Established in 1999, Goose Ridge is one of a growing list of family owned Washington wineries that produces small quantities of handcrafted, high quality wines that deserve your attention.
Undoubtedly, one of the reasons for this newer winery’s success is its winemaker, Charlie Hoppes. If you haven’t yet heard of Hoppes, it’s probably only a matter of time before you’ll come across his name. That’s because in addition to Goose Ridge, he’s also the winemaker for Zefina, Six Prong, and Canon del Sol wineries as well as his own label, Fidelitas. With all these labels to his credit, Hoppes has earned a reputation for being one of the State’s premier winemakers.
I recently sampled his 2003 Goose Ridge Chardonnay (about $14) at a dinner held at Bellingham’s Bistecca Restaurant. This is such an elegantly complex wine, packed with layers of lush pear flavors and complemented with touches of vanilla and spice. Ten months of aging in small, French oak barrels add a lovely, toasty quality to the wine without interfering with the other flavors and making it taste overoaked. Pair it with a variety of poultry, pork or seafood entrees.
Because of their limited production, Goose Ridge wines are generally not carried in the Bellingham area. However, if you ask for them by name at your local grocer, the wine department should be able to order them for delivery within a few days. You may also be able to order them through Compass Wines in Anacortes. More information: (509) 628-3880 or www.gooseridge.com.