Abbe Vineyard and Winery in Federal Way was founded in 2009. The project started slowly, planting about a quarter of an acre of Chardonnay and Mellon grape varietals. The following year, the planting continued - more Chardonnay, some Pinot Noir, and testing out some Pinot Munier, Riesling, Viognier, and Muscatel vines to see if they would grow well. The third year brought about a substantial increase in Pinot Noir vines, and the vineyard and winery grew from there.
As a decades-long resident of Federal Way, I didn't know this winery existed! So let's get down to the tasting.
First up, RSV Chardonnay Sparkling 2015.
Crisp aromas of honeysuckle and peach. The effervescence brings the lighter flavors of peach and light toast to the forefront. Perfect for your summer BBQs. Oysters on the half shell or smoked ribs.
Personal tasting notes: Despite being predisposed to enjoying most sparkling wines, this got mixed results from the tasting duo. As a stand-alone sparkling or celebrating and tasting, this didn't wow us. To be fair, however, we'd love to see how this pairs with summer fare on the deck, maybe paired instead of a rosé. Filing the idea away as a future tasting opportunity. $16.
Next up, 2015 Sangiovese.
Black currant, cherry, and a hint of oak for your senses. The palate comes alive with firm tannins and rich baker's chocolate.
Personal tasting notes: There's much to like about this choice. If you're already a Sangiovese fan, you'll enjoy the explosion of flavors in your mouth. It's deep red in color with big, bold, jammy flavors. Lots of chew, but it still goes down smooth. Buy a couple of bottles for your next red-sauce based pasta. Would also be delicious with a charcuterie plate. In fact, skip the cooking one night and have a hearty charcuterie plate for dinner - perfect for warm weather. $25.
Abbe Vineyard and Winery is located at 530 South 373rd Street, Federal Way. They are currently open Friday and Saturday, 11 am-7 pm, and Sundays, 11 am-5 pm. The tasting room has a few tables for socially distant tasting. Additionally, there are two large outdoor tents with comfortable seating and heaters that make a perfect spot for conversation or reading a book.
A tasting menu of four wines is priced at $10. Wine is also available for purchase by the glass and bottle. Food is sometimes available.
Remember to select a designated driver (or take a cab or ride service) when doing wine tasting.
Photo credit: author