Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Draft for Palate

Romance Required?

Wine is beautiful. It's a romantic expression of the soils and climate in which it was grown. It's the essence of the fruit that struggled in rocky or sandy soils to produce a concentration of character. The wine has aged a few years in a barrel and can tell us what 5, 10 or 20 years ago tasted like. Wine in and of itself, is romance.

The romantic ties to wine go far beyond it's inherent character, there's a mystery to the process of wine making. There's the cork, everyone talks about how romantic that is. The presentation of wine carries with it tradition and romance, the stemware, the rituals.

Romance is over rated. Laurelhurst Cellars has a location that is about as romantic as a felony conviction for armed robbery. The winery, which may have had more romantic beginnings, is now located in Seattle's uber industrial Georgetown Neighborhood. The product of the hard work and passion, of three friends, Gabe Warner, Dave ???? and Greg Smallwood. Laurelhurst Cellars now resides in the rear of Greg's industrial equipment business. But make no mistake about it, this an endeavor based on love if it may lack a little of your traditional romantic trappings.

Despite this seeming discrepancy when it comes to romance, there's a lot of passion on the part of Dave, Greg and Gabe. Laurelhurst Cellars is a small winery by any standards, and all three of the guys have day jobs. Their dedication to the winery is not without enormous personal expense, both in cash out of pocket and their time. At significant periods in the winemaking process, from racking to bottling they spend late late evenings in the cellar, er, uh warehouse.

The passion though is apparent in the wines. Laurelhurst makes


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