Saturday, July 10, 2004

Greetings from the Pacific Northwest

It's 7 AM, here in Seattle. I arrived in town last night after around seven hours spent in airplanes. I'm in a hotel very close to the SEA-TAC airport called the Clarion, which is inexpensive, but has so far been clean, efficient, roomy and proffering of free wireless Internet connectivity. 'Hog heaven' might be a trifle strong, but I am definitely enjoying myself. I will be heading downstairs to enjoy some breakfast in a little while, but I wanted to hop on and fill everyone in on my itinerary.

There are two wineries I plan to visit today, before heading toward the interior of the state: Chateau Ste. Michelle (which I have mentioned before) and the Columbia Winery. Both facilities are within 15 minutes of Seattle, and promise to be educational and a lot of fun.

On Sunday (tomorrow) I will be heading to a Bed & Breakfast in Prosser, Washington called the Vintner's Inn at the Hinzerling Winery. This will be my base of operations as I hop around the Columbia Crest and Blackwood Canyon wineries, as well as some of the vineyards (Cold Creek and Horse Heaven, so far) whose grapes go to the four wineries I've mentioned.

This morning I need to do a little shopping for things like film for the camera I brought along (borrowed from L [and thanks again!]), but this afternoon the winery fun begins.

Hinzerling may be a pleasant surprise. It's about 3 hours' drive from Seattle to the Yakima Valley region where I'll be doing most of my stomping around this week; the Hinzerling Winery is in just the right place, and their room rates are superb. They also tend to produce Riesling and Gewurztraminer wines, for which I've recently discovered a real love. Nothing like making an unexpected find... More notes to follow!


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