Woodward Canyon delves deeper into local comestibles

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First a market. Now a restaurant.

Woodward Canyon Winery has added yet another dimension to its Lowden operation with the quiet opening last weekend of the Reserve House restaurant.

The restaurant is open seasonally, Friday through Sunday, and features dishes from chef Heidi Varney from Walla Walla Community College's Wine Country Culinary Program. The small plates highlight the homegrown Lazy S Arrow produce raised at the base of the Woodward Canyon Estate Vineyard.

Reserve House offers interior seating at communal tables or individual tables on the covered porches with views of the garden and neighboring vineyard.

Operators have been growing produce there for five years. The produce has been used for events at the winery and sold to local restaurants. That will continue to be the case.

The Lazy S Arrow produce will also be available at the new Lazy S Arrow Market that recently opened at the winery, 11920 W. Highway 12. The market also features fruits and vegetables from other growers, specialty foods and items for wine country picnics.

The restaurant and market represent a return of sorts to Woodward Canyon founder Rick Small's agricultural roots.

Small grew up on a ranch in Woodward Canyon, where his family grew grains and vegetables, and raised beef and hogs.

Small's wife and Woodward Canyon General Manager Darcey Fugman-Small said in an announcement the many elements work together to create a truly local experience.

"Our wine is made to accompany food and we are growing this incredible produce, so the decision to share those both onsite seemed to be a natural progression, as did the decision to procure much of our ingredients locally," she said. "It really puts an exclamation point on the sense of place that makes the Walla Walla Valley so special."

Currently on the menu: Locati Farms asparagus, Upper Dry Creek Ranch's beef and lamb and a special sausage made by Blue Valley Meats using Woodward Canyon's Walla Walla Valley cabernet sauvignon.

A new manager has been chosen to run the U.S. Bank branch in Milton-Freewater.

Cameo Hokanson has been promoted to the branch manager position after working as assistant manager of U.S. Bank's Walla Walla branch.

Hokanson brings six years of banking experience to the position. Prior to working for U.S. Bank she was an assistant manager and licensed agent for Minnesota community bank TCF Bank. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, she has a degree in business administration and economics.

The promotion was announced by Stacey Dodson, regional president for U.S. Bank who described Hokanson as "one of those bright shining stars who has made a career at U.S. Bank and who understands the important role she plays on our team and within our community."

As branch manager, Hokanson intends to become involved in the Milton-Freewater business community and with organizations and events. U.S. Bank has operated a branch in Milton-Freewater since 1984.

Waterbrook Winery is planning a whopper of a fishing event.

The fourth annual Fly Fishing Fair takes place at the winery June 9, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

The free event is a casual gathering on the Waterbrook pond for fly fishing. Guests from beginners to experts are welcome. The event includes fly-tying classes, fly-casting classes and a friendly competition led by club members. Waterbrook provides the prizes, which include bottles for adults and gift cards for kids.

The event also features river guides, rod salespeople and representation from Orvis in Bellevue. Outdoorsman John Spain will cook an entire four-course meal over open campfires in Dutch ovens. Each dish will be made with Waterbrook wine. For more details, call Waterbrook, 10518 West U.S. Highway 12, at 522-1262.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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