Wine is composed of crushed grapes, just like the DMV is composed of crushed souls. Reap the rewards of fermented fruits with today's Groupon: for $14, you get a wine-tasting experience for two adults (a $10 value) and a bottle of Bebop wine (a $20 value) at Nodland Cellars in Spokane Valley (a $30 total value).
The artisanal, artist-run Nodland Cellars blends locally handpicked grapes that tickle the taste buds of grape gapers with opulent flavors and carefully crafted finesse. Wine tasters are treated to the sounds of jazz as they sample the nectar of grapes gathered from the prestigious Walla Walla Valley, Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, and Red Mountain, resulting in a flavorful ménage and heated debate about which grapes travelled longest. Grape clusters are selected only after a long hang time, then further examined for ripeness and their ability to play well with others. Void of machinery, the wines are produced in an entirely handmade process, from cluster picking to fermentation, implementing a combination of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and cabernet franc, along with a small percentage of the rare carmenère fruit. Although more expensive, the use of 100% french oak barrels is implemented because of the added spices and Parisian accents they encourage. With only one red and one white wine produced a year, quality is given priority, ensuring only the finest blends make the journey from barrel to bottle.
Owners Tim and Tracy Nodland apply their artistic backgrounds to the process of winemaking, approaching the craft with precision and articulate selections of materials. The tasting room, open from noon–4 p.m. on Saturdays, croons smooth sounds of jazz to compliment the experience, and tasters take home a bottle of Bebop, a dry riesling with fruity notes, floral accents, and sly card tricks.
Vintner Tim Nodland approaches blending his wines like arranging a song, which makes sense, because as a professional jazz musician he possesses an astute sense of creativity and balance. He describes his winery as being “more like a musician’s studio” and his wines, which can be experienced at his new tasting room located in the Historic Davenport District of Downtown Spokane, as “liquid art.” Nodland's musical background inspires the names of wines such as "Bebop" and earned his winery a mention in Wine and Jazz magazine. Nodland Cellars produces only one red wine and one white wine every year, allowing the winery to focus all of its energy on refining each vintage. Nodland's meticulously selected grapes, sourced from quality Columbia Valley vineyards, are each handpicked before enjoying a gentle press in stainless steel. Each vintage, aged in 100% new french oak, uses a blend of six grapes, primarily made up of cabernet sauvignon and merlot, which recalls a classic bordeaux from the late 1700s or early 1800s. Nodland's private blend’s complex Old World flavor comes from rare carmenere grapes, which were wiped out in Europe by a phylloxera blight in the 1800s.