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A Huge Loss

October 28, 2014

Vines and the Columbia River

The harvest is done and the last of vintage 2014 may just be completing fermentation .   What really draws a winemaker and vineyard owner to the vines?    It is demanding and tedious work for those who do the job of growing grapes and making wine.   For those who have volunteered to crush, bottle and label wine around the Woodinville area you have caught a glimpse of some of the work.

The pricey end product – a beautiful bottle of wine.   Some bemoan paying the high price.   If only they really knew the efforts that had gone into that bottle of wine.   Especially, the wines made by some of the small boutique wineries that dot the landscape of Woodinville and Eastern Washington’s wine growing regions.

A winery that personified everything great about Washington wines, Dunham Cellars, recently and tragically lost their young, passionate, enthusiastic, and visionary, owner/winemaker Eric Dunham.  You may have heard the news.

What you may not have heard is the undeniable impact Eric had on everybody in Washington’s wine industry.   He influenced, encouraged and supported anybody associated with the industry, big or small.

In Eric’s memory, Dunham Cellars, located in Walla Walla, will be holding a memorial this Saturday, November 1, from 1-4 p.m.

I know none of this begins to answer that question about what draws a winemaker to the vines and making wines.   So, here is the challenge.  Go out to one of the local wineries, if you can.  Talk to the winemaker, if you can.   Taste wine and buy your favorite bottle of wine.  Gather your friends and family close.  Pour the wine and celebrate life!    Make a toast to Eric and somewhere in that journey I can guarantee you will find the answer.   R.I.P. Eric Dunham.

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