It’s getting warmer outside, the perfect weather for fresh seafood, grilled chicken and Washington State whites! We tried several recently, in anticipation of our trip to Walla Walla in June for the 2010 Wine Bloggers’ Conference. One we liked was the Tildio Winery 2008 Viognier from Columbia Valley.
The first thing you’ll notice about a bottle of Tildio wine is the unique graphical logo – almost like a wood cut, of a bird within a bird. Katy and Milum Perry chose the Spanish name for the Kildeer bird that arrives early each Spring to breed in their vineyard. Kildeer birds don’t build nests, but lay their eggs directly on the ground. But how would their eggs stay safe, you ask? The Kildeer pretend to be wounded, to lure predators away from their eggs and chicks!
As a predator falls for their act and starts to chase after the “wounded bird,” the parent Tildio will take flight for 50 feet, crash to the ground and start all over again, flopping about and crying distress calls.
The Perrys say it’s a sure sign that Spring has arrived at the vineyard, when the young chicks hatch out to thimble-sized runners.
Tildio Winery is located in the Lake Chelan AVA, Washington State’s newly designated American Viticultural Area. Located in the Columbia Valley, Lake Chelan was granted AVA status on May 30, 2009. The area is 112 miles east-northeast of Seattle, abutting the eastern slopes of the North Cascade Mountains and the North Cascades National Park. And even though the AVA was recently designated, the area has a long history. The first recorded grape production in the region dates to 1891, when Louis Conti was producing grapes from a parcel of 60 acres.
The third deepest natural lake in the United States, Lake Chelan acts as a climate stabilizer “producing a zone of consistently moderated temperatures, increasing the length of the growing season and drastically reducing the frequency of damaging or killing vine freezes that occur throughout Washington state during the winter months. This lake effect – the same sort of natural climate control that is used to great advantage in the world-class German wine region of Mosel-Saar-Ruwer – moderates air temperature extremes in both summer and winter.”
Tildio Winery 2008 Columbia Valley Viognier
Viognier (pronounced vee-Own-YAY) is a white grape originating in the Northern Rhône area of France. This one from Columbia Valley doesn’t disappoint, with aromatics of tropical fruit and apricot combined with florals of Apricot Nectar rose. Creamy on the palate, this pale straw colored wine has a crisp and refreshing finish. Alcohol by volume is 14.1%. Just 100 cases produced, this wine is priced at $18.99.
If you’re visiting wineries in the Lake Chelan appellation, stop by the Tildio Winery tasting room on weekends from noon to 6:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; noon until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. You can find a printable driving map for the area here and on the winery’s website.