October 16th through March 31st
Saturday | Noon - 5PM | NEW MENU! (click to view)
April 1st through October 15th
Friday - Sunday | Noon - 5pm
Terra Blanca Winery and Estate Vineyard, in partnership with Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar, explores chateau-inspired cuisine with the Terra Blanca Vineyard Grill. Located at the beautiful winery and estate vineyard on Red Mountain. Our Vineyard Grill offers guests a wine country getaway with panoramic views of vineyards and the lower Yakima Valley.
The menu features enticing brick oven pizzas, salads, tapas, and handhelds, all superbly created to pair perfectly with Terra Blanca wines. The menu highlights food prepared in the wood-fire brick oven and produce from the Terra Blanca garden, when in season.
Featuring beer on tap from White Bluffs Brewery!
Call 509-588-6082 ext. 102 to make reservations today!
With the New Year comes a new start for many of us. A chance to start over and change things in our lives. Eat healthier. Travel more. Take more pictures. Though some would joke that New Year’s resolutions are meant to be broken, these changes we make show a desire for a better future.
But rather than looking only to the future and what we want to change, the New Year also lets us look at the past and remember those who have made an impact on our lives. Have a friend you haven’t talked to in a while? How about a favorite teacher who changed your life? Or even family you haven’t seen?
For the sake of “the good ol’ days,” we at Terra Blanca encourage you to remember and strengthen the ties to friends and family. Gather around the table, share a good meal and stories of the year, laugh, sing, start a new tradition or continue an old one.
For Owner ReNae Pilgrim, one tradition centers around family; however, it's nt always the family she's related to.
“My parents are in Wyoming and Keith’s are in California, so it’s hard to go see them this time of year with the snow and bad weather,” she said. “Instead, we spend New Year’s with our Tri-Cities family.”
Guess who brings the wine.
When you’ve pulled together friends and family to celebrate the changing of the calendar, here’s another idea to ponder. While examining 2014 to find that New Year’s resolution, also find a few things you’re proud of. What did you rock at in 2014? It can be small—like finally finishing a puzzle that took over an entire table or taking guitar lessons—or huge—like starting a family or graduating.
Feel like sharing? Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page with what you’re proud of from 2014.
Whether your 2014 goes out with a bang or with a few close friends, raise a glass, and let no one be forgotten this New Year. Here’s to all of you, our Terra Blanca family! See you in 2015!
Veni, Vidi, Vinum!
If a cut of meat could be king, the prime rib roast would hold the crown (sorry lamb shank). This large and in charge piece of beef can intimidate, worry, and even frighten those who dare pit their ovens against it.
This week, we’ll be giving you the secrets to cooking a perfect prime rib, straight from the author’s family cookbook. But what’s a good meal without good wine? The king of meats deserves nothing less than the king of wines, which is why our ONYX Bordeaux-style blend is the only choice.
Prime Rib Roast
Suggested pairing: 2009 ONYX (or older)
What you’ll need:
- Prime rib roast (count number of ribs)
- ¼ cup Black pepper
- ½ cup Garlic (minced)
- ½ cup Sea salt (course ground)
- 2-3 sprigs Rosemary (1-2 tsp if dried)
- 3-4 sprigs Thyme (2-3 tsp if dried)
- Olive Oil
- Horseradish (creamy or sauce)
- Set your oven to 500⁰ F.
- Start by counting the ribs in your roast. This step is VITAL because you’ll base your cooking time on the number of ribs.
- In a small bowl, mix pepper and salt. Add rosemary and thyme and turn on “Scarborough Fair” if you’re feeling inspired. When adding the herbs, roll them between your palms to help release the oils. This is especially important if using dried herbs. Add garlic last and blend well.
- Rub olive oil over the roast and don’t be shy with the amount. When it’s well doused, rub herb blend all over the top of the roast and pat it well to ensure sticking.
