Taste of Tulalip: Collaboration with Betz Family Winery

by Shona Milne on October 16, 2013


Honorary Winemaker Crafts Distinctive Signature Blend From His Best Barrels

Tulalip, Washington — Sommelier Tom Thompson is pleased to announce the Taste of Tulalip’s 5th anniversary wine, a collaboration between honorary winemaker Bob Betz and the Tulalip wine team.

For the first time, Betz Family Winery crafted a distinctive signature wine from their best barrels for a specific event, and worked closely with Tulalip on the process.  The commemorative blend will be introduced during the November 8, Friday night Celebration Dinner.  This annual 2-day Taste focuses on the enjoyment of food, wine and tradition.

“This blend is a collaboration between two individuals who embrace a true passion for excellence. Bob Betz and Tommy Thompson have a mutual interest for creating an unparalleled wine from Washington’s best grapes, which can be experienced in every sip of this 5th Anniversary wine,” says Lisa Severn, Food and Beverage Director.

The Wine

Tulalip’s one-of-a-kind anniversary blend is composed of 75% Bordeaux varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon dominant) and 25% Syrah.  These grapes were sourced from Washington state’s top AVA vineyards: Red Mountain (52%), Yakima Valley (33%), and Horse Heaven Hills (15%).  This wine was  matured in 100% French oak barrels (with 80% in new oak), for 16 months.  “We are very pleased with this new blend featuring penetrating Cabernet Sauvignon aromatics — yet a supple mouthfeel from Syrah,” says Betz.

The Winemaker

Bob Betz, founder, patriarch and guiding light of Betz Family Winery, began his pursuit of winemaking  in the early 1970s.  He and wife Cathy crisscrossed European vineyards, to better understand the why and how of crafting fine wine.  Bob holds the degree of Master of Wine (MW), a designation awarded by the Institute of Masters of Wine in London.  His philosophy is pretty simple: focus on what the vineyards have provided, and start with the highest quality fruit you can find.  Treat it vigorously when necessary, gently most of the time, and stay out of its way, but watch it closely.  Then allow the wines to develop slowly, and make sure they provide exceptional pleasure.

The Art — Les Deux Frères (Two Brothers in French)

The 5th Anniversary artwork, which appears on the bottle of this year’s special blend, is reflective of a well-known Tulalip legend.  According to the Tribe’s story-tellers, long ago at Priest Point, there were two brothers who were famous seal hunters.  Due to family trouble, the brothers left to live in the ocean and became Killer Whales.  One year, there were unusually harsh fall and winter storms as well as temperature changes and the people could not follow tradition by storing food away.  By spring, when the early salmon run started, they thought their hunger was at an end. However, hordes of seals invaded the local waters, chasing and devouring the salmon before any could be caught.  It was then that “The Two Brothers” were remembered.  The people called out to them for help, recalling that they had been experts at food gathering.  Hearing their cry, the Killer Whales (Two Brothers) arrived and caught every seal, saving the people from starvation and preserving the salmon run for coming generations.

The Artist

Jason Gobin has been creating Coast Salish artworks since he was a young boy.  As the honored artist for the 5th annual Taste of Tulalip, Gobin has created a special anniversary piece. This signature creation will be showcased throughout the weekend and will be engraved on the anniversary wine bottle.  Many of his works, inspired by Tribal history are on display at the Tulalip Resort Casino, Stevens Pass Ski Resort and numerous installations around the Pacific Northwest.  With a deep appreciation for nature, Jason can be found working as the Forestry Manager for Tulalip while caring for the Tribes Timber Resources on the 11,000 acre reservation.  Caretaker for the Tribes’ traditional dugout canoe, he is also the Vice Chairman for the Tulalip Fish & Wildlife Commission and a commercial fisherman.

The 5th annual Taste of Tulalip takes place November 8 and 9. For Grand Taste tickets, go to www.tasteoftulalip.com or www.ticketmaster.com

About Tulalip Resort Casino

Award winning Tulalip Resort Casino is the most distinctive gaming, dining, meeting, entertainment and shopping destination in Washington State.  The AAA Four Diamond resort’s world class amenities have ensured its place on the Condé Nast Traveler Gold and Traveler Top 100 Resorts lists, as well as Preferred Hotel & Resorts membership.  The property includes 192,000 square feet of gaming excitement; a luxury hotel featuring 370 guest rooms and suites; 30,000 square feet of premier meeting, convention and wedding space; the full-service T Spa; and 6 dining venues, including the AAA Four Diamond Tulalip Bay Restaurant.  It also showcases the intimate Canoes Cabaret; a 3,000-seat amphitheater. Nearby, find the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve, Cabela’s; and Seattle Premium Outlets, featuring more than 110 name brand retail discount shops. The Resort Casino is conveniently located between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. just off Interstate-5 at exit 200. It is an enterprise of the Tulalip Tribes.  For reservations please call (866) 716-7162.

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