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Better with Age: Chinook Wines and Yakima Valley AVA Turn 30

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the designation of the first American Viticultural Area in Washington State.

Here is an article I wrote for Seattle magazine about Kay Simon & Clay Mackey of Chinook Wines, also celebrating a 30th birthday!

When Kay Simon and Clay Mackey first put down roots in Prosser in 1983, there were only about 40 wineries in the state, and the Yakima Valley had just been established as the state’s first American Viticultural Area (AVA). The inspirational couple behind Chinook Wines, Simon and Mackey went on to carve a niche for themselves by making approachable, affordable wines even as they helped shape the burgeoning industry around them. This year, as more than 750 wineries churn out award-winning vintages, Chinook and the Yakima Valley AVA celebrate their 30th anniversary.

Read more…


Taste of Tulalip: Big Bites at the Small-mouthed Bay

We often forget that long and embattled history has played out for hundreds or thousands of years on the ground on which we stand. Tulalip Resort seems like it sprang from I-5 itself, fully formed in all its casino-y glory, there to serve the weary and hungry traveler.

But the land surrounding this super-modern casino has been Tulalip land for centuries; and after the chaos of the late 18th and early 19th century, it was only in 1979 that the Tulalip tribe revived the First Salmon Ceremony, the old way of gathering people of the region together to eat, drink, dance and celebrate the return of the life-bringing salmon.

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A Dash of Salt Spring Island

Last fall, I had the pleasure of venturing up to the Canadian Gulf Islands as a part of my friend Danielle Custer’s (former chef and current director of Taste Restaurant at the Seattle Art Museum) annual birthday trip. In the gang are three others – Rose Ann Finkel, owner – with her husband Charles Finkel – of the Pike Brewing Company, Linda Stratton (sales and marketing at the Pike), and Monique Barbeau, former chef, now mom and foodista.

Each year we pick a different wine region (so far, Willamette Valley, Lake Chelan, Okanagan, BC) – this year, we had access to a great cabin on Salt Spring Island in BC.

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