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A&E >  Food

Emvy to showcase wine at holiday festival

It’s time for the Spokane Winery Association’s annual Holiday Wine Festival. And there’s another new kid in the vineyard.

Actually, they’ve been around the vineyard awhile, but Mark and Valerie Wilkerson of Emvy Cellars are joining the holiday festival for the first time. They’ll be giving tasters a sneak preview of their 2005 cabernet sauvignon and merlot blend called Devotion.

The boutique winery, which makes just 120 cases of the wine each year, will officially release it next month. The wine is made from grapes harvested at the Seven Hills vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley.

Emvy, a play on the first letters of Mark and Valerie’s names, made its first commercial wine in 2002.

“It’s our hobby gone wild,” Valerie Wilkerson says.

By day, Mark Wilkerson is a senior benefits consultant and manager for VEBA Service Group and Valerie Wilkerson is a sales representative for Reckitt Benckiser. She is also a board member of the Ronald McDonald House.

Emvy Cellars’ first vintage of Devotion, 2002, is sold out. They also have a 2003 Devotion. The wines sell for $34.99.

Taste the Emvy Cellars wine at the Wine Cellar, 906 W. Second Ave., which is also home to Grande Ronde Winery. Owners Dave Westfall and John Mueller helped the Wilkersons launch the winery.

Don’t let the lingering downtown construction sideline plans to hit the downtown wineries. The Spokane businesses continue to win awards for top-notch wines, including a recent 90-point rating for Grande Ronde’s 2005 Seven Hills cabernet sauvignon from Wine Spectator magazine. (It is Grande Ronde’s third 90-point rating in three years.)

The 17 participating Spokane wineries and tasting rooms will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., for Holiday Wine Fest. There will be wine (of course), discounts, gourmet food offerings and gift shopping opportunities.

Most wineries charge a tasting fee of about $5. Stop first at your favorite winery to pick up a map or download one.

Spokane Holiday Wine Festival map
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