As always, Josh and I truly enjoyed the chance to host the wine club for our annual vineyard tour last week! This year was extra special as it was a chance for winemaker/viticulturist Matías Kúsulas, who took the winemaking helm in 2021, to showcase what he’s been working on these past two years. Matías gave a preview of some really special wines to those in attendance, including the pre-release 2021 Chardonnay Grand Klasse, 2021 Pinot Noir, 2021 Kvasir which all will release in another year or so. Members in attendance had first access to these unique new releases: 2022 Sans Soufre Mourvèdre and 2022 Sans Soufre Roussanne (our new natural-style wines), 2021 Skål sparkling rosé, and 2021 Riesling Ice Wine, all of which will be available next Friday, September 8 (perhaps sooner in some locations).
It was a fantastic day, albeit hot, in the vineyard as is typical for this time of year. We visited Solaksen first to taste the 2021 Grand Klasse Chardonnay, which was remarked by many as their favorite Gard Chardonnay yet, as well as our unique block of Pinot Noir on the NW slope of Solaksen to taste the 2021 Pinot Noir, which is a great representation of exactly what a Royal Slope Pinot Noir can be! The vineyard looked fantastic, and the wines were evidence of the hard work the team puts into growing the best fruit possible.
Next, we headed south to Thunderstone to taste the pre-release 2021 Kvasir (Mourvèdre blend) and introduce the all-new 2022 Sans Soufre Mourvèdre (“natural” Mourvèdre crafted without the addition of sulfites or other additives, bottled unfined and unfiltered). Natural wines are rare in Washington and the US, so this wine – and its white wine counterpart, our 2022 Sans Soufre Roussanne – are really interesting to taste and explore.
We returned to the Haven Barn for lunch and wine, but most importantly a chance to meet new club members and catch up with veteran club members, which is our favorite part of the vineyard tour each year! Lots of great laughs and camaraderie, including friendships amongst club members from across the state who celebrate a bit of a reunion each year at the tour. Plus, you can’t beat cigars with the Bynums at the end of the day, which seems to be a tradition now.
Even more than usual, the event was a Lawrence family affair, which we love about it. Our kids Ava (age 15) and Kellen (age 12) have been raised helping out at the vineyard tours every year and were a huge help to the team again this year (although we missed our oldest, Addi, who is away at Boise State University for her freshman year). We also enjoyed introducing Matt Lawrence to the wine club – perhaps we threw him to the wolves, lol! – Matt is Josh’s brother who joined our team earlier this year as Hospitality Director. And of course, a tour wouldn’t be complete without my steadfast father-in-law John providing some candid color commentary behind the scenes!
To those who joined us, thank you for making the trek to our hometown on the Royal Slope. If you weren’t able to attend, we hope you will one day!!! If you’re ever itching to head to Royal City, please be sure to reach out – we’d love to show you around and share a glass of Gård with you at our Gård Public House restaurant here.
Lisa & Josh Lawrence
P.S. Please enjoy these photos and memories of the day and feel free to download. We ask that if you share on social media or anywhere publicly, please give credit to our Photographer & Marketing Specialist, William Muñoz (@williammunoz.photo).