Nearly 3,000 wine enthusiasts joined Karen Linde (Seattle), Rachel Dolph (Mukilteo), and Laura and Kevin Kerns (Snohomish) at the second annual Northwest Wine Festival at The Herbfarm. Fancy picnic lunches were par for the course, along with gourmet wine tasting, food, and folk and classical guitar music.
Photo by Jeff Switzer/Valley View.
by Jeff Switzer
FALL CITY--This past weekend, nearly 3,000 wine enthusiasts descended on The Herbfarm, sampling fine cuisine and exotic and limited production wines from the best of what the Northwest has to offer, all set in the woods near the restaurant's famed herb gardens.
Modeled after their Northwest Microbrewery Festival held at the same location for the past nine years, this festival offered wine education and tasting forums, music, and more than 50 wine and food booths. For $20, festival-goers received a complimentary glass for their tastings, a small piece of French bread, and 20 tickets to exchange for wine samples and food.
The two-day Northwest Wine Festival featured 110 different wines from 41 Northwest wineries, along with meals appropriately matched with available wines.
"I guess the word's gotten out because everybody's here," said Carrie Van Dyck, general manager and big cheese at The Herbfarm, noting that the crowd tends to be very sophisticated and at the same time family-oriented.
She said last year's festival wasn't as well publicized, and based on feedback from previous festival goers, made this event slightly smaller.
The Herbfarm is a restaurant which serves six-course luncheons and nine-course meals for $65 and $129 respectively. Three-quarters of the reservations for September 1996 through February 1997 will be made on Aug. 28.
As an alternative to their gourmet meals, festival-goers this weekend were able to choose between The Herbfarm's grilled King Salmon with Chanterelle mushrooms and basil with a choice of carrot and marjoram sauce or pinot noir and fennel sauce for $6.50.
Patricia Hendrix of Tacoma said the salmon was amazing. "This is a great festival, because you have the opportunity to compare so many different approaches to the same types of wine," she said.
Saturday's totals showed Woodinville's DeLille Cellars as No. 1 in sample tickets, serving two of their four Bordeaux-style wines: Chaluer Estate and D2 to more than 400 people. Quilceda Creek Vintners were right behind them, serving their yet-to-be-released 1993 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon to more than 400 people.
DeLille also placed sixth and tenth in wine sales in the retail area for their two wines, which are distributed only to fine restaurants, manned wine stores and through mail-order.
The No. 1 selling wine for Saturday was Silvan Ridge's 1994 Early Muscat Semi-Sparkling.
"This is a different venue for wineries, who may have to serve their products in parking lots or indoors," Van Dyck said. "The outdoors really attracted them."