June 7, 2008
This morning we left for our last interview. We were heading to Leavenworth, WA to meet with owner/winemaker Rob Newsom of Boudreaux Cellars. It was quite a drive, but an amazing experience. Let me tell you how it went. Well, first of all Leavenworth is like the Solvang of Washington State. It is a storybook town and Rob Newsom lives in that storybook log-cabin in the woods. His property and home actually exist in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Driving in this National Forest somewhat reminded me of a mini Yosemite. We were about 2000 feet above sea level and the mountains on both sides of us were about 7000 feet above sea level. The air here was so invigorating. We felt full of life with the vivacious nature that surrounded us. There were small flowing waterfalls here and there. Along Rob Newsom’s home he has the Icicle Creek which flows year-round. He actually rigged up pipelines coming from the stream to his cabin home. He has some of the freshest water around and he doesn’t even have to pay for it. How about that! We got to quench our thirst with some.
Lucky timing on our behalf, some of the Newsom family was in town. Not only did we get to meet Rob’s wife who lives in the forest with him, but we got to meet Rob’s mom and dad, as well as his daughter. We learned that Rob’s father Jimmy has been a musician his entire life. He started playing guitar and singing as a little boy and much of it was just from what he heard around him. We were privileged enough to have both Jimmy & Rob perform 3 songs for us in the cabin before we left. We have this on tape and it will definitely be in the movie. Just so everyone knows, Jimmy is in his mid 80s and his family refers to him as a “Human Jukebox.” He has many songs in him. Rob has been playing with his dad for many years and he tells us it is always a surprise to hear what his father will sing and play. Jimmy told us that Rob is always able to catch on and accompany him with another guitar. Somehow it is no problem at all.
The Newsom Family is the epidemy of southern hospitality. They are all originally from Louisiana. I would say their kindness was as typical as what you hear about or even what you see in some movies, but we lived it. It was real life. Not only were we showered with kindness, realizing we were hungry we were treated with warm Marionberry pie, brownies with walnuts, smoked ham freshly made from the night before, local bread with homemade dipping sauce (balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil, truffle oil, & herbs), and coffee. Rob even sent us home with a full case of wine. We thought all of this was more than generous.
We most definitely saved the best for last without even realizing it until we were there. It was like saving the cherry on top to enjoy last after you’ve enjoyed your ice-cream sundae. Maybe in this case a Rainer cherry.
Going to Boudreaux Cellars was like a beautiful dream. Overall, impressive experience from wines to location and hospitality.
I found a website that has many short stories about the Southern Louisiana character Boudreaux and his friend Thibodeaux. It is this Boudreaux character that gave Rob the inspiration for his winery. You should read some of them. They are quite hilarious.
We even left with the perfect song to end Merlove with. The name of the song is I Wanna Drink It Today and it is by Paul Gregutt, one of Rob’s good friends. Paul Gregutt is the author to “Insider’s Guide to Washington Wines,” he is a columnist for The Seattle Times Newspapers, and he is also a contributing editor to The Wine Enthusiast.
As we left, driving west closer to the coast there were more and more trees that started to be present. The desert was behind us now. There were many green glowing hills and meadows with vibrant wild flowers. After a while, then came the rain pushing through the thick gray clouds to be heard and seen. Although, sky wasn’t completely saturated with gray. There were small bits of blue sky occasionally making a stand amongst the domineering clouds. As we drove through The Cascade Mountains on Hwy 2, we saw multiple mini waterfalls. There were ones that were solo and fell from very high and others that started low that spanned out into other small veins of falling water. We also saw many snow-capped mountains. It was like driving through a winter wonderland. The mystical mountains and all their glory gave way to their hidden magic as we drove through. The fog appeared to lift away for our car as if curtains alongside a movie screen. The beauty, the amazement, and wonder of the Cascades left us desiring for more time to explore. So until next time, such lusciousness will be an imprinted memory in our minds.
When we got back to Seattle we were to spend one more night at Hotel Vintage Park. Chris decided to part us and meet up with some of his old friends from the area. Rudy & I decided to have one last nice dinner out. We ended up going to The Kingfish Cafe on a friend’s recommendation. We figured southern food would be an appropriate end to our day. It was excellent! Amazing flavors and huge portions. Their cornbread has whole pieces of sweet corn in it. Yum! We even shared a strawberry shortcake for dessert that probably stood about 12 inches high.
Next day we were to head home. We made sure we had some Pho first and then it was off to the airport.