There has been a lot going on in the Walla Walla Valley in the middle of summer. Here are the latest news and events.

Heat Wave in the Valley

For over two weeks, there have been one hundred plus days of heat. Yesterday (Wednesday) the high was 107, today's forecast is for 109 degrees. A cooling trend is predicted for the weekend, with temperatures in the 'eighties, and then back up to over 100 next Wednesday. What does this do to the vines? When temperatures reach 105, vines start shutting down for self protection. Also, there is the issue of sunburn which scorches grapes. Verasion, which is the stage where grapes start to turn colored, is already under way. The growing heat days are way above normal, and another early harvest is expected. The 2018 growing season is being compared to 2014, another hot year. I'll keep you posted.

The Eritage Resort now Open

A few weeks ago, the Eritage Resort, owned by Scott Knox of Vista Ventures and Justin Wylie, owner of the adjacent Heritage Vineyard and Va Piano Vineyards, opened for business. This destination resort is located north of Walla Walla on Bergevin Springs Road, off Lower Waitsburg Road. There is a restaurant, and guest room suites on the premises amid vineyards and wheat fields. Ten villas will be opened in 2019. Lynn and a couple of friend stopped by there last week and was showed around by Events Manager Deb Carter. Lynn was given the restaurant menu and wine list, all items reasonably priced. The wines are not much above normal retail, and the entrees quite affordable. We will go up there in the near future. When we've done so, I'll write a report in an upcoming Review Blog posting.

Marie-Eve Gilla Retires from Forgeron 

A couple of weeks ago, Marie-Eve Gilla announced her retirement as winemaker for Forgeron Cellars. No reason for the retirement was given except that she looks forward to more time with her family, a son and a daughter, and husband Gilles Nicault, winemaker at Long Shadows. She will have an on line blog in the near future, reporting on her post retirement activities. Right now, she is vacationing in France with her children. All the best for Marie-Eve!

Mauro Golmarvi Presents an Assaggio Pop-Up Dinner

Last Friday, August 3, Mauro Golmarvi and Connie Blumenthal, owners of Assaggio Restaurant in Seattle (and our next door neighbors in Walla Walla), put on the First Annual Pop-Up Dinner at Bacon & Eggs on Main Street in Walla Walla. All the proceeds went to the Cannara Sister City Exchange program which hosts and trains Italian culinary students in Walla Walla. It was a great event. Lynn and I put together a table of six. The four course menu consisted of choices of primo, insalata, secondo and dolce plates. I chose bruschetta, Franceasca salad, brasata - slow cooked short ribs - and gelato. What could be more Italian? We went through three bottles of Brunello di Montalcino for the dinner. Can't wait for the second annual.