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Winter Storm Watch issued December 06 at 10:14PM PST until December 09 at 4:00PM PST by NWS

...WINTER STORM FOR MUCH OF THE REGION POSSIBLE LATE THIS WEEK... .A LONG RUNNING PERIOD OF LIGHT ACCUMULATING SNOW WILL ADD UP TO POSSIBLE HEAVY SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OVER A 24 TO 36 HOUR PERIOD BEGINNING THURSDAY AFTERNOON IN THE CASCADES AND BEGINNING THURSDAY EVENING OVER THE REST OF THE REGION. WHILE TAPERING OFF OVER MOST AREAS BY LATE FRIDAY...SNOW SHOWERS WILL CONTINUE TO

Overnight

Lo20° Partly Cloudy

Wednesday

Hi25° Mostly Sunny

Wednesday Night

Lo15° Mostly Cloudy then Chance Snow

Thursday

Hi24° Heavy Snow

Thursday Night

Lo22° Heavy Snow

Friday

Hi32° Chance Snow

Friday Night

Lo26° Chance Snow

Saturday

Hi34° Slight Chance Snow Showers

Saturday Night

Lo24° Slight Chance Snow Showers

Sunday

Hi34° Chance Snow

"California's Best Unsung Wines"...and Some of Ours

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SouthernRhonewines011

Southern Rhone-style wines, very popular in California, are becoming popular up here in WA. These blends, mostly of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre in reds, and Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Viognier in whites, have found a home in the Paso Robles area of California and are now being produced up here in Washington. In Paso Robles the Hospices du Rhône, a massive Rhône-fest, is held each spring. Tablas Creek Winery is perhaps the most prominent of the area's wineries and the website offers much information on the history of the winery and the grapes they grow.

Ray Isle, wine writer for Food and Wine, wrote of California's Best Unsung Wines when he wrote of the then upcoming Rhône-fest in Paso Robles, CA last spring. We are fans of the area's Tablas Creek Winery, whose red wines come from their clones of Southern Rhone grapes from the Beaucastel winery, and have enjoyed their wines for many years.

Here in Washington, David Lake was responsible for the planting of the first Syrah while McCrea Cellars was the state's first winery entirely dedicated to Syrah and to Rhône varietal wines. Other wineries learned what good wines could be made, either by blending the varietals or by bottling them individually, and now these wines are found in many wineries around the state.

The better known Southern Rhone grapes are Syrah/Shiraz, Grenache/Garnacha and Mourvedre/Monastrell. Three other lesser known varieties are Carignan(e)/ Cariñena, Counoise and Cinsault. Any or all may be used, alone or in various blends

My main interest lies in wines in and near our Chelan Valley Wine Country: Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Okanogan counties. Some I can think of right now are Karma: Zen; Gingko Forest: Grenache, Coalesce, 2006-2007 Syrahs; Baroness Cellars: Grenache; Ryan Patrick Vineyards: Grenache; CR Sandidge Wines: Stone Tree; Chat. Faire le Pont: Provence; Tsillan Cellars: Syrah/Grenache; Dry Falls Cellars: Cinsault.

Many other local wineries have Syrah; I am thinking of those wines consisting of blends, although Grenache and Mourvedre are becoming popular as stand-alone bottlings and Dry Falls Cellars has a Cinsault. These wines are fruity, spicy and food friendly, with wonderful aromas. I'm sure others are being made around here, and I hope to learn of them.

At the August 25, 2012 NCW Wine Awards event, several wineries will have some of these wine varieties and blends. There is still time to get tickets and enjoy tasting over 26 wines plus complementary foods from Ivy Wild, Ravenous Catering and Visconti's. Afterwards, each time you use your souvenir glass at home, you will be able to remember what a grand evening it was.