- Transfer roast to a roasting pan. Broiler pans work very well if you don’t have a roasting pan.
- DO NOT COVER and put the entire roast in the oven and cook to the desired temperature:
- Rare: 12 minutes per rib
- Medium rare: 13 minutes per rib
- Medium: Not recommended for prime rib
- After that time has expired, turn off the oven and leave the roast in for 2 hours. DO NOT OPEN OVEN! This is when the magic happens and helps keep the roast moist.
- After the two hours are up, remove the roast from the oven and slice for serving. The meat will be tender and moist with a crisp bark from the rub.
Serving: Horseradish is the only condiment for prime rib, and nothing goes alongside the roast better than creamy mashed potatoes. Use your favorite recipe and spoon a generous helping alongside your rare-medium rare roast. Want something adventurous? Mix a tablespoon of creamy horseradish into your potatoes for an extra kick.
For wine, we recommend the 2009 ONYX. This is a hearty wine that will hold its own against the richness of the roast. Have a fatty roast? The tannins in the younger vintage will help cut through the fat, leaving the full, succulent flavor of beef.
To really impress the family and bring the meal to a whole new level, pull out a 2002 or 2004 ONYX to pair. These aged vintages still possess enough bright tannins to balance the fatty nature of prime rib but have developed a complex depth that will emphasize the earthy herbs and smokiness of the roasted meat.
From all of us here at Terra Blanca, have a Happy Holiday!
Veni, Vidi, Vinum!
Nothing says, “I’m ready for winter” like a tall, cold glass of dessert wine. Right? Alright, so maybe lighted trees and cozy sweaters say it better. But! That’s not going to stop us from diving right into that cold glass because, today, we’re looking at why summery dessert wines go great with winter weather.
There would be no cold glass in summer without chilly days following the normal harvest. First, though, let’s talk about what could be in that glass.
Late Harvest vs. Ice Wines
Unless you’re in Germany where the definitions of “dessert wine” can be incredibly specific, there are two major categories of white dessert wines: late harvest wines and ice wines.
Late harvest wines are pretty self explanatory. The grapes, which are Riesling and Chenin Blanc for us at Terra Blanca, are left to hang on the vines for a few weeks after the normal harvest. This increases the sugar content (measured in “brix”) within the grape, resulting in a sweeter wine after fermentation. These wines as well as semi-sweet and off-dry whites are where many new wine drinkers begin because they are light, fruity, and don’t contain tannin like red wines that many find off-putting in the beginning.
Ice wines are a little more complex and much harder to produce. The grapes for ice wines are left to hang even longer on the vines, accumulating greater sugar contents than those harvested as late harvest wines. The major difference for ice wines, though, is that the grapes must freeze.
Ice wines from icy grapes.
What’s so important about the freeze? Within the grape, the water freezes. The sugar doesn’t. When that frozen grape is pressed, the result is a near syrup of highly concentrated grape sugars with very little water to dilute that concentration. If the grapes thaw before pressing, they won’t be true ice wines. With these high sugar levels, it’s not uncommon to see ice wines with Residual Sugar contents of 25% or more. Our 2005 Reserve Chenin Blanc Ice Wine is 30.3%.
A little dab’ll do ya.
With the recent warm spell, it’s unlikely that we’ll get an ice wine this year. The 2005 vintage is our most recent ice wine. Not even the record-breaking colds of 2010 and 2011 came early enough to freeze our grapes on the vines. Late Harvest wines are much more common because they don’t rely on temperatures dropping before Christmas, which is the date Winemaker Keith Pilgrim generally uses as an ice wine cut off.
Though sweet whites can remind us all of warmer months, they don’t have the same warming effect as a big, hearty red. In that spirit, check back next week as we prepare for Christmas dinner with two big reds: prime rib and ONYX.
Veni, Vidi, Vinum!
P.S. Have a wine topic or question you want Terra Blanca by the Glass to investigate? Leave a comment!
