June 6, 2008
This afternoon we headed to Benton City to meet with vineyard growers/owners, Patricia & David Gelles of Klipsun Vineyards. Klipsun is a word for beautiful sunset that comes from the Chinook Native Americans. The Chinook people use to live along the embankments of the Columbia River spanning from BC, Canada to Eastern Washington.
We met Patricia a.k.a. as “Queen of the Mountain” and her husband at their vineyards located in the tiny area of Red Mountain which is within the Yakima Valley. This easternmost tip in Yakima Valley is known to have smaller clusters/crops, but makes for greatly concentrated wines.
It was a very gray and windy day of filming. We had to find a wind barrier and the guys interviewed/filmed behind some white plastic grape bins. These bins were big and stacked high, so really helped with breaking the wind barrier. It was an exciting site to take pictures of this interview with Patricia’s pink hair dancing all around in the wind as she answered our interview questions. The pink almost was glowing with the intense gray clouds giving us an audience in the background. Patricia agreed with Rudy that if people started drinking wine instead of soda with their fast food would be a beginning at getting healthier. After our interview we had a quick lunch with Patricia & David. They brought us an assortment of cheeses, some bread, and pears to eat. We also enjoyed some wine with our meal. It was not a Merlot, we actually had some Sauvignon Blanc from one of her clients. So, the wine was made from her grapes. Patricia & David had to quickly be on their way for a big wine event that was going to occur in Walla Walla.
We were very excited that Patricia loves The Triplets of Belleville, a common favorite movie with us.
After our time spent at Klipsun Vineyards we drove to a couple neighboring wineries just for tasting. Rudy, Chris, & I did some wine tasting at Fidelitas Winery. We wanted to film at Fidelitas, but unfortunately Charlie Hoppes the owner/winemaker had previous engagements. He may have been heading to the same event Patricia & David were going to. There were 2 very nice ladies that poured for us. One was named Jessica and unfortunately we didn’t get the other’s name. We also went to the beautiful Hedges Family Estate. Only Rudy & I tasted there. Chris just relaxed in the rental car. While there, Sabrina Greever took very good care of us. She tasted us through several older vintages of their wine to compare vintages. She even took us through their barrel room, fermentation room, and the Hedge Family’s private wine cellar.
After tasting, we decided to check out were we would be staying that night. We were to drive back to Prosser at stay at the Prosser Precept Ranch. This ranch was strangely enough on Crow Road. In this area there were tons of cherry tree orchards and hops plants being trained to grow as a vine along angled ropes and wood stakes. When we finally figured out where the ranch was there was no one around. We checked to see if any doors were unlocked on the main building on property and found that the back door was, so we were able to bring our things in and relax. Eventually an older man named Bob (Gus Chiggins kind of character/SNL) came out to greet us with his 2 old dogs. Gus use to be the farmer who owned the property where the new Prosser Precept Ranch is. He asked us if we wanted the barn unlocked. We said “sure” and when he opened it, we came to realize that there a complete Party Barn on property. This barn was loaded with any type of liquor one could desire and all up for grabs at one’s disposal. There were snacks and sodas and even a popcorn machine. There was a pool table, dart board, large screen tvs, video games, card table, etc. In the main house there were many multiple rooms both up and downstairs. The cabinets and refrigerator were filled with food.
A few hours after we got there a big group of Precept Brands distributors and retailers came to stay the weekend. They were a rowdy party group. It was a little bit of a weird vibe, but everyone was very nice. They ended up putting dinner together which include BBQ meats, rice, beans, tortillas, cheese, chips and salsa, etc. There was enough wine on the table to quench the thirst of a small country. We even got to try several wines from Australia. Que Syrah-Syrah! The party crowd stayed up to the early hours of the morning and both Chris and Bob hung out with them. Rudy & I were somewhat party-poopers. We hung out for a little bit, but I think we were just mostly exhausted. It was a huge week of constant go-go-go. It was great though, well rewarding and worth it. I forgot to mention earlier in the night good ol’ Gus Chiggins “Bob” helped us to start some quads that were available on property for us to use. We had a great time driving them all around the vineyard property. Chris road solo and Rudy drove us around in one. There were clouds of silt we produced as we drove around. We even drove through a Rainer cherry orchard. I picked a couple to eat. Sweet. Yum.