Posted by: gabriel@arborcrest | September 27, 2010

Weddings, Chocolate, Wine, Oh My!

The summer concert season may be over, but Arbor Crest is still busy as usual.

Kaitlin, our new in-house event coordinator, is busy booking up next summer. If it’s always been your dream to get married at Arbor Crest (or if you just saw us on Facebook) and your nuptuals are taking place during the 2011 year, you’d better act fast. Kaitlin informed me today that she has only 9 more openings (Kaitlin can be reached at 927-8571)

We do a lot more than just weddings around here, though. Kaitlin loves planning birthday parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, engagement parties, anniversary parties (need I go on?)

Our 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (Five Vineyards) debuted this last week. Come on in and try out this wine, brand new to the world and already getting a lot of attention (Robert Parker gave it a 90+).

That’s it for now, thanks for reading and be sure to come visit us soon, whether you’re planning an event, looking for some chocolate, or just need to wet your whistle.

Posted by: gabriel@arborcrest | October 15, 2010

Discovering Social Media & Washington Wine

First off, we’d like to inform you that our friend and the starter of this blog, cara@arborcrest, has moved on to pursue an exciting new venture, and we wish her the best of luck in her endeavors.  As a result, I will be taking over the role of composer of the Cliff House Notes, and hope that I can live up to her high quality writing standards (and since she was a creative writing major I feel like I have big shoes to fill).

So, let me start off by introducing myself to help explain why I chose to make this my first blog.  I am gabriel@arborcrest (or you can just call me Gabe for short) and I’ve been a proud employee of this amazing family run winery for about four and a half years now.  Because I am (apparently) the most internet savvy person in the company I was asked to run our social media networking efforts now that this new industry has really began to blossom in the past year or so.  Among other things, part of my job here at Arbor Crest is to connect with you, our loyal friends and supporters, to provide you all with exciting news, information, and anecdotes about the winery and answer your questions about Arbor Crest and the Washington wine industry.  I’ve been doing this job for about 10 months now and over the course of that time I have found myself spending far more time on Facebook & Twitter, and now this blog, than I ever imagined possible; and the odd thing is they’re actually paying me to do it.

To be honest, when I initially took up this job I couldn’t really understand what the point of spending 8 hours a day on the internet talking and reading about wine could be.  “After all,” I thought,  “if I’m online all day how much information about wine can I process and share before I start repeating myself within a week?”  So, somewhat hesitantly at first, I began spending good chunks of my workday with Facebook & Twitter perpetually open in my browser and I started wading through hundreds of “blogs”, “tweets”, and “wall posts” to try and figure out what this crazy notion of Social Media Networking was all about and how it could potentially benefit Arbor Crest.

Now, approximately 10 months later,  I feel like I have finally got a pretty good grasp on understanding the relationship between social media and it’s benefits to the wine industry.   Sure it can be used as a means for cheap or free advertising, and I have admittedly taken advantage of that fact, but more importantly it has turned out to be a fun, educational and worthwhile method of gathering and sharing information about wine and connecting to people on a level that my time in our tasting rooms may not necessarily allow.  Essentially, those initial doubts and the skepticism I had going into this endeavor were completely misplaced and that shallow, repetitive pool of wine data that I expected to encounter has actually turned to be a seemingly never-ending stream of practical and interesting information on anything from the projected quality of this year’s harvest to the implementation of new wine technology in wine bars.  In fact, I’ve been in this industry for over four years now, and I feel like I’ve learned more about the Washington wine industry in the span of the past 10 months of working in social media than I had in the three plus years prior.

And you want to know what I’ve found is the best part of participating in social media…?  I now have a convenient way to pass the stories I find on to you via this blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

So at this point I would like to make use of this exciting medium and share a few of the Northwest wine bloggers that I’ve been following and their recent stories that I’ve enjoyed reading:

Rating the Bloggers
How Ripe is Ripe Enough?

DRINKnectar The Washington Vintage of the Century?
From Granny Smith to Grapes Wenatchee Is Growing Greatness

Washingotn Wine Report
Boiling Down Initiatives 1000 & 1105
Wine on Tap – Coming Soon to a Wine Bar Near You

Wine Peeps
Should I Join a Wine Club?
Stemware Showdown: New Glasses Take on Riedel

Sips & The City
Grape Cup 2010
BLEND: “The World’s Best Food, Wine & Places”

Wino MagazineIf You Can’t Finish the Bottle, You Can Still
Use the Wine

Chinese Market Thirsty for Washington Wine

In coming posts, I’ll be sure to let you know about more wine writers that I’ve been following, including some of the bloggers in other parts of the nation, as well as provide you with other information about Arbor Crest and Washington Wine.