This past Saturday, Terra Blanca opened its doors for one of the most-anticipated events of the year: the Holiday Open House!
For years, the Open House has been a way Owners Keith and ReNae Pilgrim say thanks to all of you who have supported Terra Blanca. This year was no different, as both Keith and ReNae were in Tasting Room chatting with guests and pouring wines. Winemaker Keith even pulled out an unlabeled bottle (called a “shiner”) as the day’s mystery wine.
No stops were left un-pulled this year. Tasting Room Manager Daryl Baker and Accountant Debbie Smathers donned their chef hats to bring a couple tasty desserts to pair with the newly released 2006 Signature Series Cabernet Forte. The three scrumptious minis were a huge hit, and two of the recipes are available at the Tasting Room bar. Feeling a bit adventurous? Give the Chocolate Forte Truffles a try!
Continuing a tradition, Terra Blanca dug through the cellar and brought out a slew of large format bottles. Everything from magnums (1.5L bottles) of ONYX to Jereboams (3L bottles) of Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon were up for sale. All magnums were $50 and all Jereboams were $100, regardless of vintage and varietal. The good news is that we don't want to carry them back downstairs, and there are still plenty to pick from! If there's a wine lover on your Christmas list, drop on by the Tasting Room and browse these Libraried wines. Need help picking a vintage? Ask a Wine Educator for help!
Veni, Vidi, Vinum!
Now that summer is nothing but a memory and winter is frosting the trees, it's the time of year where we all stop, look around, and give thanks for our blessings. For family and friends, for experiences and joys, "thanks" can sometimes seem too small, but from us at Terra Blanca, we'd like to remind everyone to give thanks this holiday season and every season after.
We'd like to give thanks, too. We give thanks to all of our wonderful guests who have braved the cold, heat, and wind throughout the year to visit us in the Tasting Room. Without all of you, we would not be where we are today.
Thank you to all of our Club ONYX members. As Keith has said, you are the heart of our winery, and we thank you for your continued support.
To our vineyard and cellar crew, the true unsung heroes, thank you for your hard work and tireless efforts.
We'd also like to take this moment to remind you all that Terra Blanca is closed on Thanksgiving Day, but we will be open Friday at 11 a.m. for any post-Black Friday wine tasting. After fighting lines and other customers to get the last sale item, you deserve to wind down with some wine. We too are having sales, but no need to elbow anyone out of the way. We have plenty. Want to know what they are? Check to the right for a hint and join us in the Tasting Room to see if you're right!
From all of us here at Terra Blanca, we want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!
Veni, Vidi, Vinum!
Despite the warm spell predicted for next week, the weather outside is frightful. From the Tasting Room, the trees are frosty, the wind is biting, and don’t get us started on the freezing rain forecasted for tomorrow. For those of you with the luxury of not working today, stay inside, stay warm, and pour yourself a glass of Forte.
A hearty and rich wine, the Forte is perfect for a cold day. The author calls it her “fireside book wine,” which is how she spends snowy days in the middle of January.
What this doesn’t explain is what Forte is.
The Forte, first released as the 2005 Reserve Forte and just released last weekend as 2006 Signature Series Cabernet Forte, is a port-style wine. Ports come in three flavors: ruby, tawny, and vintage. The first two are known for being lighter, sweeter, and very alcoholic, which are hallmarks of ports.
What sets a vintage port apart is that it is designed for decades of aging. No joke. Next time you’re in a specialty liquor or wine shop, go find the cabinet with the lock on it. Right next to the Louis XIV cognac and 40 year scotch may be a few 500ml bottles with vintage dates in the 1800s or 1920s. These are vintage-style ports.
Both the 2005 and 2006 Fortes are made in this style, so get a couple extra bottles to save for a couple decades while you savor the rich, fruity qualities of a young Forte.
