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19 December, 2016

Prosser Wine Part 1: The Allure of Alexandria Nicole Cellars

Comments : 1 Posted in : Bars in Prosser, Beer, Wine, Sake, Red Wine, Rose Wine, Travel, WA, WA, White Wine on by : The Gourmez

I’ve been keeping a secret. Or rather, I’ve been too busy before now to share with you the fun, down-to-earth, yet fully ready for your enjoyment wine country based in and around Prosser, WA.

sunrise horse heaven hills alexandria nicole destiny ridge

Sunrise at Destiny Ridge Vineyard.

In October, I took part in a media trip covering the area, and boy, did we hit up as much as possible over two and half days! Obligatory disclaimer: The Prosser Wine Network sponsored this media trip, which means pretty much everything involved in this post was free to me to experience, taste, and enjoy.

rose wine 14 hands prosser

And enjoy it I did! This is 14 Hands Reserve Rosé of Grenache 2015.

I thought I’d start out this series highlighting one winery—and its multiple wine experiences—as a stand-in for the Prosser wine country experience on the whole.

Alexandria Nicole Cellars History

Alexandria Nicole Cellars is owned by a Prosser native, Jarrod Boyle, and his wife, Ali. Jarrod had already been learning the ropes of this wine-drenched region with Hogue Cellars when he came across a plot of land just waiting to be turned into the vineyard of his dreams.

horse heaven hills, destiny ridge, alexandria nicole, sunrise

Luckily, members of the Mercer family who owned the land, one of two progenitor families of nearly all the wine-growing activity here, was friends with Jarrod and they partnered together on his dream, creating the Destiny Ridge Vineyard (158422 Sonova Road, Paterson, WA). This is a common story among the smaller Prosser wineries; the Mercer and Andrews families have been instrumental in cultivating the area’s wine industry.

Alexandria Nicole’s estate is located at the vineyard, a truly beautiful area of the Horse Heaven Hills where many of the Prosser area wineries grow their grapes … and I got to stay the night in one of their tiny houses in the midst of the vines!

tiny house alexandria nicole vineyard

More on that later. But first, you and I are heading to their Prosser-based tasting room (2880 Lee Rd, Suite D, Prosser, WA), housed in a small, but mighty, fancy strip mall that’s also home to Wit Cellars, which I’ll be mentioning in future posts.

Alexandria Nicole Wine Tasting

alexandria nicole tasting room prosser

Being housed in a strip mall signifies the Prosser experience to me. Excellent wine tasting awaits — you just have to know where to look! I’m hoping this series of posts will demystify that for wine travelers ready and willing to craft their own amazing vacation to the Prosser Area. At Alexandria Nicole, one place to check out, if you’re a wine member, is the secret lounge—yes, behind a movable bookcase.

Alexandria nicole secret room tasting

I love that! Playfulness is a characteristic I always support, and not one always found among the stuffier wine regions. The tasting room area that is open to the general public is plenty appealing on its own, especially the large fireplace.

fireplace alexandria nicole tasting room prosser

The wines have plenty of that playful spirit in them, too. The tasting room manager tried a few mystery wines on us, refusing to tell us what the blends were until after we’d taken a sip. One of those, the 2013 Alexandria Nicole Member’s Only, turned out to be a grenache-syrah-mourvedre wine blended by wine club members!

2013 alexandria nicole member's only blend

I loved it. It reminded me of the pleasure of wrapping up in a favorite scarf for the first brisk day of fall. Attractive, smooth raspberry and plum dominated with elements of toffee wafting through. 5/5

I also gave my highest score to the Alexandria Nicole Sergeant Pepper 2013 Carménère.

alexandria nicole sergeant pepper 2013 carmenere

This wine is appropriately named; you know what you’re getting into here, and it’s not a Beatles concert. Rather, roasted fruit notes combine with jalapeno and crushed, dry herbs to impart flashes of a deep, rich molé sauce. Tomato salt lingers, making you wonder if you’ve ever had a wine quite like this one before. 5/5

The Alexandria Nicole 2015 Crawford Viognier is also notable for its spiciness, though that’s more of the allspice and nutmeg variety. Those flavors punch up the green apple and pineapple fruit. 4/5

alexandria nicole reserve viognier

But if tasting among civilians isn’t quite your style, you can always head out to the estate…

Alexandria Nicole’s Tiny House Glamping

For true wine fans, Alexandria Nicole extends their experience into those tiny houses out in the Destiny Ridge Vineyards, where visitors can also taste wines at the estate. And staying overnight in a tiny home is such a memorable way to spend an evening or a weekend!

gravity tiny house alexandria nicole

The Gravity House

 

This is right in the vines, folks; in October, I woke to laborers in the midst of harvest around my tiny home, the Jet Black.

alexandria nicole tiny houseThe house is named for a dark fruit-toned and vegetal syrah, but the rooms are anything but dark. Instead, the whole tiny home is full of light, as it’s equipped with a roll-up wall in the living room—

tiny house living room jet black

— and a window-wrapped bedroom overflowing with pillows.

tiny house bedroom

There are so many wine touches in the place, the best of which is a built-in tap pouring one red and one white Alexandria Nicole wine, paid for by an honor system of chalkboard hash tags.

tiny house wine keg alexandria nicole

Folks, do not think cramped when you think of this tiny house experience. It’s closer to a deluxe hotel suite than anything else, even if you choose the Affinity House, the smallest of four at 218 sq. ft. The Jet Black is 400 sq. ft. and such a pretty place to stay. Here’s a Facebook tour I did of it early in the morning of our last day on the media trip.

My new travel writing friend, Carrie Uffindell, stayed nearby at the Gravity home, which had more of a reclaimed industrial vibe that she loved.

prosserwa-287 gravity house tiny alexandria nicole

Heck, I loved it too. I would have been happy to stay at any of the tiny home options. My only words of warning about the experience is that you should be fully prepared if you want to spend a weekend disappearing into these vines. Marketing describes it as “glamping,” which it isn’t in the slightest, but it is a good 10 miles—that’s 10 country road miles—from any restaurants, stores, or civilization beyond what the Hills themselves can provide, so pack snacks!

alexandria nicole tiny houses destiny ridge prosser

Don’t steal the grapes!

That remoteness is part of how Prosser, WA, came to be the central gathering place for everyone making a living out of the Horse Heaven Hills — people love to gather, even when spread apart, farming over the countryside. The city only has a population of 5,700 people, but there are nearly 40 wineries and tasting rooms represented within its boundaries!

I’ll share more about what role Prosser has to play in this winegrowing region, both makers and tasters, in my upcoming posts. But for now, I hope this peak into Alexandria Nicole Cellars whets your wine whistle for what else Prosser offers for wine vacationers. Here’s a sneak peak of my next post in the series:

Horse Heaven Hills Brewery and Saloon gun door handle

Hmm…

Visited October 6-8, 2016.

 

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