Event pairing wine, art at Red Mountain wineries

Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writerApril 5, 2013 

Treats and treasures for the plate and the palette are planned at Mid-Columbia wineries this weekend for the first Estates of the Art.

Starting April 6 and continuing through April 14, artists and winemakers will merge for an event that blends a wide selection of art paired with an equally eclectic mix of wine.

"The inspiration for the event is the beauty of Red Mountain itself," said Heather Unwin, executive director of Red Mountain AVA Alliance. "Artists and wineries will be partnered to best match the vision and personality of their locations and craft."

Red Mountain AVA Alliance was organized in 2008 by vineyard owners, winemakers, wineries, residents and local industry leaders, Unwin said.

The artists represented in the Estates of the Art include Linda Andrews, John Clement, Rob Di Piazza, Laura Gable, Ron Gerton, Casia Gorski, Susan Kimmel, Connie Murphy, Ted Neth, Jan Nilsson, April Ottey and David Wyatt.

Their art will be on display throughout the nine-day, self-guided exhibit, Unwin said. Participating wineries, all located in Benton City, include Col Solare Winery at 50207 Antonori Road, Cooper at Red Mountain winery at 35306 N. Sunset Road, Fidelitas Winery at 51810 N. Sunset Road, Kiona Vineyards at 44612 N. Sunset Road, Monte Scarlatto Estate Winery at 28719 E. Highway 224, Tapteil Estate Winery at 20206 E. 583 N.E., and Terra Blanca Winery at 34715 N. Demoss Road.

There is no cost to attend, but some of the wineries might have a tasting fee. Tasting wines is for the 21-and-older crowd only.

The pairing of wine and art was the brainchild of Wendi Warner, manager of Col Solare Winery.

"Spring is the time when people are looking for inspiration and opportunities, and this event is a great reason to make a point of visiting Red Mountain wineries," Warner said.

Estates of the Art is expected to become an annual event. The organizers plan to include culinary delights and the performing arts in the future. But it will be the wines that will always be the starring attraction, Warner said.

Jane Pearson from Tapteil Estate Winery, who also is an artist, has an artist's eye for seeing Estates of the Art as a memorable experience.

"We live in a stunningly beautiful place for inspiration. All I have to do is open my eyes each morning," she said. "Things to delight all the senses are most greatly appreciated by the people who realize the great care, time and vision that goes into the creation of a beautiful thing."

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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