This last Friday we joined Lauren Ashton Cellars for another ‘At The Tasting Room’ experience. It is still Taste Washington Wine Month and Lauren Ashton Cellars has put together a Wine + Cheese flight for the whole month of March. Wine and cheese? What is not to love! We had to try it for ourselves.
Their story goes years back when Kit Singh, a dentist by profession, explored Europe’s most known wine regions in France as well as spending time in Napa and Sonoma where he truly discovered the enjoyment of wine. In 2009, Kit channeled his genius of chemistry and deep-rooted scientific background with his appreciation of wine and created his own brand called Lauren Ashton Cellars.
Lauren Ashton Cellars was inspired by the winemaker’s two children, Ashley Lauren and Ashton Troy. Keeping his focus on family, Kit wanted to reflect on his wife Riinu’s heritage and culture by branding his labels with photographs showcasing the beautiful small country in Europe, Estonia.
Lauren Ashton Cellars is located in Woodinville’s Hollywood District. Specifically, they are located in a development called Apple Farm Village. This historic development houses several tasting rooms including Zerba Cellars, Guardian Cellars, Otis Kenyon Wine, 425 Cellars, Torii Mor Winery, and Obelisco Estate Winery. With nearly 10 tasting rooms within steps of one another, it’s a wine lover’s paradise!
Lauren Ashton Cellars has both indoor and outdoor seating options. Their beautiful garden patio is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the Hollywood District, and is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine.
Currently Lauren Ashton Cellars take reservations via email or phone. Reservations are encouraged but not required. They also provide plenty of availability for walk-up guests. You can make a reservation online here.
APPLE FARM VILLAGE HISTORY (for all our history buffs)
If you are interested in a short history lesson of Apple Farm Village, we have you covered. In 1876, the Peterson family homesteaded the land in the Sammamish Valley where Apple Farm Village is now located. There were approximately nine settlers in the entire Sammamish Valley, stretching from Bothell to Issaquah before 1870.
One of the Peterson sons, George lived on the property until the 1940’s, when it was purchased by Roy and Goldie Olsen. They and their two sons, Tom and Robert lived on the property until the 1970’s. In 1975, the property was sold to Arthur Yeoman, Sr., a retired man, who lived there until 1995. Mr. Yeoman cared for the many fruit trees and each year would handpick several truckloads of apples from the property to donate to the local food bank. In 1994, Barbara Kelson purchased the property and moved three older houses, including the Calkins home to the site to be restored and utilized as retail shops.
Hollywood got its start as a logging community called Derby. In 1912, Henry Stimson, a Seattle timber baron cleared the stump land where Chateau Ste. Michelle winery is now located for a poultry farm. He planted holly trees across the entire top ridge of the farm. Thereafter, the area became known as Hollywood. In the early days, Derby was not considered to be a part of Woodinville, but had its own identity. At that time, the valley was still covered with forest and marshland.
The full story on Apple Farm Village’s history can be found here.
~ Written by Amber Schmitt, Marketing Director of Woodinville Wine Country
As mentioned above, it is still Taste Washington Wine Month and Lauren Ashton Cellars has put together a Wine + Cheese flight for the whole month of March. Wine and cheese? What is not to love! I had to try it for myself.
LET’S TALK WINE
Outside of Taste Washington Wine Month they provide a Premium Tasting that includes (5) wines. Their Premium Tasting is $15 and waived with minimum of $45 in wine purchase per person. *Their Premium Tasting is complimentary for club members.
Lauren Ashton Cellars LOVES their wine club members and they make it very simple to join. There is no cost to join. You are simply committing to purchase either 9, 18, or 24 bottles a year (3 seasonal
releases). I personally love wine club memberships structured this way. If you think you will enjoy at least 9 bottles of wine a year, it is an easy “yes, sign me up”!
With each tier comes a number of perks: Catered in-person release parties with live music and more, 15% or 20% discounts, anniversary discounts, and more. We invite you to email email@example.com to join!
Let’s dive into their Taste Washington Wine + Cheese Flight. This flight is available for $39
(retail $50) and features four pours (2 ounces each) of the following wines. It is perfectly paired with
cheeses hand-selected by their co-owner, Riinu Rammal.
Pairing #1: 2017 Chardonnay + Brie
Amber’s Notes~ Started off the tasting flight with a bang! This wine is balanced and everything you could want in a Chardonnay. The aromatics of this wine are to die for: tropical fruit/pineapple paired with a hint of vanilla. The Brie cheese worked beautifully with this wine as it truly let the flavors of this wine shine.
