Red Mountain Roundup, 8/17/2017

Red Mountain Roundup is a roundup of all of the things to do, places to stay, and other information to help you plan your visit to Red Mountain.

This weather outlook is the stuff of dreams!  
 http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/l/99320:4:US

Events, Places to Visit This Weekend:

I believe all tasting rooms charge a $10.00 tasting fee.  Some are refundable with purchase, some are partially refundable.  

  • Red Mountain Trails — Wagon Rides, Trail Rides, and guided Bike Tours available.  Click here to reserve! 
  • Chandler Reach — open Weds through Monday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
    Sunday, 8/20/2017 4:00 – 7:00 — Sunday supper featuring chef Logan Carr with Fat Olive’s.  Info here.  Club price $55.95, non-club members $65.95
  • Col Solare – tasting room open 11 am – 5 pm Weds – Sun. 
    Saturday, 8/19/2017 5:00 – 9:00 — Summer Sole featuring Blues performed by Don Millard.  Info here. 
  • Cooper – tasting room open noon – 5 pm DAILY.  Tasting fee $10.00  A portion of tasting fees often go to various charities.  
  • Fidelitas – tasting room open 11 am – 4 pm daily.  Tasting fee $10.00, refundable with wine purchase.  
  • Frichette – tasting room open daily noon – 5 pm. 
  • Hamilton Cellars – tasting room open Sun – Thurs 11 am – 5 pm, Fri & Sat 11 am – 6 pm
  • Hedges – open on weekends, 11 – 5 
  • Hightower  Tasting room open 11 am – 5 pm Thurs – Mon.
  • Kiona –  tasting room open noon – 5 pm daily.  
  • Linda Ellis Andrews — Artist in Glass and Bronze.  Linda is a fabulous artist and wonderful person!  Make an appointment to visit her studio, you won’t be disappointed!
  • Monte Scarlatto — tasting room open 11 am – 5 pm Thurs and Sun.  11 am – 6 pm Fri and Sat.  By appointment also.  They have a 9-hole golf course among the vines, check it out!
  • Portrait Cellars — tasting by appointment only.  509-588-4534
  • Purple Star Wines — Wednesday – Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
    Saturdays, 10:00 am — Stretch & Sip.  
  • Tapteil – Fri – Sun 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.  509-588-4460  
  • Terra Blanca –  tasting room open daily 11 am – 6 pm.  
    Vineyard Grille open noon – 5:00 pm Friday through Sunday. 
    Thursday, 8/17/2017, 6:30 pm — Chef Series featuring Monterosso’s.  Info Here.  
    Friday, 8/18/2017, 7:00 pm — Cuisine de Vin food and wine pairings.  Info Here. 
  • Tucannon – tasting room open Fri – Sun 11 am – 6 pm, Wed – Thurs 11 am – 5 pm.  $5.00 tasting fee.  
  • Tri-Cities Events
  • Red Mountain AVA Site (info, places to stay, calendar of more events)

Places to Stay:

  • Vacation Rentals by Owner — Red Mountain has some really nice vacation rentals available for your visit.  Most of these are right on Red Mountain and visitors get a discount on their trail or wagon ride when they stay.  
  • Bella Luna House — gorgeous vacation rental offered by Tapteil winery.
  • Camping and RV — 
    • Beach RV Park – situated in Benton City — lots of pretty trees, gorgeous setting along the Yakima River waterfront, 5 minutes to Red Mountain.  If you stay here we can deliver your bike rental to you!
    • RV Village Resort – West Richland.  Easy access to Red Mountain and Richland for restaurants, shopping, and wine-tasting.  Indoor pool and spa.
    • Wine Country RV — Prosser.  Great location and amazing staff.  Really nice place!
    • Monte Scarlatto — Red Mountain.  Enjoy staying in the heart of Red Mountain!
  • The nearest hotels are located in Richland and Prosser.

Places to Eat

There are a number of chain restaurants around but here are some “off the beaten path” recommendations:

    • Red Mountain Trails  — we offer dinner on Friday and Saturday nights starting in May.  Reservations can be made here.  
    • Tacos Garcia Taco Truck — West Richland.  The best taco truck around, and I love their ceviche.
    • The Vineyard Grill at Terra Blanca — Red Mountain.  One of the only places on the hill to eat.  Beautiful views and great food and wine!
    • Hacienda del Sol — Benton City.  Large portions of great Mexican food and excellent customer service!
Posted in Round Up | Comments Off on Red Mountain Roundup, 8/17/2017

Axel, the “Informal Horse of the Week”

I keep meaning to do blog posts of our “horse of the week” where I give you a bunch of juicy details and endearing photos of one specific horse.  Currently, that’s 14 weeks’ worth of material.  I’m calling it the “Informal” horse of the week series because I’m not that great at sticking to this blogging schedule.  It might be the “Horse of the week” for a couple of weeks before I get to writing about the next one.  

