Woodinville Wine Trail: Brian Carter, Gard Vintners, Smasne, Alma Terra, & Alexandria Nicole

by Shona Milne on May 19, 2009

Day two of serious wine tasting started off with a wine pickup at Brian Carter Cellars. My friend, Laurie, decided we should do a tasting since we were picking up her wine club selection. Cheryl told us to head out to the patio and she would pour out tastes outside. The mountain was out and we had a view right down the valley to Mt. Rainier. Sipping some very nice wines just added to the experience. I’m a fan of the Byzance.

gard2Next up was a return to Gard Vintners VIP party. Much quieter than on Saturday but a good turnout. I had an excellent opportunity to talk with Dr. Alan Busacca, formerly of WSU, who is a geologist/viticulturist. You can learn so much by tasting through the Alma Terra Syrahs. The difference in the Syrahs is that they are from three unique vineyards which are made in similar style but this is where you taste what makes the difference of the terroir. They have a fourth Syrah that is a blend of all three vineyards. I also got a chance to meet and talk with Robert Smasne , owner of Smasne, who makes all the wines for Smasne, Gard, and Alma Terra.  Also I finally met up the Lisa and Josh Lawrence who are the founders of Gard Vintners. The tasting room in Woodinville is a collaboration between Smasne Cellars and Gard Vintners. Alma Terra is a label under Smasne Cellars.

My last stop of the day was to Alexandria Nicole Cellars. My friend, Loren, works there and had sent me an email to stop by. I went “Behind the Hidden Door”. I was sipping wines while sitting next to the grotto and the garage doors were up and letting in the sunlight for perfect ambience. I did enjoy the Rock Star Red they were pouring that afternoon.

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