Thursday, August 23, 2007

Trillium Creek Winery is a treat for the whole family

I ventured to the Key Peninsula with some girlfriends and our families recently for a bit of food n' fun with the friends, and part of our day of R&R on the beach in Home (gotta say it: FORMER nudist colony ...) was to visit the very nearby Trillium Creek Winery. Wow -- it might be available at the Thursday downtown farmers market in Tacoma, but I HIGHLY recommend making the trek across the Purdy Spit for a tour and free tasting, all very family friendly (though the kids get to play with toys, not taste wine).

The winery is very, very new ... and the owners are very, very kind, generous and knowledgeable. (Check out their website for some great details.) We scheduled a tour, and seven of the nine adults, and five of the 10 children joined Claudia as she taught us about the different grape varietals, pruning of the vines, why vines at the bottom of the hill weren't as lush as at the top of the hill. We got to see how they kept the deer away, the hand-crank label applier, we watched them bottle, we heard about why steel vs. oak. All kinds of stuff.

Then we settled down for the day's FREE wine tasting menu. The kids played in the corner with a pile of toys waiting while we adults sat at the small bar and listened as Claude told us about how their Chardonnay is fruity rather than oaky, and how it would actually taste quite like champagne if they added the bubbles. Each wine was definitely a different take on the stuff you pick up at the grocery store, and by the end, our group bought enough to get FREE bottle to bring back to the beach house and share with the adults who stayed back with the rest of the rambunctious children. Oh, and did I mention cheese? We had spotted the many cheeses in the fridge and started asking questions, as we had many cheese-addicts among us. Claude pulled out a couple and fed us slivers of this and that with instructions to put them on our tongue and explore the flavors as the cheese warmed from health-department mandated temperatures. Fabulous. We bought a wheel ... or more.

It's fabulous to find a winery out on this side of the mountains that grow the grapes themselves, and they'd love to see others join the pack. So, if you're interested in starting a winery out in this neck of the woods ... ask Claudia about getting some clippings the next time she prunes grapes. Apparently all you have to do is stick them in the ground and watch them grow (and offer some TLC, of course, but she's pretty smart on sharing that info, too.)

Who knows, maybe in five to 10 years the South Sound will be the next Walla Walla/Yakima Valley/Willamette Valley wine country ... I won't complain.

Oh, and this fabulous wine comes at fabulous prices. It ain't three-buck Chuck, that's for sure, but for under $20 -- many closer to $10, you can pick up quite a bottle to savor. Check it out!

12 comments:

jamie said...

Technically, Home is a former anarchist colony. But there was nudism there, which was one of the shocking points back in the early 1900s. But yeah, all of that is firmly in the "former" category. Though I get the impression there's still a bit of a counter-culture vibe there--always a good thing in my book.

Interestingly, to the west of Key Peninsula you will find Stretch Island in the town of Grapeview (incidentially, the town in which my parents will be retiring). You may be familiar with Stretch Island due to the Stretch Island Fruit Leather. Anyway, Stretch Island was home of the first vineyards and winery in the Pacific NW. The "Island Belle" grape is still bottled by Hoodsport Winery on Hood Canal (which of course used to have a tasting room in dowtown T-town). There are still a few vineyards on the island, but the old St. Charles Winery now is inactive as a winery, but IS home to a most excellent maritime museum.

Your trivia for the day...

Lena said...

You forgot to mention that Claude offers tips on how to best enjoy your fruit wine, as in drizzle blackberry wine on vanilla icecream and keep the bottle handy for refills!

tacomachickadee said...

Oh yeah, the drizzling blackberry wine ... you're making me hungry. I might just have to go open my bottle. Darn you.

tacomachickadee said...

And thanks for the trivia Jamie! Most excellent. :)

Jenny said...

I haven't opened the bottles yet with Kevin. Waiting for the correct meal.

We just had so much fun.

tacomachickadee said...

We've only opened one of the three we bought so far, when a dear friend came down from Seattle on Sunday (seemed fitting). But I have a feeling at least one more will find itself emptied this weekend at a family affair when hubby's rarely seen cousin comes to town. :)

Lena said...

Let me know if you need refills, we are heading out that way for Labour Day before going for a visit to Mickey Mouse and his gang.

Camille said...

You have got to get down here so I can share Santa Barbara wine country with you. Matt and I love going up there just for the day!

Michael said...

sounds like a really fun place might have to check it out sometime. The icecream tip sounds pretty amazing too :)

picture troll said...

no pictures? Shame on you.

September said...

Amazing! I had my first adventure at Trillium just weeks ago as well. After buying a bottle of Chardonnay and a Raspberry Wine, he generously gave me an Apple wine for my birthday!
Make sure you come out for the Pierce County Harvest Fest ~ first time on the Key Peninsula on Oct. 6. Claude is the most invested and pretty much the planner of the event. I've been helping him with publicity!
I wish you would of told me you were heading that way, I would have joined you!!

tacomachickadee said...

PT - Not everyone carries camera/video phones ...