This week it’s Axel.  Because it’s the first week and I’m going in alphabetical order.  

Axel came to us as a 6 month old, barely-weaned fuzz ball.  We got him in the dead of winter.  Axel belonged to a herd of horses that had been abandoned in Montana in 2010.  They were very well bred quarter horses, apparently.  

I started Axel under saddle in 2013 as a 3 year old with Buck Brannaman.  He acted like he was born broke.  He’s been used on the trail rides, he’s worked cattle, been roped off of, and pretty much will do anything you ask.  This year I plan to start jumping with him.  

Axel is a character — a stinker and an ornery instigator in the herd.  He never misses a chance to pester Wishbone, the current alpha who outweighs Axel by about double his weight.  

Axel loves belly rubs.  Yes.  Really.  He is always ready to ride and wants to be with his humans as much as possible.  He hates trailer rides, but will get in the trailer anyway.  He loves food, annoying other horses, food, being with people, food, and food.  He hates the horse trailer (only when it’s moving), and not getting his way (he just has to learn to live with that!).  

If you stop by and see the horses, Axel is easy to spot — he’s probably the one trying to get the other horses to play with him.

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Posted in Horse Tales, The Horses | Comments Off on Axel, the “Informal Horse of the Week”

Tough Stuff

Doing the right thing sucks sometimes.

Here’s to Nevada:

When we first started our business we began scouring Craigslist and other online groups for suitable horses — older, quiet, calm.  We found an ad for a “free horse” in Roy, Washington.  Posting a horse (or most any other animal) on Craigslist as “free” is pretty much a death sentence for them.  I was hoping I could get to him before the meat buyers did.  

The family offering him was nice and upfront about his issues — intermittent lameness in the mountains.  They loved to ride in the mountains and Nevada just wasn’t up for it anymore.  We all agreed he’d probably do well on the gentle terrain on Red Mountain.  

Nevada was a stunning red horse with four tall white socks.  He had a cute face with big, soft doe eyes and little fox ears.  An important part of his legacy was how many children he taught — he was a lesson horse, a cowboy camp horse, and was a great boy for youngsters on our trail rides.  It’s safe to say Nevada changed lives.  He was always quiet and kind, and despite his advanced age he had a playful spirit in the herd.  

Nevada was one of the first horses in our string, a founding member of our operation.  He was always polite, always a gentleman.  Horses like him are the kind that make people want to ride.  

We miss you, buddy.  

With heavy hearts we had to release Nevada from his pain and lay him to rest.  Our vet is a wonderful person who helped us make it as peaceful and loving as possible.  I hope we did right by you, Nevada.  

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Posted in Life on the Ranch, The Horses | Comments Off on Tough Stuff

Legitimacy

I often feel uncomfortable when people say to or about me that I’ve built Red Mountain Trails, that in some sense I’m the queen bee, boss, or guru of the operation.  It doesn’t feel legitimate.  

Is the business my heart and soul, and would it die without me?  Yes and no.  It’s my heart and soul.  It might not die without me, but it would change dramatically.  

The reality is (and any entrepreneur who tells you otherwise shouldn’t be trusted), I set a lot of things up for this business, but I also tapped in to a lot of good energy and loyal supporters.  First and foremost would be Jeff.  Without his support and enthusiasm, this thing never would have left the ground.  He was the one who encouraged me in the first place.  I scoffed at the idea at first, believe it or not.  

We’ve had a ton of support and assistance in many forms — from our amazing staff, to friends who come and help out when we need it, to business people who advise us, and people who share about us through social media and word of mouth.   We’ve had amazing horses arrive at our doorstep, ready to dote on our guests.  I can call our staff at a moment’s notice to throw together a tour at the last minute and they never let their high standards of customer service slip even a little.  No matter how tired they might be.  

It’s an amazing thing.

It feels more like having a business is a creative endeavor engaging the community, rather than a strategic game of number-crunching and market analysis.  

So that’s why I feel awkward if people ever refer to me as “boss” or somehow the heart of the operation.  The business is the heart of US.  

And it’s a blast.  

Thanks!RED MT TRAILS WM-458

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Red Mountain Roundup, 8/12/2017

Red Mountain Roundup is a roundup of all of the things to do, places to stay, and other information to help you plan your visit to Red Mountain.

Hello, perfect temps, welcome back!  We missed you!!!
 http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/l/99320:4:US

Events, Places to Visit This Weekend:

I believe all tasting rooms charge a $10.00 tasting fee.  Some are refundable with purchase, some are partially refundable.  

