Spring 2003

Vol 2, Issue 2

Spring Barrel Tasting

(25-27 April)

The Yakima Valley Winery Associationís annual hoopla and madness, also known as Spring Barrel Tasting (SBT), will occur 25-27 April (Friday-Sunday). We plan to taste two big reds from the barrels this year: the 2000 Cabernet-Merlot and the 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon. Having tasted the Cab-Merlot just a couple of weeks ago, I can state with absolute certainty that it will be our biggest selling red wine ever. In addition to tasting new wines from the barrel, we will offer our current line of wines for complimentary tasting, including a few that are just about sold out (see "Wine News" below).

Nina Learn, owner of a wonderful Northeast Asian restaurant in Yakima called Asian Sensations, will be here Sat and Sun to serve some tasty appetizers at special SBT prices. Try pairing our wines with Nina's California Rolls, Deep Fried Oysters, Chinese BBQ Pork, or Yakitori (skewered grilled meat).

As part of the festivities, our 1997 Merlot will be reduced from its regular $14.99 price to just $9.99--a huge bargain! We will be open 10-6 daily for the three-day weekend. The event is free to the public, but please remember that you must have your own glass. We will sell special commemorative glasses ($5.00) or bring your own glass from home.

Pre-Barrel Tasting

(April 19-20)

For those of you who do not care for the hoopla and madness, but want to taste from the barrel and spend "quality time" chatting with our staff, consider visiting us on Easter weekend for what has become known as "Pre-Barrel Tasting." We will have the same two wines available for tasting from the barrel plus culinary surprises that might include artisan breads, Cougar Gold cheese, and pickled asparagus. Hint: try this with our 2000 Chardonnay. 10-6 daily.


(May 9-11)

The weekend begins on Friday evening at Glenwood Square in Yakima, when many top wineries (including us) will join with local restaurants in a "Meet the Winemaker Hour" prior to dinner. Mingle with those responsible for some of the state's best wines while sampling appetizer-wine pairings designed specifically for this event. At the Presentation Dinner, discover the competition-winning entrée and dessert, drink award-winning Merlots, bid on wine-related auction items, and enjoy an unforgettable evening. Spend the remainder of the weekend visiting participating Yakima Valley wineries, many of which will feature special activities and discounts on outstanding Merlots. Call 509-469-8170.  

Wine News

We have good news and bad news about our recently released 2002 Late Harvest Riesling. Good: it has proved very popular and is selling like hot cakes. Bad: it has proved very popular and is selling like hot cakes. Much of our 1,000 case production is already gone, which has forced us to reluctantly raise the price and establish a limit of three bottles per customer. The 02 LH is now $13.49 at our Tasting Room. Those of you who took advantage of the special price we offered to Friends of Claar in the Winter 2003 newsletter ($7.99 per bottle for a case purchase) made quite a deal!

The following wines are just about gone, so order quickly if you would like to lay in a supply before it is too late:

1997 Cabernet Sauvignon--Four Stars, New York Times--4 cases remaining

1998 Cabernet/Merlot--88 Points, Wine Spectator--12 cases remaining

2001 Sauvignon Blanc--30 cases remaining

2000 Chardonnay--Gold Medal, WA State Wine Competition--44 cases remaining


Catch Claar Cellars

Visit with us and sample our wines at the following venues in April, May and June.


25--Willows Lodge. Marcus Franklin, our National Sales Manager, joins wine steward Erin McAllister to pour some of our best. 14580 NE 145th Street in Woodinville (next to the Herb Farm). Appetizers available. Call 425-424-3900.


10--Wine and Gourmet Food Festival at the historic Fitterer's Furniture building in downtown Ellensburg. Wine, hors d'oeuvres, door prizes, silent and live auction, Grand Prize: $10,000 furniture spree. $25. 6-9 PM. Call the Ellensburg Chamber of Commerce at 509-925-3137.

21--United Way of Yakima Annual Dinner at the Yakima Valley Museum. Wine-tasting, appetizers, music. 6-8 PM. $25. Call Cheryl at 509-248-1557.

Throughout the month--Elliott's Oyster House at Pier 56 in Seattle will feature Claar Cellars. Call 206-623-4340.


7--Spring Garden Tour at the Yakima Area Arboretum. Sip our refreshing "summer whites" while touring the gardens of the arboretum. 2-5 PM. $15. Call LooWit Gardens at 509-966-7010.

21--Sunshine and Wine at the Central Washington State Fairgrounds--in conjunction with the Washington State Wine Competition. Wine-tasting, silent and oral auctions, specialty foods. $70. Call 509-248-7160.

22--Taste Washington Spokane. Visit the WA Wine Commission's website at

27--Vines to Wine in front of the beautiful Capitol Theater in downtown Yakima. Sponsored by the Yakima Farmers' Market. Wine, specialty foods, music, dancing. 6-10 PM. Call 509-457-5765.

Throughout the months of May and June--QFC Wine Discovery Program will feature our 1998 Cab-Merlot for $8.99 per bottle. QFC's wine steward selects wines for this program based on quality, price, and availability.


We welcome your comments. Contact Mike at 509-829-6810 or reply to this e-mail. Remember to identify yourself as a Friend of Claar when visiting the Tasting Room to receive an additional 5% discount on most wine purchases.