It was a pretty building with a large wrap around porch.  Inside was a very extensive shop with the tasting bar at the far end.

Even before we approached the bar, we were immediately informed that Abree, being underage, could not be at the bar and would need to stand behind us.

Chateau Grand Traverse offers two tastings, a Signature Tasting and a Reserve Tasting, both of which needed to be paid for upfront.  We had never encountered this policy before.  Things did not seem to be off to a good start.

The tasting sheet was marked accordingly as to which wines fell under which category. Based upon our selections, Aary and I chose to do the Reserve Tasting and Bushmaster chose to do the Signature Tasting.  His large elegant wine glass was immediately replaced with a small tasting glass as if he was being considered a second class citizen.

Bushmaster was put off by this and understandably so.  But apparently this was noticed by one of their more seasoned pourers and he immediately took over tending to us.  It was a good thing that he did as he was able to redeem the entire tasting.  He was very knowledgeable about the wines, and while he could not divulge secrets, still provided us with a lot of information as well as some bonus tastings based upon the things we liked.

Here is a list of the wines we tried:

  • 2013 Gewurztraminer
  • 2012 Silhouette Red Wine – a red blend of Vinifera grapes
  • 2012 Pinot Noir Reserve
  • 2012 Gamay Noir Reserve
  • 2012 Cabernet Franc Reserve
  • 2015 Etcetera White Blend – a white blend of primarily Pinot Gris
  • 2015 Etcetera Rose
  • Picnic Semidry White – a white blend of Washington state grapes
  • 2014 Semidry Riesling
  • Waters Sweet White – a white blend of primarily Riesling with Washington state grapes
  • 2014 Late Harvest Riesling
  • 2014 Late Harvest Chardonnay
  • Woods Sweet Red – a red blend of Washington state grapes
  • Cherry Riesling
  • Cherry “Port” Reserve

And here are our thoughts from my notes on our tasting sheets:

  • The Gewurztraminer was floral and acidic.
  • Bushmaster found the Pinot Noir to be harsh and we both detected a chemical flavor.
  • The Gamay Noir was especially dry.
  • Their Cabernet Franc, as expected, was peppery and delicious.
  • Etcetera White was a bit floral so we suspected it also contained Gewurztraminer or Traminette.
  • The Semidry Riesling was a typical Riesling we had come to expect from the region.
  • Surprisingly, the Late Harvest Chardonnay stood out to me among the whites.  It was slightly sweeter in taste than a typical Chardonnay.
  • Although sweet by name, the Woods Sweet Red did not come off as a sweet wine and appealed to us all.
  • The Cherry Riesling was nice as a white but we felt it needed more cherry in its flavor.

Aary’s favorites were Silhouette Red, and Etcetera Rose.  My favorites were Silhouette Red, Cabernet Franc, Late Harvest Chardonnay, and Cherry “Port”.

Our tastings included $3.00 credits each toward wine purchases so of course we had to use them.  Silhouette Red was a winner and when we discovered Woods Sweet Red was on special, we had no problem using up the rest of our credits.