  • Red Mountain Trails — Wagon Rides, Trail Rides, and guided Bike Tours available.  Click here to reserve! 
  • Chandler Reach — open Weds through Monday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
    Friday, 8/11/2017 6:00 – 8:00live music and Pinot Grigio release party!
  • Col Solare – tasting room open 11 am – 5 pm Weds – Sun. 
  • Cooper – tasting room open noon – 5 pm DAILY.  Tasting fee $10.00  A portion of tasting fees often go to various charities.  
  • Fidelitas – tasting room open 11 am – 4 pm daily.  Tasting fee $10.00, refundable with wine purchase.  
  • Frichette – tasting room open daily noon – 5 pm. 
    Saturday, 8/12/2017 6:30 Farm to Fork dinner.
  • Hamilton Cellars – tasting room open Sun – Thurs 11 am – 5 pm, Fri & Sat 11 am – 6 pm
  • Hedges – open on weekends, 11 – 5 
  • Hightower  Tasting room open 11 am – 5 pm Thurs – Mon.
    Friday, 8/11/2017Giving Garden Progressive Soiree.
    Saturday, 8/12/2017Opera on the Vine.  
  • Kiona –  tasting room open noon – 5 pm daily.  
    Saturday, 8/12/2017 — “Taste Tri-Cities” featuring Kiona Wine and Kindra’s Wok n’ Roll at Kiona, noon – 4 pm.
  • Linda Ellis Andrews — Artist in Glass and Bronze.  Linda is a fabulous artist and wonderful person!  Make an appointment to visit her studio, you won’t be disappointed!
  • Monte Scarlatto — tasting room open 11 am – 5 pm Thurs and Sun.  11 am – 6 pm Fri and Sat.  By appointment also.  They have a 9-hole golf course among the vines, check it out!
  • Portrait Cellars — tasting by appointment only.  509-588-4534
  • Purple Star Wines — Wednesday – Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
    Saturdays, 10:00 am — Stretch & Sip.  
  • Tapteil – Fri – Sun 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.  509-588-4460  
  • Terra Blanca –  tasting room open daily 11 am – 6 pm.  
    Vineyard Grille open noon – 5:00 pm Friday through Sunday. 
    Sunday, 8/13/2017, 3:00 pmPaint Night.
  • Tucannon – tasting room open Fri – Sun 11 am – 6 pm, Wed – Thurs 11 am – 5 pm.  $5.00 tasting fee.  
  • Tri-Cities Events
  • Red Mountain AVA Site (info, places to stay, calendar of more events)

Places to Stay:

  • Vacation Rentals by Owner — Red Mountain has some really nice vacation rentals available for your visit.  Most of these are right on Red Mountain and visitors get a discount on their trail or wagon ride when they stay.  
  • Bella Luna House — gorgeous vacation rental offered by Tapteil winery.
  • Camping and RV — 
    • Beach RV Park – situated in Benton City — lots of pretty trees, gorgeous setting along the Yakima River waterfront, 5 minutes to Red Mountain.  If you stay here we can deliver your bike rental to you!
    • RV Village Resort – West Richland.  Easy access to Red Mountain and Richland for restaurants, shopping, and wine-tasting.  Indoor pool and spa.
    • Wine Country RV — Prosser.  Great location and amazing staff.  Really nice place!
    • Monte Scarlatto — Red Mountain.  Enjoy staying in the heart of Red Mountain!
  • The nearest hotels are located in Richland and Prosser.

Places to Eat

There are a number of chain restaurants around but here are some “off the beaten path” recommendations:

    • Red Mountain Trails  — we offer dinner on Friday and Saturday nights starting in May.  Reservations can be made here.  
    • Tacos Garcia Taco Truck — West Richland.  The best taco truck around, and I love their ceviche.
    • The Vineyard Grill at Terra Blanca — Red Mountain.  One of the only places on the hill to eat.  Beautiful views and great food and wine!
    • Hacienda del Sol — Benton City.  Large portions of great Mexican food and excellent customer service!
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Red Mountain Round Up, 5/4/2017

Red Mountain Roundup is a roundup of all of the things to do, places to stay, and other information to help you plan your visit to Red Mountain.

Let’s get working on our flip-flop tan lines!
 http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/l/99320:4:US

Events, Places to Visit This Weekend:

(for events further in the future, click this link.)

If there are no tasting fees listed, it’s just because I don’t know what they are.  I believe all tasting rooms on Red Mountain charge a fee.

