Fall Release offers break in routine

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MILTON-FREEWATER — East and West siders are bumping elbows at some of the busier wine tasting rooms in the Valley that are taking part in Fall Release weekend.

The event is one of three big wine-selling weekends that appeals to local residents and tourists, the other two being Holiday Barrel Tasting and Spring Release weekends.

At the Flying Trout vineyard tasting room located in the hills west of town, winemaker Ashley Trout said she welcomed Fall Release as a break from harvesting, crushing and other more mundane duties of wine making.

“Fall release is a great way to take a break from the chaos of harvest and focus on the finished product. People come from all over this weekend because they know all the wineries are open and many have new lines,” Trout said.

Throughout most of Saturday, the Flying Trout tasting room averaged about 15 to 25 people, with most being from out of town.

“It’s a chance to talk with the winemaker so that when we go home and we are having the wine, we can remember what it was like to be here,” said David Iseminger of Lake Stevens, Wash.

Iseminger and his wife, Kirsten, also pointed out they are members of wine clubs. And the clubs often plan wine pick-up events during the three big release weekends.

“We will taste some of the wine we ordered, maybe buy a few more cases ... and try new wine,” Kirsten Iseminger said.

Some wineries say fall release is their largest selling weekend, while others use it to open barrels for tasting and selling of wine futures.

Trout said their winery uses Fall Release to highlight their smaller new releases, which average about 75 cases per line. She added that their combined sales for all three big wine-selling weekends accounts for about 15-20 percent of their revenues.

The other big draw of Fall releases is the color of the vineyards, where differing varietals and changing climes cause sections of vineyards to change color at different times as the leaves die. The result is a patchwork of reds, golds, purples and browns.

Fall Release continues today with many wineries extending their hours.

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