The 2017 vintage produced grapes with fully ripe flavors and great fruit purity. This is reflected in our Chardonnay with aromas of coconut and pineapple and a palate showing finesse, depth and substantial length. Full flavors are balanced by crisp acidity. Our Chardonnay is full-bodied, with a hint of oak and a nose of pineapple and marshmallows. It has a creamy mid-palate with a hint of minerality highlighted by complex notes of pear, spice and vanilla.
Pairing #2: 2018 Roussanne + Aged Gouda
Amber’s Notes~ I love seeing white Rhone varietals here in Woodinville and throughout the state. There is a certain texture and acid that these varietals bring that traditional WA state white wines often lack. The texture of this wine partners well with aged gouda’s distinct ‘saltiness’.
Roussanne is a richly complex and unique white grape varietal, indigenous to the Rhône Valley of France. Fermented in barrel and stainless steel, our Roussanne invites you to an elegant tasting journey which begins with a nose of herbal tea, lavender, lemon zest and honeysuckle. On the palate, its seductive mouth-feel, with a hint of minerality, ends with a lingering finish. Perfect with grilled halibut, roasted chicken or rich shellfish like lobster and scallops
Pairing #3: 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon + “Drunken Cheese”
Amber’s Notes~ I love a big, bold Cabernet. This is exactly that. Their cabernet can stand against a hearty meal or cheese. Riinu paired this wine with “Drunken Cheese” which I think was absolutely fabulous. I was not as familiar with this cheese but was pleasantly surprised. The purple rind develops in a red wine bath, which lends a slightly fruity flavor. This cheese reminded me of the typical goat cheese, but in a mellow “I-want-everyone-to-like-me” sort of way.
Our award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon from the Columbia Valley AVA is rich and full-bodied, with an elegant tannin structure. It opens with aromas of black cherry, blackberry, and ripe plum and is followed by hints of spiciness and minerality. Pair with Gorgonzola, red meat and lamb or enjoy on its own.
Pairing #4: 2015 Cuvée Arlette + Gruyere
Amber’s Notes~ Merlot is the dominant varietal in this blend. This wine is soft and approachable. I would say this is a very food friendly blend. Being that this wine is soft and sultry, it worked in tandem with the subtle flavors of Gruyere that could have been easily overpowered by a big, bold red.
Cuvée Arlette is a dark and luxurious blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot sourced from the Columbia Valley. Its depth and complexity echoes aromatics of raspberry, black currants, cocoa and caramel, with hints of spiciness and minerality. The tannin structure is focused and elegant
I picked a great date for my LAC tasting room visit as they recently released their 2015 Proprietor’s Cuvee. They so graciously included this bonus pour into my Taste Washington Wine + Cheese Flight so I could share my thoughts with you all.
Bonus Pour: 2015 Proprietor’s Cuvee
Amber’s Notes~ They should nickname this wine “Oh my god!” That is the first thing that involuntarily comes from your mouth as you taste this wine. All jokes aside, this wine was the perfect way to wrap up my tasting flight. This wine has so much depth. I paired this wine with a few of the chocolates included in their cheese board.
2015 Proprietor’s Cuvee is a dark and luxurious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot sourced from the Columbia Valley AVA. Its depth and complexity echoes aromatics of black currants, black cherries, plum and cocoa, with a hint of spiciness and a touch of minerality.
Lauren Ashton Cellars Taste Washington Wine + Cheese flight was such a great way to celebrate #TasteWA this month. I highly recommend this experience. If you stumble upon this piece after the month of March, LAC often has other creative specials for you to enjoy. Of course, their Premium Tasting Flight will always be available as a way for guests to introduce themself to Lauren Ashton Cellars’ wine.
Before I wrap up my experience I want to make a few mentions. For all of our fellow WA State wine lovers who may not live locally or cannot make it into the tasting room this month, LAC has created a wine 4-pack for Washington Wine Month. The 4-pack includes 2017 Chardonnay, 2018 Roussanne, 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2015 Cuvée Arlette and is specially priced at $125 (retail $155). *Club member discounts can apply on top of this special promo price! You can get your 4-pack here!
Need MORE reasons to visit Lauren Ashton Cellars?!
Shall we talk about Rosé? Every year, their friends & fans look forward to their “Release the Rosé” event. The date is set for April 2 – 4, 2021. A portion of their Rosé sales during that weekend will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Washington/Alaska. They invite guests to visit them to pick up their rose or shop online during that weekend.
Insider tip: They quickly sell out of this coveted Rosé every year. Don’t miss out!
Last but not least, give them a follow on social media or subscribe to their mailing list by using the links below. See you next week for another “At The Tasting Room” experience.