  • Red Mountain Trails — Wagon Rides, Trail Rides, and guided Bike Tours available.  Click here to reserve! 
  • Chandler Reach — open Weds through Monday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
  • Col Solare – tasting room open 11 am – 5 pm Weds – Sun. 
    Sundays, 2:00 pm.  Vineyard and Winery Tour.
  • Cooper – tasting room open noon – 5 pm DAILY.  Tasting fee $10.00  A portion of tasting fees often go to various charities.  
  • Fidelitas – tasting room open 11 am – 4 pm daily.  Tasting fee $10.00, refundable with wine purchase.  
    Friday, May 5, 6:00 pmFeast of St. Fidelis.  Club members.  Wanna go?  Join their club and get your tickets!
  • Frichette – tasting room open daily noon – 5 pm. 
  • Hamilton Cellars – tasting room open Sun – Thurs 11 am – 5 pm, Fri & Sat 11 am – 6 pm
  • Hedges – open on weekends, 11 – 5 
  • Hightower Tasting room open 11 am – 5 pm Thurs – Mon.
  • Kiona –  tasting room open noon – 5 pm daily.  
  • Linda Ellis Andrews — Artist in Glass and Bronze.  Linda is a fabulous artist and wonderful person!  Make an appointment to visit her studio, you won’t be disappointed!
  • Monte Scarlatto — tasting room open 11 am – 5 pm Thurs and Sun.  11 am – 6 pm Fri and Sat.  By appointment also.  They have a 9-hole golf course among the vines, check it out!
  • Portrait Cellars — tasting by appointment only.  509-588-4534
  • Purple Star Wines — Wednesday – Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
    Saturdays, 10:00 amStretch & Sip.  
    Saturday, 5/6/2017 1 pm – 5 pmLocal Entrepreneur Day.  Enjoy a pop-up shop featuring local businesses, great for shopping for Mother’s Day gifts!
  • Tapteil – Fri – Sun 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.  509-588-4460  
  • Terra Blanca –  tasting room open daily 11 am – 6 pm.  
    Vineyard Grille open noon – 5:00 pm Friday through Sunday. 
    Tucannon – tasting room open Fri – Sun 11 am – 6 pm, Wed – Thurs 11 am – 5 pm.  $5.00 tasting fee.  
  • Tri-Cities Events
  • Red Mountain AVA Site (info, places to stay, calendar of more events)

Places to Stay:

  • Vacation Rentals by Owner — Red Mountain has some really nice vacation rentals available for your visit.  Most of these are right on Red Mountain and visitors get a discount on their trail or wagon ride when they stay.  
  • Bella Luna House — gorgeous vacation rental offered by Tapteil winery.
  • Camping and RV — 
    • Beach RV Park – situated in Benton City — lots of pretty trees, gorgeous setting along the Yakima River waterfront, 5 minutes to Red Mountain.  If you stay here we can deliver your bike rental to you!
    • RV Village Resort – West Richland.  Easy access to Red Mountain and Richland for restaurants, shopping, and wine-tasting.  Indoor pool and spa.
    • Wine Country RV — Prosser.  Great location and amazing staff.  Really nice place!
  • The nearest hotels are located in Richland and Prosser.

Places to Eat

There are a number of chain restaurants around but here are some “off the beaten path” recommendations:

    • Red Mountain Trails  — we offer dinner on Friday and Saturday nights starting in May.  Reservations can be made here.  
    • Tacos Garcia Taco Truck — West Richland.  The best taco truck around, and I love their ceviche.
    • The Vineyard Grill at Terra Blanca — Red Mountain.  One of the only places on the hill to eat.  Beautiful views and great food and wine!
    • Hacienda del Sol — Benton City.  Large portions of great Mexican food and excellent customer service!
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Red Mountain Roundup, 4/20/2017

Red Mountain Roundup is a roundup of all of the things to do, places to stay, and other information to help you plan your visit to Red Mountain.

Helloooooooooooo warmer weather!
 http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/l/99320:4:US

Events, Places to Visit This Weekend:

(for events further in the future, click this link.)

If there are no tasting fees listed, it’s just because I don’t know what they are.  I believe all tasting rooms on Red Mountain charge a fee.