It has to be said, though. The 2006 Signature Series Forte Cabernet is not for the faint of heart. Fortified with neutral grape spirits (think wine moonshine) rather than brandy (the traditional method), this port-style is a sweet, red dessert wine with a kick. The burn of the spirit lingers but without the cloying honey sweetness of brandy, so only the flavor of Cabernet Sauvignon shines through in all its black fruit glory.
As with all of our specialty wines, Winemaker Keith Pilgrim gave this one a name with meaning. “Forte” is Portuguese for “big,” “hearty,” “heavy,” and “powerful.” Since Portugal is the only country to be able to call fortified wines “port,” we decided to pay homage to the home of ports.
If you’ve never tried a fortified wine, brave the cold and come warm up in the Tasting Room with a taste of Forte and a comfy seat next to the fire. Dark chocolate is also highly recommended. Just don’t be surprised if the Wine Educators look jealous. We love wine and chocolate.
Veni, Vidi, Vinum!
After walking beneath the wisteria trellis, you find yourself heaving open a castle-worthy door to enter Terra Blanca’s Tuscan-inspired Tasting Room. As grand as the view and the space are, there is a secret lurking beneath your feet.
A few feet beneath the slate floor lies not a foundation but a yawning cavity of concrete and earth. Dug before any of the building above was erected, this space is vital to the winery. Not only does this oversized basement store our bottled wines (libraried, current, and future), it is home to another of Terra Blanca’s unique tools.
The Barrel Caves.
Housed completely underground, these caves are the largest of their kind in Washington. We in the Tasting Room affectionately call them our Winemaker Keith Pilgrim’s spice cabinet.
See, not only do the caves store our wine barrels at the perfect temperature and humidity with very little human or mechanical influence but they also hold a barrels as diverse as our guests. Each barrel adds its own characteristic to the wine within because, much like wine grapes grown in different regions, oak grown in different areas gains a personality of its own.
We know you might be thinking: so what? A barrel is a barrel is a barrel, right?
Want proof? Join us in the Tasting Room starting this Friday to sample a brand new release: the 2009 Signature Series Winemaker’s Select Syrah.
This Syrah started out as three barrels that tasted very different. They didn’t fit what we wanted for the Arch Terrace or Block 8 Syrahs, so Keith decided to do something special with them. Blended with these three barrels of Syrah are small percentages of Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Counnois to make a very aromatic and velvety wine.
The 2009 is the second time unique barrels have been used to craft a third Syrah for our wine lists. Some of you may remember the 2004 Reserve Winemaker’s Barrel Select Syrah. Both names are mouthfuls, but they possess similar fruity qualities and origins.
Club ONYX members, be on the lookout for the 2009. Red Only and Red and White club members will be getting two bottles.
In other news, and something you’ll read more about in next week’s edition of Terra Blanca by the Glass, the 2006 Signature Series Forte Cabernet will also be released this weekend! This is a hearty port-style wine with a robust fruit palate. It is not for the faint of heart, either, but more on that next week.
In the meantime, stay warm! Maybe a glass of Forte is exactly what tomorrow’s snowstorm needs.
Veni, Vidi, Vinum!
Last week in our feature of the new 2012 Signature Series Roussanne, we suggested pairing it with scallops. A couple days after posting that, we realized that scallops are a seafood with a reputation for sophistication, class, and often being cooked improperly if Chef Gordon Ramsey on “Hell’s Kitchen” is to be believed. Seriously, those poor chef contestants.
Having seen many a scallop thrown away on that show, we realized that maybe scallops weren’t the best recommendation unless you’re out and about at a restaurant that serves scallops. If professional chefs can’t cook them properly, can the average home cook?
The answer is, absolutely! After all, you don’t have Chef Ramsey breathing down your neck.
So this week’s edition of Katy’s Kitchen pulls the intimidating, lauded scallop back down to earth with this simple yet savory pasta dish.
