Today is a big day for Myles Anderson.
Today, Myles Anderson will be inducted into the Legends of Washington Wine Hall of Fame.
He is a most deserving honoree.
Back in 1997 or ’98, during a week-long wine expedition to Washington state, I visited Walla Walla Vintners, which Anderson had founded with Gordy Venneri a few years earlier.
To be quite honest, I didn’t expect much. It can take a new winery a few vintages to really hit its stride—just as a new restaurant may require several months before it’s running like a well-tuned engine.
I recall being surprised in two ways:
- The wines I tasted that day were quite good across the board.
- One of them was a varietal Cabernet Franc.
I am drawn to somewhat obscure varieties such as Cab Franc, Charbono, et al. I remember Anderson telling me that they originally had planned to use the Cab Franc strictly for blending with their Cabernet Sauvignon. But it was so good, they couldn’t resist making a varietal bottling.
Production was fewer than 200 cases—a true labor of love as opposed to a hoped-for cash cow.
The other thing I remember about Anderson was that he possessed the kind of vinous knowledge and personality that would make him a wonderful teacher. So it didn’t surprise me when I heard, a few years later, that he had developed an enology and viticulture program at nearby Walla Walla Community College.
As this story from the local Tri-City Herald newspaper details, more than 1,600 students have gone through that program.
Myles Anderson has contributed a great deal to the Washington wine industry, and I’m happy to see him get the recognition he deserves.
I’m also happy that he’s still making that really tasty Cabernet Franc—always a nice alternative to Pinot Noir to accompany a Northwest salmon dinner.
P.S.: The Legends of Washington Wine Hall of Fame is a project of the Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center. You can learn more about the center here.
And you can share personal experiences from Washington’s Walla Walla wine country—perhaps even at Walla Walla Vintners—in the comment box below.