  • Red Mountain Trails — Wagon Rides and Trail Rides available.  Click here to reserve! 
  • Chandler Reach — open Weds through Monday.
  • Col Solare – tasting room open 11 am – 5 pm Weds – Sun. 
    Sundays, 2:00 pm.  Vineyard and Winery Tour.
  • Cooper – tasting room open 11am – 5 pm DAILY.  Tasting fee $10.00  A portion of tasting fees often go to various charities.  
  • Fidelitas – tasting room open 11 am – 4 pm daily.  Tasting fee $10.00, refundable with wine purchase.  
  • Frichette – tasting room open daily 11 am – 5 pm.  Tasting fee $10.00, refundable with wine purchase.    
  • Hamilton Cellars – tasting room open Sun – Thurs 11 am – 5 pm, Fri & Sat 11 am – 6 pm
    Saturday, 4/22/17.  5:00 pm – 8:00 pm.  Pork and Corks.
  • Hedges – open on weekends, 11 – 5 starting Saturday April 22nd!  
  • Hightower Tasting room open 11 am – 5 pm Thurs – Mon.
    Saturday, 4/22/17. 4:00 – 6:00 pm.  The Winemaker Series: Blending.
  • Kiona –  tasting room open noon – 5 pm daily.  Tasting fee $10.00 (refundable with purchase) 
  • Linda Ellis Andrews — Artist in Glass and Bronze.  Linda is a fabulous artist and wonderful person!  Make an appointment to visit her studio, you won’t be disappointed!
  • Monte Scarlatto — tasting room open 11 am – 5 pm Thurs and Sun.  11 am – 6 pm Fri and Sat.  By appointment also.  They have a 9-hole golf course among the vines, check it out!
  • Portrait Cellars — tasting by appointment only.  509-588-4534
  • Purple Star Wines — Wednesday – Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.
    Saturday 4/22/2017, 10:00 amStretch & Sip.  
  • Tapteil – Fri – Sun 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.  509-588-4460  
  • Terra Blanca –  tasting room open daily 11 am – 6 pm.  
    Vineyard Grille open noon – 5:00 pm Friday through Sunday. 
    Thursday 4/20/17, 6:30 pm.  Chef Series Dinner.  Info here.
    Friday 4/21/17, 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm.  Hanford Music Benefit Auction.  Info here.
  • Tucannon – tasting room open Fri – Sun 11 am – 6 pm, Wed – Thurs 11 am – 5 pm.  $5.00 tasting fee.  
  • Tri-Cities Events
  • Red Mountain AVA Site (info, places to stay, calendar of more events)

Places to Stay:

  • Vacation Rentals by Owner — Red Mountain has some really nice vacation rentals available for your visit.  Most of these are right on Red Mountain and visitors get a discount on their trail or wagon ride when they stay.  
  • Bella Luna House — gorgeous vacation rental offered by Tapteil winery.
  • Camping and RV — 
    • Beach RV Park – situated in Benton City — lots of pretty trees, gorgeous setting along the Yakima River waterfront, 5 minutes to Red Mountain.  If you stay here we can deliver your bike rental to you!
    • RV Village Resort – West Richland.  Easy access to Red Mountain and Richland for restaurants, shopping, and wine-tasting.  Indoor pool and spa.
  • The nearest hotels are located in Richland and Prosser.

Places to Eat

There are a number of chain restaurants around but here are some “off the beaten path” recommendations:

    • Red Mountain Trails  — we offer dinner on Friday and Saturday nights starting in May.  Reservations can be made here.  
    • Tacos Garcia Taco Truck — West Richland.  The best taco truck around, and I love their ceviche.
    • The Vineyard Grill at Terra Blanca — Red Mountain.  One of the only places on the hill to eat.  Beautiful views and great food and wine!
    • Hacienda del Sol — Benton City.  Large portions of great Mexican food and excellent customer service!
Posted in Round Up | Comments Off on Red Mountain Roundup, 4/20/2017

10 Things to do on Your Visit to Red Mountain

If you’re under the impression that Red Mountain lacks dimension or tourism diversity, I count that as a personal failure.  You must think we ride horses, play with chickens, and guzzle wine straight from the barrel.  That IS the majority of the content of our newsletters, after all.  I apologize for probably misleading you.  We don’t guzzle, per se.

I came up with a list of 10 things to do here, most of which you can do year-round.  Surprisingly, none of them involve chickens or wine guzzling (necessarily).  (Is chicken yoga a potential business opportunity?  Stay tuned, I heard that the goat yoga at a winery nearby was a huge hit.)

These are in no particular order or ranking:

  • Get Edutained  — Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Wine is bottled poetry.”  Learn the art of wine tasting from people who make it.  Start your wine-tasting tour with an edutainment class at Frichette Winery where they’ll teach you the fine art of the swirl.  
  • Read a Book — Enjoy a glass of Hedges Family Estate wine, kick back on their patio overlooking the AVA and valley, and dig in to “Red Mountain” — written by Hedges’ own Boo Walker and featuring Red Mountain.  (We read it, loved it, and found ourselves in it!)  Spend the rest of your visit trying to identify which of Red Mountain’s many inhabitants may have inspired characters in the book!  Also, check out my blog post with more great places (and books) to enjoy!
  • Ride Horses — Sure, we offer all kinds of wine tours but did you know that we offer trail rides without the wine-tasting?  These are fun for the whole family (ages 6 and up).  Beautiful scenery, gentle horses, and our typical wonderful weather make our 1-hour rides a great outing!
  • Golf  — Yes, there is golf on Red Mountain!  Head on over to Monte Scarlatto and check out their beautiful 9 hole, par 3 golf course on the estate.  Finish your game at the “10th hole” tasting room and enjoy their wonderful wines. 
  • See Amazing Works of Art — Red Mountain is home to some great artists, such that a person could make a day of visiting the local art scene:
    • Kiona Vineyards Winery — hosting artwork from photographer John Clement and metal art from Ted Neth.
    • Linda Andrews — Linda is an exceptional artist working in fused glass and cast bronze.  Check out her website and call for an appointment.  Her fused glass can be seen at Kiona Winery and Col Solare.
    • Tapteil — Jane Pearson’s beautiful acrylic paintings adorn the walls of the tasting room and her artwork is featured on their wine labels.  
  • Eat Great Food — The Vineyard Grille at Terra Blanca is a beautiful and fun bistro.  
    Love the way the sun shines through the spinach and arugula leaves.

