Grapes, hops and music take over Ashford

5:49 pm October 31st, 2013

If sipping and savoring artisanal wines and microbrews is your thing, Ashford is the place to be this Saturday for the fourth annual Mount Rainier Fall Wine Tasting and Brew Festival.
The event from 2 to 8 p.m. at 27726 State Route 706 East will feature treats for the palate from small Washington producers. Also on tap is live music.
Children are welcome. There are no age restrictions, said a spokeswoman for Mt. Rainier Visitors Association, the event’s organizer.
The cost of $25 for admission ($20 if paid before Thursday; call 1-877-617-9951) includes a wine glass, 10 tasting tickets and chocolate.
For overnighters in Ashford, Elbe, Longmire and Mineral, lodging booked at will include one complimentary festival entry.
The stars of the weekend, of course, are the brews and wines.
Wingman Brewers of Tacoma will be on hand with its South Sound-influenced beers.
For wine lovers, the lineup includes:
• Convergence Zone Cellars, a family-owned and operated winery located in the Puget Sound convergence zone in Woodinville. Grapes from some of Washington’s best vineyards are vinted and blended by winemaker Scott Greenberg into award-winning, premium-quality wines.
• Knipprath Cellars of Spokane specializes in hand-crafting Northwest wines with a European flair. The family-owned and operated boutique winery started full-time operations in 1999.
• Madsen Family Cellars in Olympia, licensed in 2005, began with two barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon and now has more than 11 red and white wines. They originate with eastern Washington grapes.
• Michael Florentino Cellars, located in Woodinville, experiments with unique grape varieties.
• Mt. St Helens Cellars is located in Silverlake and will soon harvest its first Pinot Noir grapes. The owners spent many years in California, mastering the art of growing grapes and making wine.
• Rainier Wine, a project by Copper River Estate, chose consulting winemaker Suzanne Elliott for her experience and passion to develop an award-winning portfolio of Cabernet, Merlot, Majestic Red, Chardonnay and Riesling.
• Scatter Creek Winery, owned by Andrea and Terril Keary, has served the Tenino area since 2005 and specializes in handcrafted wines – soft whites, reds and dessert.
• Stottle Winery, located in Lacey, sources its grapes from some of the oldest and most prestigious vineyards east of the Cascades.
Hard ciders and fruit wines will be presented by Finnriver Farm and Cidery.
Along with imbibing, festival goers can dine on pizza by Papa’s Wood Fire Pizza of Snohomish and cheeses by Mountain Lodge Farm.
As for music, two groups will perform in two-hour blocks.
On the stage from 2 to 4 p.m. will be Collaborative Works Jazz, which has been performing throughout the Puget Sound area for the past 15 years. The trio is comprised of guitarist Frank Seeberger, bassist Doug Barnett and drummer Mike Stafford.
They’ll be followed from 4 to to 6 p.m. by The Side Project and its blend of pop, folk and contemporary tunes inspired by artists like Sarah McLachlan and Jason Mraz, The band’s rendition of “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” has been featured on the television shows “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance.”

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