Last Saturday I didn’t have any weddings to photograph or clients bustling in and out of my studio. This is kind of a rarity, as I’m kind of used to having my Saturdays belong to someone else.
After reading the paper twice, and checking on all my facebook friends I decided that it was time to go on a wine adventure. It had been years since my last visit to Preston winery. So, I grabbed my family and we made our way out to the birthplace of Washington wine.
The winery, located North of Pasco on Highway 395 is a great place for winery tourism. It’s facilities are open and expansive, with an abundance of parking for cars, RVs, and even “Big Rigs”. The grounds are lush, and include gazebos a fishing pond, picnic tables, and acres of public access to get out and stretch your road weary knees.
The first part of the adventure includes climbing up stairs or ramp to the second story loft-style tasting room. From the huge deck you get a fantastic view of the surrounding vineyards and farmland of the area. Once in the tasting room, there is a self-guided tour of the winery that allows you to see into their barrel rooms, crush pad, and storage facilities.
Bill Preston began Preston Winery in 1972 when he planted his first 50 acres of grapes. A true pioneer of the industry, many of the locals thought he was crazy for wasting good hay ground for grapes. In 1976 the Prestons opened their winery facility and became the third licensed winery in the state.
When tasting at Preston you have three choices. There is a complimentary tasting which includes 4 of their blended wines. A perfect sampling for the wine tourist, or someone who doesn’t drink wine regularly. A second offering costs 8 dollars, includes 5 samples of any of their current red or white varietals, and a cute little tourist glass.
The third option is to taste their award winning ports. For 8 dollars, this option also includes a cute glass with the Preston logo.
I didn’t want the stupid glass, but I did want to taste their current releases, so I chose option number two. (By the way, don’t ask to just have the tasting cost rolled into a bottle purchase…You MUST have the glass.) Overall, the wines were acceptable or better. A few really stood out to me. And, some I even took home along with my glass.
The first wine that really stood out was the 2007 Sauvignon Blanc. An estate grown vintage that is a light straw color, with light citrus tones and wonderful acidic balance to offset the .9% sugar level. It finishes crisply. A perfect porch wine for these warm summer months.
The second wine that I was thoroughly impressed with was the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby red to the eye, with a wonderful dust and leather on the nose. This wine is reminiscent of a true Bordeaux, which is hard to find in today’s “fruit-forward” wine world. I loved this wine’s textures and layers of flavor from the initial dustiness, to the rich stone fruit and plum, finishing off with a brilliant balance of tannin.
If you are in the mood for a little summer Sunday drive, I suggest stopping in and visiting the Prestons. Their wines and their facility are well worth the stop.