    Dinner al fresco

    Have lunch or dinner on their beautiful patio with a glass of wine, or ask for something to go and take it to your favorite spot on Red Mountain.  Also, check out our list of best picnic spots on Red Mountain (um, actually there are no bad places to picnic out here, which makes my job easy).In the warmer months it’s easy to find a food truck or two out here, too!And, we have to throw our hat in here too — Red Mountain Trails offers sunset dinner tours among the vines on Friday and Saturday nights.  Check us out for reservations!

    Practice Yoga — What’s better than yoga?  Yoga at a winery.  You will love the Sip n’ Stretch series at Purple Star, offered Saturday mornings.  It’s the perfect way to start your weekend in wine country.  

  • There is also a yoga series at the beautiful setting of Hedges’ Family Estate.  Click here and look for “Yoga in the Vines”. 
  • Do A Good Thing — Red Mountain Wineries (and tour operators) have banded together and planted “Giving Gardens”.  The produce from these gardens is donated to the Benton City Food Bank.  Tour the wineries and check out their Giving Gardens.  Participate in one of their events (which usually involve gourmet food prepared with produce from the Giving Gardens) and the proceeds will be donated to the Food Bank.  Last year the Giving Gardens donated 750 pounds of produce and purchased two freezers for the Food Bank!  
  • Go on a Bike Tour — I don’t want to make this 13173953_10153588762249135_3347042651575701560_npost all about Red Mountain Trails, so I’ll just say that if you want a guided bike tour, we provide the guides and bikes and gourmet food and can take you to awesome places where no one else goes and you’ll love it and that’s all. 
  • Camp — Bring your RV to Red Mountain!  Monte Scarlatto will soon offer RV parking right among the vines.  Imagine camping among the vines and being surrounded by all of these things to do, without having to drive anywhere!  

This is not a comprehensive list at all, there’s plenty more!  If you’re planning a trip out here, check out our newsletter and sign up for news of upcoming events and itineraries to make the most of your visit.  

Hope to see y’all soon!

RedMountainTrails.Sampler.v2

 

Posted in Home on the AVA, Round Up | Comments Off on 10 Things to do on Your Visit to Red Mountain

Best Places to Read a Book on Red Mountain

I read the book “Red Mountain” by Boo Walker and it inspired me to write this post.  I loved reading the book and trying to figure out the people and locations that inspired his characters and settings.  (And yes, we’re in there!)

IMG_8834

There are actually a number of great places to read a book on Red Mountain, in any kind of weather.  There are few things as indulgent as a beautiful setting, fantastic wine, and great books.  Here’s a round up of my favorites (and some books I like):

Warm Weather

  • Location: Fidelitas patio, in an Adirondack chair overlooking their vineyards and the Yakima Valley.  You can see Mt. Adams on a clear day.  
    Book: Cork Dork, Bianca Bosker
  • Location: Hedges Family Estate, in a chair out by the fountain.
    Book: Red Mountain, Boo Walker
  • Location: Terra Blanca patio.  Nosh from the Vineyard Grille, sip wine, and relax overlooking the pond. 
    Book: Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain
  • Location: Cooper Wine Company.  The laid-back party vibe and fun folks here pair perfectly with some Mark Manson, and I mean it in the best possible way.
    Book: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***, Mark Manson.
  • Location: Hightower patio.  One of the highest viewpoints on the hill, with breathtaking views of the AVA.  Cozy patio and bold wine, perfect for some Norse Mythology.  
    Book: Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman
  • Location: Tapteil patio.  Next to Hightower, another gorgeous viewpoint that takes in the entire AVA.  Great wines, beautiful patio.
    Book: A Sudden Country, Karen Fisher
  • Location: Col Solare patio.  Fabulous wine and the patio is so nice in the sun!
    Book: A Room with a View, E.M. Forster

Cold Weather

Posted in Home on the AVA | Comments Off on Best Places to Read a Book on Red Mountain

The Bird, the Whole Bird, and Nothing but the Bird

You may be surprised to know that despite my schmoopy missives about how much I love our birds, we do actually raise some for meat.  (Is it weird that I love them almost as much roasted as I love them alive?)