Seared Scallop Linguini
Pairing suggestion: 2012 Signature Series Roussanne
What you’ll need:
4 sea scallops (per serving)
½ lb petite bay scallops (optional but strongly encouraged)
1 package dried linguini pasta noodles
1-2 sticks butter, unsalted
¼ cup dry white wine (see Tips at bottom)
Garlic, minced (fresh is best!)
Lemon, fresh sliced
Linguini and Butter Sauce
- In a large pot, fill two-thirds full with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and dollop of olive oil and bring to a boil.
- Add pasta to pot and cook according to package directions.
- While pasta cooks, heat 1 stick of butter (2 if making a large batch) in large skillet. Add garlic to taste (recommended at least three cloves fresh or a heaping tablespoon if using packaged minced garlic), a dash of salt and pepper, and 2 teaspoons oregano. For the oregano, crush it in your hand to release more of the flavor as you add it to the skillet.
- Add white wine to skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce for about 4 minutes. Add bay scallops and simmer another 3-4 minutes or until scallops melt in your mouth.
- When pasta is al dente, drain (do not rinse!) and toss into skillet with butter sauce and bay scallops. Toss well.
At this step, the pasta can be served as its own dish. There should be plenty of garlic to keep vampires at bay and scallops to satisfy any seafood lover. To really impress and for something adventurous, grab a small clean skillet and your favorite apron because we’re turning things up a notch.
Seared Sea Scallops
Where most people go wrong in their scallop preparation is using a hot pan with cold oil. To avoid this, heat a drizzle of olive oil in the skillet. To see if it’s hot enough, spray a few drops of water into the oil. If they hiss and boil, the oil is hot enough. Sauté a small amount of garlic in the oil before adding scallops for extra pop.
Carefully lay each scallop into the hot pan, making sure they don’t touch each other. These should be sea scallops, which are much bigger than bay scallops and have a more buttery flavor and texture when cooked properly. Only cook three or four at one time. After roughly 90 seconds (it seriously doesn’t take long), flip each scallop. The cooked side should have a golden-brown sear. If it does not, turn up you heat slightly and monitor the bottom of the scallop for the color change.
Cook another 90 seconds on the second side and remove the scallops from the pan.
To check doneness, use your knuckle and feel for a firm bounce. Then cut into one scallop. It should be white on the sides, top, and bottom with a slight translucence in the center. Oh, and it should melt in your mouth. Can’t forget that.
Repeat these steps for however many scallops you intend to cook, only 3 or 4 scallops at a time.
Lay on top of the linguini and sprinkle with a touch of sea salt, squeeze of lemon, and dash of oregano to finish the plate.
A Few Tips
- When picking the sauce wine, avoid Riesling. It’s a lovely wine, but we need something with a citrus profile. Try a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Semillon for this.
- Use as fresh of scallops as possible. Avoid frozen sea scallops if you can help it.
- If your scallops ooze a milky liquid while sautéing, frequently drain this liquid away from the scallops by tilting the pan at an angle with the scallops on the high side. Cooking may take a bit longer, but you’ll avoid soggy, flaccid scallops.
- For a saucier pasta, add ¼ cup clam sauce with the bay scallops and go lighter on the salt.
Veni, Vidi, Vinum!
P.S. We've had a few comments recently about images not loading. Please bear with us as we fix this issue.
It began with the 2009 Signature Series Mourvedre. It continued with the 2009 Signature Series Galet. What is "it"? The future of Terra Blanca wines. Now, the next in the lineup of new wine releases has made its debut on the Tasting Room bar. Introducing the 2012 Signature Series Roussanne!
A lot of you may be wondering, what the heck a “roussanne” is. A couple weeks ago, we talked about our Winemaker’s background as a geologist with the Batholith and Galet. No, Roussanne is not a rock, nor is it an obscure region in France known for its minerality.
