“I quit working in 1996,” says master winemaker David “Merf” Merfeld ’13. That was the year he got a job at Bert Grant’s Brewery in Yakima—one of the early craft breweries in the region.
Merf’s passion for fermentation started in his kitchen a few years earlier. He’d driven west to Seattle from the family farm in Iowa. “Thirty, thirty-one hours straight through,” he says, with maybe an “hour stop for a rain storm in South Dakota.” He was in the ’79 Park Avenue his dad gave him: “a great ride, and everything I owned fit in that car.” The first thing he and the buddy … » More …
Every wine has a tale and deserves a wine label that can tell that story
That’s what motivates Jim Carey (‘78 Comm.) and Jim Craig from Doubleknot Creative in Seattle, a branding and design firm that has carved out a niche crafting the artwork that graces many Washington vintages.
The designers have seen wine labels in Washington evolve along with the varietals and the state’s wine industry as a whole. Washington wines continue to build reputation and credibility, and going against big hitters like California’s Napa Valley, “world-class wine deserves world-class packaging,” says Craig, the creative director of the firm.
Come late summer, Alaska’s farmland blooms with romance and colorful ruffles. It’s the season for peonies in the north country—an unlikely floral industry that, thanks to bridal demand, has given rise to a surprising horticultural gold rush.
The lure is especially tempting for those with small parcels of land. Wayne ’76 and Patti ’75 Floyd, for example, joined the stampede in 2011 with only two acres, and have since created a successful business claiming both national and international markets.
“We’d had this farm bug in our hearts from the beginning but we were never in a place that we could do that,” says Patti. … » More …
In the shadowy spaces and the sunny clearings of high Northwest forests, the huckleberry waits for an eager human or bear in the late summer. Imbued with an intense sweet-sour flavor, this coveted wild treat might peek out from its glossy leaves in a jealously-protected secret location, but it will be sought and often found.
Seekers of the huckleberry—whether they are Native Americans, more recent residents of the area, or the berry-loving grizzly and black bears—hunt incessantly for the deep purple to red fruit. Even if they aren’t pickers, any Northwesterner or visitor would still find it hard to miss the huckleberry jams, shakes, pies, … » More …
A 9-year-old slave girl fanned her young mistress to keep the flies off her while she learned her lessons. Because she picked up enough education to be able to read and write a little, she ended up teaching other slaves and ex-slaves.
Her daughter became a schoolteacher, married to a Presbyterian minister in segregated Columbus, Ohio. The couple passed on the family mantras to their children: “You must get an education to get ahead” and “you must be a credit to our race.”
Their children, the second generation born free, took the advice to heart, attending college and becoming teachers and professionals. One of them, … » More …
For millennia, bread baking has been more craft than science. Even the current trend in artisan bread rejects much of what modern science has wrought: the advances of manufactured yeast, dough conditioners, added preservatives and the overall industrialization of wheat and bread production.
“The bread zeitgeist is about being ancient, primitive, natural, and pretty much anything but modern,” writes Nathan Myhrvold in his recent 2,642-page … » More …
Huckleberries work in many ways that really showcase the Northwest iconic wild berry in dishes. Check out a couple of recipes below from the Wild Huckleberry website. You can find more recipes at the Marx Foods website.
Pan-Seared Salmon with Huckleberry Sauce
4 salmon fillets2 tablespoons olive oilSalt and pepper1/3 cup of water1 cup fresh huckleberries1 tablespoon of sugar1 lemon, juiced¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
Heat skillet over high heat. Add olive oil. Salt and pepper both sides of salmon fillets. When pan is hot add fillets, skin side down. Sear for approximately 4 minutes per side. … » More …
We’ve compiled a gallery of wine labels for all the members of Wine-By-Cougars—wineries with a WSU connection and Cougar passion. Since most produce a remarkable variety of types (and therefore labels), make sure to check each winery website through links found here.
Wine-By-Cougars (the official wine club of Washington State University) celebrates the impact that Cougs have made on the wine industry. WBC also supports student scholarships for the viticulture and enology program, and the wine business management program.