Celebrate Your Life – See the World
by J “Kat” Loren : :
In the tiny town of Plain, on the east side of Steven’s Pass, Seattleites who have summer cabins near Lake Wenatchee and cross country skiers who ski the groomed tracks of the Plain meadow, know all about the town’s secret winetasting room near the hardware store – its tiny, street-side sign reading, “Napeequa Vintners”. Napeequa is Salishan for white water as if wines should dance as joyfully on the tongue as a river leaping to the sea.
Dave Morris, a chiropractor who reinvented himself as a winemaker and owner of Napeequa Winery, is no amateur vintner and his lively wines are far from plain. For the past twenty years, he has devoted himself to chasing what his imagination deems illusive but worth pursuing – perfection in every glass. David relies on small-lot vineyards in the Columbia and Yakima valleys and by keeping production small (fewer than 2,000 cases), he creates wines that are “different and intriguing.”
Napeequa’s slogan, “Your friends, your food, our wine,” isn’t mere lip service; the tasting room offers a place where friends and acquaintances can mingle and enjoy great wine. Dave offers generous pours of his line of classic wines, including his signature Malbec, alongside the Davey Outrageous patio-wines then stands back watching eyes light up with wonder.
According to Dave, “The Davey Outrageous patio-wine project was inspired by 1950’s Americana retro, go-go dancers and Mexican calendar art. Pretty funky across the board.” Unlike inferior wines with cute labels, Napeequa Vintners’ consumers are quick to point out the quality in the Davey Outrageous collection. The lineup includes Pinkie A-Go-Go Columbia Valley Rosé, ¡Chica! Columbia Valley White, and Grill Thrill Columbia Valley Red.
The “iChica” Riesling could medal alongside the best of German Rieslings. On the nose, I caught the scent of the freshness of spring and the daring of summer. As I sipped and stared out the window at my cross country skis propped up in the snow outside the tasting room, memories arose of the Rhine River castle this Chica stayed in as a youth, then 32 years later biked past, stopping for wine along the way. The wine label bears an appropriate subtitle for my life – “I sin hombre, y sin miedo” – celebrating the daring woman, without a man and without fear, unafraid to ride through life alone. As I sip and savor the memories, I note the waning tinge of sweetness has alchemized into a finish of honeysuckle gold.
The classic labeled Malbec could medal as well – smooth, complex like the bachelor winemaker who
casts his gaze towards a distant prize wine. A wine to be savored with cellos on a starry night, a full moon highlighting the mountain peaks, while white waters race to the sea and memories linger on the tongue that will surely get better with age.
Getting There: From the west, East HWY 2 to Stevens Pass 15 miles East of Pass summit turn left on HWY 207 toward Lake Wenatchee, 3.0 miles, then right on Beaver Valley Rd toward Plain, 5.0 miles, Napeequa on right. From the east, from Wenatchee, West HWY 2 toward Leavenworth, Right on Chumstick HWY, 13.5 miles, right on Beaver Valley Rd. Stay right on Beaver Valley Rd. Napeequa on left.
Tasting Room: Open on weekends to the public. Hours: Saturday 11-5, Sunday 11-4. Tasting fee is $5.
18820 Beaver valley Road
Plain, WA 98226
J “Kat” Loren is a Pacific NW-based journalist and author of more than a dozen books. She currently focuses on writing health, fitness, and travel articles. Her blog “Crazi Culture” is a popular read among those who like eclectic topics and travelogues about odd places and adventures. http://www.craziculture.com Jloren.firstname.lastname@example.org
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