Tiptoe through the Tulips at Carpenter Creek Winery

By Kori ~ March 30th, 2009.

20090330_carpentercreeksignCarpenter Creek Winery, located in Mount Vernon, Washington, was founded in 2001 by owner/winemaker Jeff Hammer and his wife Tara. They opened their tasting room in 2003 and did an extensive remodel in 2006. Their remodeled tasting room is very nice and quaintly situated off the road among fir and cedar trees. Currently, Carpenter Creek produces 2,300 cases per year.

We visited Carpenter Creek in January during their Sinful Syrah Weekend. Their 2005 Syrah debuted during the event and was poured alongside their 2004 and 2002 vintages. They pulled the 2002 Syrah out of their library vault just for that weekend. At the time of our visit, they only had one case of the 2002 left which is really a shame since it was our favorite. In addition to tasting their three Syrahs, we also tried eight of their other wines. Carpenter Creek primarily sources their grapes from eastern Washington vineyards, but they do have a small estate vineyard just across the lane from the tasting room. They blend estate-grown Siegerrebe, a lesser known variety that does well in the cooler, damp climate of the Puget Sound AVA, into their Rose wine.

20090330_tulipsYou may be wondering…If you visited Carpenter Creek in January, why are you just writing about them now? The answer is very simple. I highly recommend that you visit Carpenter Creek Winery…in April. And given that Wednesday is April 1st, I thought today would be a good time to tell you about them. For those who are not familiar with Washington State, Mount Vernon is located in the Skagit Valley, and the Skagit Valley is famous for its beautiful tulip fields which bloom in April each year. Not to mention the fact that the weather should be much better in April than the blustery, freezing rain we encountered in January.

In fact, for the month of April, Carpenter Creek is hosting their 5th annual Spring Wine and Tulips Festival. During the event, they will be open Thursday through Monday from 11am to 6pm. They will be pouring their wines as well as offering samples of gourmet products like dipping sauces, infused olive oils, and shortbreads. For those of you needing more than a few bites during your visit, they will be serving burgers and brats on the weekends. Just as they did during the Sinful Syrah weekend, they will be pouring some of their limited edition and reserve wines as well.

20090330_carpentercreekwinesHere’s a complete listing of the wines we tasted at Carpenter Creek Winery. Under each Quality heading, the wine name and region will be listed along with price and QPR rating. Wines in bold type received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5).

Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
2002 Carpenter Creek Syrah, Washington State, $55, QPR: 2

Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
2007 Carpenter Creek Signature Series Riesling, Washington State, $12.50, QPR: 5
2006 Carpenter Creek Semillon Ice Wine, Washington State, $24, QPR: 5

2004 Carpenter Creek Cabernet Franc Port, Washington State, $28, QPR: 4
2007 Carpenter Creek Rose, Washington State, $17.50, QPR: 3

Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
2005 Carpenter Creek Syrah, Washington State, $24, QPR: 3
2006 Carpenter Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley, $32, QPR: 3
2005 Carpenter Creek Sauvignon Blanc, Washington State, $14.99, QPR: 2
2005 Carpenter Creek Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley, $26, QPR: 2

Quality: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
2004 Carpenter Creek Meritage, Washington State, $9.50, QPR: NR
2004 Carpenter Creek Syrah, Washington State, $18, QPR: NR

Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Dessert Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Lesser Known Varietals, Red Wine, Riesling, Rose Wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wine Activities/Events, Wines NOT To Buy (1 & 2 Star), Wines Over $25, Wines Under $10, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

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