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ValenWine Weekend here to serve you

Here’s another great way to find the perfect wine pairings for Valentine’s Day.

The Spokane Winery Association has added a new event and a new winery to the ranks. There are now 18 local wineries and they’ll all be celebrating ValenWine Weekend, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Each of the wineries will be open to serve samples of featured wines and sweet treats from Rocket Bakery and others. They’ll also have plenty of gift ideas on display. Winemakers will be on hand to talk about their passion for wine. Tasting fees vary at each location.

There are more details at, including a map to download that will guide you to each winery.

The latest member to join the local winery association is Bridge Press Cellars.

Owners Brian and Melody Padrta became the state’s 600th licensed winery in 2009. They originally began making wines under the license held by friends at Grande Ronde, another Spokane winery. They’ll be offering tastes of two wines, their 2007 merlot ($30) and cabernet sauvignon ($45).

The small boutique winery concentrates on making wines that can stand a long sleep in the cellar from grapes harvested from the Seven Hills Vineyard and Pepper Bridge in Walla Walla.

The wines are made at the Mountain Dome winery and will be poured at the Wine Cellar, 906 W. Second Ave., during ValenWine Weekend festivities. Bottles of the wines can be purchased at Huckleberry’s on the South Hill or Vino! A Wine Shop in Spokane.

Melody Padrta does the marketing and sales for the winery, while her husband Brian is the winemaker when he’s not busy with his day job as an orthopedic surgeon.

She says they named the winery Bridge Press Cellars as a nod to how they met. They were both caddies at a bridge tournament at The Davenport Hotel. They recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.

The Padrtas shared a recipe for a veal roulade stuffed with duxelles (look for it inside today’s Food section) that brings out the “complexity and spicy red edges to the fruit” in their 2007 cabernet sauvignon.

“Because the wine is not overly tannic it paired nicely with the lighter-bodied veal,” Melody Padrta says. “There is a subtle undertone of earth which nicely complements the mushrooms in the recipe.”

Find more information about Bridge Press Cellars on their Facebook page or reach them at (509) 991-3664.


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