My first visit to Milbrandt Vineyards tasting room in Prosser, Washington was on a birthday trip in August. How was it? Well even though we have, OK had, an agreement to not sign up for any more wine clubs we are now members. The tasting room is located next to Wine-O-Clock, one of our favorite restaurants. From the moment we entered we felt welcome, Jan sent us out to the deck to find a table.
Most tastings take place standing at the bar in the tasting room, a few will come to you if you sit at a table, but Milbrandt’s weekend tastings are a bit different. Jan brought us two “Flight Carriers” holding 5 glasses each, with a descriptive tag on each glass. She checked on us often, in fact I am sure we dominated her time. We loved that we could taste at our pace. It was the Viognier that won me over. Readers here know it is my favorite white these days. I thanked Jan by doing a quick sketch for her of a topiary that is on the patio.
This last week I went back, I was in the area doing seminars and had some time. With summer coming to an end a few hours on the patio, in the sun, with a glass of wine and my sketchpad sounded like the perfect prescription. The family welcome must be part of the culture because Shelly and Angela made it wonderful; we talked about travel, art, and wine. A glass of Viognier, and I was set.
Milbrandt Vineyards is a fourth generation operation, headed now by Butch and Jerry. I have not had the pleasure of tasting all their offerings, and of course I love the Viognier. The Mourvedre is a red with just enough body to not be overpowering, and smooth, no puckering feeling in the back of the mouth. We have a bottle in the cellar. Their Petite Sirah 2010 is fruity “with juicy vibrant flavors.” Both are destined for some good food and conversation.
I have written before that the ambience of the winery is almost as important as the terroir of the vineyard for my enjoyment of a wine. Milbrandt has done that. The deck and the tasting room, and especially the staff all make for a vineyard worth checking out.