This latest addition to our wine selection is named after the grape from which this wine is made. Roussanne is a grape predominantly grown and cultivated in the Rhone Valley of France, specifically the Southern Rhone where it is used in blends. It is a cousin to two other Rhone white grapes, though that designation is a loose one since Terra Blanca’s three Rhone “whites” all have dark skins.
Anyway. Roussanne is a cousin to Marsanne (some of you may remember the 2012 Signature Series Marsanne) and the Viognier (it’s been quite a while since we had a vintage of this wine on the bar). Like most relatives, they share certain characteristics, but it’s their differences that make them interesting.
The 2012 Signature Series Roussanne has a bright palate of white fruits with hints of citrus that make for quite the tang in the cheeks. Touches of Viognier and Marsanne help emphasize its vibrant, floral nose indicative of honeysuckle, hibiscus, and lily with touches of apricot and melon.
Try this wine with butter-sautéed scallops or a citrus-baked white fish like halibut for a refreshing pairing.
If you've never had a chance to try the Rhone cousins, come out to the Tasting Room for a sample. It's not expected to stick around for too long!
Veni, Vidi, Vinum!
P.S. Cafe Orsa will have it's final Friday evening service this Friday, the 31st.
A month ago, Red Mountain celebrated its annual gala, Rendezvous on Red Mountain. Wineries all over the mountain opened their doors for winemaker’s dinners and tasting events, and guests from across the country were able to sample the world-class wines from our small corner of the wine world.
To kick off this year’s Rendezvous, Terra Blanca hosted a winemaker’s dinner Friday night, September 26. Unlike previous dinners, this night was rather special. Only 38 guests were in attendance, all milling about the Terrace and Tasting Room with a fantastic view of the sunset for the pre-dinner wine social. The tables were set in harvest chic to celebrate the season, and the number of glasses for eat setting promised a variety of wines for the evening.
Terra Blanca By the Glass author, Katy Rutland, was able to attend the event, along with many Club ONYX members and William Pollard, writer of Wild 4 Washington Wine, an online blog highlighting the diversity and craftsmanship in Washington wines.
More importantly, the kitchen was filled with a very unique kind of sous chef. Jaime Coulson, Executive Chef of Washington State University’s Hospitality Business Management program and author of The Crimson Spoon, led a brigade of WSU students in crafting the evening’s fair.
Each student created and presented a dish while Winemaker Keith Pilgrim explained the wine pairing. Some of the notable pairings that surprised many around the tables were the 2010 Signature Series Block 5 Chardonnay served with grilled octopus; 2008 Signature Series Cabernet Franc with roasted rabbit; and a trio of 2001, 2003, and 2010 ONYX with grilled WSU-raised Wagyu beef.
The atmosphere was one of reserved elegance. Conversation flowed amongst strangers and friends alike at each table and continued throughout the night as good wine and good food warmed our bellies. The only criticism to be had for the event was that the service from the kitchen was slow in the second half of the meal, after the intermezzo. Everyone was gracious, however, understanding and appreciating the students’ desire for perfection in their presentations and working in an unfamiliar kitchen.
After all 8 courses were served, a coffee social let us all digest the succulent and rich meal as well as sample chocolate truffles made by one of the student chefs. The salted caramel disappeared the fastest, shortly followed by the kahlua crème.
Speaking of chocolate, WSU may be breaking into the business with its own brand of chocolate, house made just like Cougar Gold Cheese. It’s a little early to be divulging this, but, if “Cougar Chocolatier” become a real label, expect to see them in February for Red Wine and Chocolate weekend. We’ve got a few Cougs in the winery, after all.
If chocolate isn’t your thing, stay tuned for Thanksgiving in Wine Country and the Thanksgiving-inspired food and wine pairing brought to you by Katy’s Kitchen. Savory dishes and red wine, what could be better?
As always, Veni, Vidi, Vinum!
P.S. Apologies for the lack of pictures of the night. The author was too busy enjoying herself to remember to pull out a camera.