Next planned post…. Annual Case Sale Information!!!

Posted by: gabriel@arborcrest | August 18, 2010

Rising From the Ashes

Construction on the Cliff House continues!

It was amazing to watch the builders carefully removing the roofing, putting it away and waiting to put it on the finished house. There are so many pieces that are going to be the same, little remnants of what once was.

We are watching the Cliff House rise from the ashes, to the occasion. Each day, as I walk to the office, I check to see what new progress has been made and smile as it takes shape. We’d love to have you come watch, it’s exciting as a spectator sport.

Pretty soon, we’ll be able to make a toast to it’s completion, even sooner than any of us thought possible, we’re already a week and a half ahead of schedule and looking forward to ringing in the new year in the house.

I, for one, will drink to that.

Posted by: gabriel@arborcrest | August 5, 2010

August Wine of the Month!

It’s August!

I don’t know about you, but for me, this summer is going very quickly. It seems like only yesterday that we were kicking off our summer concert series and hoping that it would be warm enough. However, our winemaker tells me that we should have a long, warm autumn, great for harvest, and great for going to the lake!

It’s time again for our wine of the month. Drum roll please…

It’s our brand new 2009 Columbia Valley Chardonnay!

This wine was just released a few weeks ago and has become a new favorite for me. I’m not usually much of a Chardonnay drinker, but this one has captured my heart. It’s fruity and gently acidic (which makes it very food-friendly) but light enough to drink as an aperitif. If you haven’t already tried it, this is the perfect opportunity. Wine Club members get 30% off the featured wine on Thursdays by the bottle or case. If you’re not part of the Wine Club already, you might want to consider it!

Some of my favorite pairings for this wine include: Shrimp Scampi with Garlic Butter, Seasonal Mixed Vegetable Quiche, French Vanilla Chocolate and Camembert, Gouda, Brie or Cheddar cheeses.

Of course, Wine Club Thursdays (and our 2009 Chardonnay) are available at both of our locations: The Cliff House and River Park Square.

Please feel free to comment, call (509.927.9463) or email ( with questions, or just to say hi.

We look forward to seeing you soon!


Posted by: gabriel@arborcrest | July 27, 2010

Wine of the Month: Sauvignon Blanc

Every month, we highlight one of our wines as the wine of the month. If you’re a wine club member, this means that you get 30% off this wine (by the bottle or case) on Thursdays.

Though this month is almost behind us, July’s wine of the month is the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from the Bacchus Vineyard. There is one more Thursday left in July, so you still have time to take advantage of the discount or join the wine club. Thursday also brings Kathy Lieggi displaying handmade windchimes and Spokaloo playing music at the Cliff House Tasting Room.

Here is a word from our winemaker, Kristina, on the wine:

“Arbor Crest has been making Sauvignon Blanc from the Bacchus vineyard since the day we opened our doors 28 years ago! The vines are over 37 years old and they yield fruit that displays ripe pear, honey and lemon with bright acidity on the smooth finish. Sauvignon blanc is my favorite white wine to drink during these warm summer days.  I invite you to enjoy it as well!”

Cheers! Kristina van Löben Sels, Winemaker

Pair this wine with Sauteed Trout in Lemon Butter or Rosemary Chicken.


Posted by: gabriel@arborcrest | July 26, 2010

Summer Is Here!

Summer is in full swing here at Arbor Crest.

Although the Cliff House is undergoing renovation (it will be back to its former glory soon) we are having as much (or maybe more) fun as ever.

We have concerts every Sunday evening beginning at 5:30 (The Ryan Larsen Band is playing on August 1st)

We’ve also introduced a new event this season: Thursdays on the Patio, which features a local musician and a local artist displaying (and sometimes creating) their works of art. These events have no cover and have been well-received this summer.

Of course, our grounds are still beautiful to tour or enjoy a picnic and a bottle of wine, seven days a week from 12-5pm (Wednesday-Friday during the summer: 12-8pm)

Please feel free to give us a call or drop us a line with any questions you might have.

We hope to see you soon.