d be happy,” says Doug.  Originally Doug was experimenting with home brew when Shelly encouraged him to make something she could enjoy too. Realizing that their concentrated kit wine wasn’t up to par with what they were experiencing at wineries, they asked for tips from places they visited. “Good wine comes from good fruit,” was the response.  Obviously not one to ease into things, Doug and Shelly went from experimenting with 20lbs of grapes from Costco to buying and crushing 4 tons of grapes from the Walla Walla area.

Their 2005 vintage was released in 2008 and their current releases (from Red Mountain AVA) consist of Syrah, Merlot, Second Generation Red Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Heritage (a reserve red wine). The tasting room / production facility, among the treetops overlooking Liberty Lake, is where Doug and Shelly crush, ferment, store and sell their max capacity of 500 cases. While slightly out of the way for most Spokanites, Liberty Lake Wine Cellars is a must stop on your to do list. During the summer months enjoying a glass on the deck that overlooks the lake is a highlight for any wine lover.

While Doug and Shelly enjoy masquerading by day as city employee (Liberty Lake) and health care consultant respectively, you can’t help but notice the glint in their eye when they talk about their love of wine and sharing it with the community. “It’s hard and dirty work with lots of long days but we always have fun,” says Shelly. That hard work is paying off as Liberty Lake Wine Cellars is taking in award after award at regional and national competitions. One look at their line-up of wines is reminiscent of the medal count of the recent Olympic Games.

“Our goal is to make wine we enjoy and hope others enjoy it too.” Stop by their tasting room and you’ll soon agree.

Location: 1018 S Garry Rd, Liberty Lake

Hours: Saturday’s weather permitting (call ahead)

Phone: 509.255.9205

Website: www.libertylakewinecellars.com

Twitter: @liblakewine

Facebook: Facebook.com/LibertyLakeWineCellars

This article was published in the November 2010 issue of Spokane Wine Magazine

Latah Creek Winery

Only a handful of wine makers in the state ofWashingtonhave as much experience as Mike Conway. When Mike opened Latah Creek and Hogue Cellars in 1982 (in a partnership with Mike Hogue), there were only 18 wineries in the state (now there are more than 700). After two years as the head wine maker at Hogue, Mike left to concentrate fully on Latah Creek.

Mike crafted his winemaking skills in the 70’s working for wine giants E&J Gallo, Franzia Brothers and Parducci. It was while at Parducci that he honed his skills for white wine and brought the slow cold fermentation process to Washington state (cold fermentation brings out a natural residual sweetness in white wines at a lower alcohol level of 8-10%). It is the white wine line-up that helped Latah Creek grow to a 17,000 case per year company.

100% of Latah Creek’s distribution is done in the Northwest. The annual release of their Spokane Blush, Maywine, and Huckleberry d’Latah are highly anticipated in the region. While 70% of their sales are comprised of white wines, Latah Creek’s future focus is the introduction of small lot reserve quality reds. With the recent introduction of Vinosity and Monarch Red, consumer demand may push Latah Creek to increase their production. In talking with Mike, his passion forWashingtonwine comes through. He wants to expose some of the great grapes that grow in this state (Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, Mourvedre, Malbec) to his customer base.

While Latah Creek has been a business of two people for 20+ years, in 2005 daughter Natalie joined the team. Mike and Ellena’s vision had always been for Natalie to carry on the business. In elementary school, while all the other children wanted to be firefighters, pro athletes and politicians, Natalie wanted to be a wine maker. Natalie graduated with honors from EWU with a bachelors in biology. Shortly after, she joined the team. Under her dad’s guidance, Natalie is already contributing to the wine offerings with Natalie’s Nectar dessert wine and the Vinosity red blend.

Latah Creek; Mike, Ellena and now Natalie, and their wines, areSpokaneinstitutions. “Spokaneis the reason we’re here,” Mike says. Besides the wine, Latah Creek’s gift back to the community is their support of the arts and many other charities. TheConway’s are particularly proud of their sponsorships of the Spokane Symphony and the Foster Parents Association. If you haven’t been to their tasting room, you’re missing out on one of the best winery gift shops around. TheConway’s know how to throw a party too so stay connected to their web site and Facebook page for updates on the next big event.

Location: 13030 E Indiana Ave

Hours: Daily 9am-5pm

Phone: 509.926.0164

Website: www.latahcreek.com

Twitter: @latahcreekwine

Facebook: Facebook.com/LatahCreekWinery

This article was published in the November 2010 issue of Spokane Wine Magazine