posted by: Becky Driscoll, Certified Sommelier, Veteran Wine Professional, President of Wenatchee Wine CountryThere is MAGIC happening at Voila! Vineyards. Truth be told, most vineyards at this time of year are going through the same processes but we caught Mother Nature’s magic in action, fittingly, at Voila! – VERASION. Like the incredible appearing rabbit from the hat trick, Mother Nature pours on the color in wine grapes in a seemingly overnight process. I could get into the science-y details but for the short version of the story, verasion is the beginning of grape berry ripening process. From verasion until harvest, wine grapes soften and take on colors, varietal characteristics, and increase in volume, weight and brix (sugars, which are converted to alcohol during the wine making process). For a winemaker, it is much like the first snow at a ski resort or first sign of bloom in an orchard…magical!
Early September, 2013, I was looking for wine not verasion on a day trip to Voila! Winery. Beyond the surprise sneak at verasion in action, the magic just kept happening when owner, Doug Snider, graciously opened the doors to his winery, cellar room, vineyards, and even the gorgeous suites on site. Like most boutique wineries, Voila! is a family operation. The folks growing the grapes are making the wines, pouring in the tasting room, and shaking your hand at the end of your visit. “From scratch” operations are my favorite!! We even met Bethany, Doug’s daughter, who poured the wines for us. The most striking of the wines was the 2010 Pinot Noir, another bit of magic in a glass. Texturally, it expressed very classical nuances unique to the Pinot Noir varietal: silky and supple with flavors that waltzed across the entire palate. My first sip brought to mind fresh strawberries then to mid-palate flavors that stepped towards earth-driven tastes and the dance continued to the end with hints of smoke begging for a pairing with grilled salmon covered with a cherry reduction sauce. When asked, Doug confessed his magic trick to raising the usually frail and fickle Pinot Noir grape was its PERFECT location. Pinot Noir flourishes in locations with plenty of air flow allowing for drastic diurnal shifts (process of cooling at night after long heat days). Voila! is situated on a subtle slope in Cashmere, WA which is sandwiched by the Cascade Range on one side and the rarely talked about, Entiat Range. It is a perfect, and I say that with no exaggeration, location for Pinot Noir.If you want to be a part of the magic show then take a trip to Voila! Winery. You will be awed by the gracious hosts that Doug, Stacee, and family naturally are. Voila! is not a 7-day/week so check the website at www.voilavineyards.com for availability.