The majority of what we eat is raised specifically for meat and is butchered at about 8 – 10 weeks.  As part of our flock management, we also cull out some other chickens (except the hens, I just can’t do it) that are older.  These guys are pretty much good for stewing and not much else.  But oh, the things you can do with a whole bird…. it’s the gift that just keeps giving. 

Note: this post doesn’t even get into the chicken livers, gizzards, and hearts that we set aside from the birds, but I have a pate recipe that will knock your ever-lovin’ socks off.  And I don’t even get into giblet gravy, that’s sort of a no-brainer.  

First, stewing.  

This is easy — just put your bird(s) in a crockpot on low overnight or in a dutch oven.  I used two birds, one of which I believed to be Romeo who was definitely on the tough side.  I didn’t even season them since I knew I was planning lots of mixed uses later.  (Also, Romeo’s meat looked super dark and I wanted to get the unadulterated flavor and see what I was working with.  Also, lazy.)
Once they’re done, let them cool.  Then just go through the carcass and pick out all of the meat.  You can separate it by dark and white, but I didn’t.  I’m the low-fuss type when it comes to this.  Save ALL of the connective tissue, fat, bones, and strange-looking gross unidentifiables.  
Take a hand mixer to the meat to really shred it up if you want.  I can’t emphasize enough to you how lazy I am in the kitchen, so I skipped this step.  
I put the shredded meat in a ziploc and the carcass/broth/stuff in another and keep them in the fridge until I’m ready to use them.  At this point I’ve done enough work in the kitchen and probably need a glass of wine (for heart health, obviously).  A rose’ goes great with this task.

Next, eating.

Keeping shredded chicken in your fridge will change your life.  Man, it’s so easy to have on hand:

  • Throw some garlic, pesto, parmesan and chicken on a pita and stick it under the broiler for a pizza
  • Put it in a wrap with some bacon ranch dressing, vegetables, and it’s a great wrap
  • Throw a little on your salad when you make one
  • Easy-peasy stir-fry with veggies
  • Take some of that broth you had left over, some veggies, and make chicken soup
  • Make chicken salad unlike any you’ve had before

 I opted for Chicken Posole, Thai Chicken enchiladas, and Chicken Tamale Pie.

Easy Chicken Posole
Serves 4
Wonderful mexican chicken stew kind of dish.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cans fire-roasted diced green chiles
  2. 6 garlic cloves
  3. 1 large onion
  4. 2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) white hominy
  5. 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken
  6. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  7. 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano*, divided
  8. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  9. 3 cups chicken broth
  10. 3 tablespoons ground red New Mexico chiles*
  11. Garnishes: sliced avocado, lime wedges, cilantro sprigs, and sour cream
Instructions
  1. Cut onion in chunks and pulse in food processor with garlic until chopped; set aside. Drain hominy; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in 5 - 6 qt. pan over high heat. Turn down to medium and add 1 tsp oregano. The oregano will become very fragrant -- sprinkle shredded chicken with salt and toss with the oregano/oil until the chicken is heated through.
  3. With a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a plate.
  4. Set heat to medium-high. Add onion mixture and remaining 1 tsp. oregano to pan and sauté until onion is softened, 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe bowl, microwave broth until steaming, about 3 minutes. Add ground chiles to pan and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add broth, hominy, and chicken to pan. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer to blend flavors, 10 minutes.
  6. Stir diced chiles into posole and cook 1 minute. Ladle into bowls; top with garnishes.
  7. *Find Mexican oregano at well-stocked grocery stores, along with ground red New Mexico chiles.
Adapted from Adaptation from Sunset's "Speedy Chicken Posole"
Adapted from Adaptation from Sunset's "Speedy Chicken Posole"
Red Mountain Trails http://www.redmountaintrails.com/

The other recipe I love is Thai Chicken Enchiladas.  It’s a bit of a stretch to call them “enchiladas” as they can be a bit soupy and best eaten with a spoon.  Maybe more of an enchilada pie?  There are times when I just crave this dish.  

