Food & Wine Briefs – March 2021

Visit Tri-Cities offering free wine passport

Visit Tri-Cities is offering a free wine passport filled with deals to encourage visitors to check out the region’s wineries.

Deals include being a wine club member for a day and discounts on wine purchases, wine tastings and food at 20 different wineries from Pasco to Prosser.

The Tri-Cities Wine Passport is delivered via text and email – there’s no app to download.

When visiting a participating winery, passholders simply present their phone to redeem the special offer.

If passholders also “check in” at a specific number of locations, they also are eligible to win one of four $50 gift cards.

To download the passport, go to

Goose Ridge Estates now produces vodka

The family that owns Goose Ridge Estate Vineyards and Winery in Richland is now distilling vodka.

The Monson family introduced its VIDO Vodka, named for Arvid “Vido” Monson, a Selo High School graduate and cattleman whose farming operations set the stage to develop Goose Ridge Estates. The elder Monson dreamed of distilling vodka from the family vineyards.

VIDO Vodka is distilled from Goose Ridge-grown grapes that are pressed, fermented and distilled through a series of 24 copper distillation plates before being vaporized, filtered and freeze filtered for clarity.

Go to

Vintners Logistics adds COO; owner plans motorcycle adventures

Vintners Logistics in Kennewick has named Lisa Petersen as chief operating officer.

Petersen is a 25-year logistics industry executive, most recently serving as director of Intermodal Services for Independent Dispatch Inc. in Portland. She is an Oregon State University graduate with a family background in the Willamette Valley wine industry.

“Lisa’s experience will ensure we continue to provide a seamless full suite of logistics, transportation and warehousing solutions while also developing and implementing new warehousing and transportation service lines,” said Robert Thompson. “With Lisa’s arrival, I will be able to increase my energies toward servant leadership and also extensive adventure motorcycle riding.”

Thompson formed Vintners Logistics in 2007 to provide transportation, warehouse and logistics services to the state’s $8-plus billion wine industry.

The company is based in Kennewick with locations in Oregon and California.

Auction of Washington Wines plans in-person, online events

The Auction of Washington Wines will hold a series of in-person and virtual events for its annual fund-raising program.

The auction supports Washington State University Viticulture & Enology Research, Seattle Children’s and funds industry grants.

  • Private Barrel Auction, April 19-20: Thirty Washington wineries will offer five-case lots. The program is coupled with winemaker interviews conducted via Zoom by wine expert Owen Bargreen.
  • Wine & Music Week, May 18-23: The mix of online and in-person events starts with a virtual concert and an online auction of more than 100 bottle lots. Small wine country dinners will be held as conditions allow at Fiction @ J. Bookwalter Wine in Richland and Hightower Cellars Vineyard in Benton City.
  • Online Auction and Virtual Gala, Aug. 10-16: A weeklong silent auction will feature more than 150 lots with offerings ranging from wine to travel to culinary experiences. The program culminates Aug. 14 with a virtual gala featuring 20 live auction lots. Supporters will be able to order gala-in-a-box dinners from local chefs.

Go to for information and updates.

Woodinville Wine Country endows WSU scholarship

Woodinville Wine Country is endowing a new scholarship to elevate minority voices and talent in the state’s winemaking industry.

Chateau Ste. Michelle and DeLille Cellars are creating the endowment through the Washington State University Viticulture & Enology Program to support minority and under-represented students majoring in viticulture and enology

“This scholarship will allow us to bring in students from all backgrounds to study with us and to join the wine industry,” said Thomas Henick-Kling, director of the viticulture and enology program at WSU.

Restaurateurs buy Walla Walla’s Basel Cellars

A group of Northwest hospitality entrepreneurs recently bought Walla Walla-based Basel Cellars Estate’s winery, vineyard, brand, inventory, equipment and all real property, including the on-site estate resort and event facilities.

The new ownership group includes Walla Walla residents and business owners Dan Thiessen, Paul Mackay, and Philip Christofides of the Walla Walla Steak Company and Crossbuck Brewing. Chad Mackay of Fire & Vine Hospitality, and Scott Clark, principal at Clark Property Development, round out the leadership team.

Terms were not disclosed.

The new group will continue to operate Basel Cellars Estate as a wine country lodging and event location while developing plans for further winery and hospitality expansion on the property.

Owners Steve and Jo Marie Hansen of Vancouver, Washington, became partners at Basel Cellars in 2004 and had been the sole owners since 2011.

The Hansens’ 83-acre estate includes 27 acres of mature vineyard, a full winery production facility and cellar, on-site tasting room, an eight-bedroom vacation rental, a two-bedroom cabana, and grounds for hosting weddings and private events.

Originally built in 1997 as a private residence, the Estate House at Basel Cellars was one of the finest homes in the Walla Walla valley.

The property was acquired in 2002 and converted into an estate winery, vineyard, luxury vacation rental and event venue.

METIS, a Pacific Northwest mergers and acquisitions advisory firm focused on the global adult beverage and hospital industries, brokered the deal.

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