Thai Chicken Enchilada
Serves 4
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Cook Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 flour tortillas
  2. 1 1/2 cup shredded chicken
  3. 1 tablespoons canola oil
  4. 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  5. 1/3 cup chopped/shredded carrots
  6. 1/2 cup chopped/shredded cabbage
  7. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  8. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  10. 4 green onions, sliced
  11. 1/3 cup chopped + crushed peanuts + more for garnish
  12. 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro + more for garnish
  13. 2 1/2 cups light coconut milk
  14. 1/3 cup + 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add canola oil. Throw in onions, cabbage, carrots, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring to mix. Let cool until vegetables are soft, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in chicken, green onions, peanuts, cilantro, remaining salt and pepper, tossing to coat, and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Add in 3/4 cup coconut milk and 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce, mixing thoroughly to combine. Turn off heat.
  3. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Whisk together remaining coconut milk and sweet chili sauce. Pour about 1/2 a cup or so on the bottom of the dish. Slightly warm tortillas if desired to make them more pliable, then place a few spoonfuls of the chicken mixture in each, rolling up tightly and placing in the dish. Cover with remaining coconut milk and chili sauce mix. I usually take a spoon and cover every inch of the tortilla with the sauce, just to make sure it’s coated.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove and top with additional peanuts and cilantro. Since sauce is not as thick as traditional enchilada sauce, when you remove them from the oven, spoon sauce from the bottom of the dish all over the tortillas. Additionally this can be done halfway through cooking too.
Adapted from How Sweet It Is
Adapted from How Sweet It Is
Red Mountain Trails http://www.redmountaintrails.com/

Jeff and I had some polenta left over from a previous dinner, so I used that for my tamale pie instead of masa de maiz. Seemed like a good enough substitution.

Insanely Easy Chicken Tamale Pie
Serves 6
Tamales are a pretty simple dish, and this is even easier. In fact I'm probably taking great liberties to even call this a tamale pie. To me, tamales are just a base, and can be dressed up with condiments. I listed some of my favorites.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 18 oz roll polenta
  2. 1.5 c shredded chicken
  3. 1 can green enchilada sauce
condiments
  1. sliced olives
  2. salsa
  3. cheese
  4. cilantro
  5. avocado or guacamole
  6. lime
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350f.
  2. Slice polenta into discs and place in bottom of 9 x 13 pan.
  3. Spread shredded chicken over the top of the polenta discs.
  4. Pour the green enchilada sauce over the top.
  5. I added a can of diced green chiles because I pretty much add them to everything. Then, I topped it with olive slices and cheese. So, yeah, this is a completely bastardized version of a perfectly good dish (tamales).
  6. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Red Mountain Trails http://www.redmountaintrails.com/

 
And lastly, bone broth:

I had to look up “bone broth” to make sure it wasn’t some new hipster term for… you know… stock.  or broth.  or the bouillion our parents used to buy in little cubes.  

Turns out bone broth is a little different, and with my upcoming knee surgery I decided to make some.  

  • Broth — water simmered with vegetables and meat.  Some bone.  Used as a soup base.  Stays liquid when chilled.  Takes around 45 minutes to 2 hours to make.
  • Stock — water simmered with vegetables and bones, with some meat.  Simmered for 4 – 6 hours.  Gelatinous when cooled. 
  • Bone Broth — kind of a hybrid.  Simmered for often over 24 hours.  Uses primarily bones.  Clear liquid when chilled.  

I opted to make bone broth because it really extracts the minerals that support the immune system, as well as collagen and is supposed to promote joint health.  

Here’s what I did:

I picked out all of the bones from the carcass and laid them on a sheet pan and roasted them for 30 minutes at 350f.

Then I put the bones and all the other “stuff” from the ziploc bag in a pot, covered it with water, and added 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar.  I let that sit for 30 minutes.  

Making sure you have enough water to cover the “stuff”, bring the pot to a vigorous boil.

Then turn it down to a simmer, and keep it there for about 5 hours.  Periodically skim the foam and impurities off the top.  Apparently you’ll have a lot less of this with pasture-fed, free-range critters.  I will say that I was a bit surprised at how “clean” it was compared to other times I’ve made stock or broth.  

After 5 hours, I added 2 quartered onions, 3 carrots cut in half, rosemary leaves, and 2 stalks of celery.  I put it all in the crock pot on low, and left it overnight (about 12 hours).  

I strained it all through a cheesecloth and set the pot in an ice bath for 1 hour.  You’ve never seen anything so beautiful.  It was liquid gold.  I measured it out into ziplocs, 1 cup each.  It wasn’t very salty and I didn’t add much salt because I prefer to manage my seasonings in the recipe I’m making.  I do add salt to it when I heat it up for drinking.  20170327_192042

The bones were nearly crumbly, like chalk when done.  It’s tempting to grind up the veggies and bones to give to the dogs, but I’d hate for them to get a sliver.  So, with heavy heart, I did throw that away.  

Still, getting 12 servings of delicious food and 16 cups of healing bone broth from 2 chickens is possibly one of the most rewarding aspects of our little farm-to-table operation.  

Posted in Chuckwagon | Comments Off on The Bird, the Whole Bird, and Nothing but the Bird