Archive for October, 2008

Cook This! Recipe #1 from Chef Scriver

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Chef Shauna Scriver 

Syrah Braised Short Ribs 

3 bottles Cave B Syrah

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 short ribs, trimmed of excess fat

Salt and black pepper

8 large onions, peeled and cut in 1/8ths

2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths

2 celery ribs, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths

10 cloves of garlic, peeled

6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley

2 bay leaves and 2 thyme sprigs

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 quarts unsalted beef broth

1. Pour the wine into a large saucepan set over medium heat, increase the heat so that the wine boils; allow it to boil until it cooks down by half. Remove from the heat.

2. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350°F.

3. Warm the oil in a large, heavy, oven proof pot over medium-high heat. Season the ribs all over with salt and pepper, when the oil is hot, slip the ribs into the pot and sear 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until well-browned. Transfer the ribs to a plate. Repeat with remaining ribs. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pot, lower the heat under the pot to medium and toss in the vegetables and herbs. Brown the vegetables lightly, 5 to 7 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.

4. Add the wine, ribs and broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover tightly and place in the oven to braise for 2 1/2 hours or until the ribs are very tender. Every 30 minutes, skim and discard fat from the surface.

5. Carefully transfer the meat to a shallow container. Boil the liquid until it has thickened to a sauce consistency, pass through a fine strainer; discard the solids. Pour sauce over ribs as a sauce.

6.  Reheat the ribs and sauce together slowly, Serve.

Pumpkin Puree 

2 cups potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes

2 cups pumpkin cut into 1 inch cubes

1/4 # butter

1/4 c cream

1. In a large sauce pan cover potatoes and pumpkin with water. Bring to boil and simmer until potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes and pumpkin and return to pan, and lower the heat to the lowest flame possible. Mash with a potato masher, mixer or immersion blender. Add cream and butter to thin a bit and make mash creamier.

A great reminder of the cool fall days, lounging around sipping delicious  full bodied wine, with the aroma of a great meal wafting through the air. From my kitchen to yours, ENJOY!

Ask Shauna:  Introduce yourself and ask Shauna culinary questions by posting a comment!


Upload your favorite photos!

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008


SageCliffe has a Flickr page, and we’d love to have you visit.  We know you’ve taken stunning, funny, interesting and beautiful pictures during your visit to SageCliffe, and we’d love to have you share them!  It takes only a minute to set up your own Flickr account.  (Visit:

Then, you can join the SageCliffe Resort Group at  to upload your own photos.  We can’t wait to see them! 

Just feel like taking a look at all the SageCliffe photos on Flickr? Go to:

 See you on Flickr!

Where do all those wine bottles go?

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

green_bottles.jpg    When you are  a winery and your wine goes into glass bottles, well, you end up with a lot of glass bottles.  For Cave B Estate Winery, it created the perfect opportunity to do another thing “green.”  For two years, Cave B Winery has been selling a portion of its wine bottles to Green Glass Company. This dynamic company takes used glass and recycles it into beautiful art, in many cases in the shape of glasses and goblets.  Have you ever gazed at the light shining through a green, brown or amber wine bottle and thought “how beautiful!”  That same light-diffusing glow is apparent in the items made by this green, green glass company.

The Birth of a Music Venue

Friday, October 10th, 2008



Last Spring the SageCliffe team put their heads together and decided to turn the cellar–a dramatic basalt-rock lined room off of the winery tasting room–into a music venue. 

It seemed to have all of the elements; terrific “no echo” acoustics, a size and shape ready-made for an intimate nightclub-type setting, immediacy to the winery for enjoying Cave B wine during the show….fantastic.       

And owners Vince and Carol Bryan had thought of, built, run and eventually sold the Gorge Amphitheater next door, so they had some experience in these things. 

But even so, how do you declare, create, market, and launch a music venue in the middle of central Washington?  Who should play there?  Where should they come from?  What genres of music should it be?  We did not wish to create a “mini-Gorge.”  Rather, the wish was to provide another kind of music venue; more like you would find at many a club in downtown Seattle.  But instead it would be here:  in Quincy.  150 miles from Seattle or Spokane.  At a destination winery resort. Would it work?  Would people want to come? 

When faced with the launch of a music venue, one thing becomes very clear very quickly:  it’s good  to have performers.  But where do you start?  How do you tell if they’re any good?  How to know if the eastern Washington audience would like them?   

It seems the wine and rock gods were looking out for us, or at least there had been a recent article on how wineries were the next big venue for musicians, because we began to receive emails from singers and songwriters. 

The first was from TJ Sherrill:  a Seattleite who wrote a very polite, very professional email introducing himself.  We listened to his tracks off his MySpace page.  He sent us a CD.  We listened to that.  We let him know how much we could pay, and he didn’t tell us to go jump in the Columbia.  So that boded well.   We named the venue performances Live! at The Cellar, and hoped people would understand we didn’t want them to live at the cellar. 

TJ did ultimately end up being our first performer in The Cellar.  He and his wife Jess arrived hours early so they could go on a tour of The Gorge Amphitheater with Carol and Vince Bryan, who entertained them with story after story about the first, early days at what used to be called the Champs de Brionne Amphitheater.  Jessie Colin Young was the first musician to play there–TJ later said hearing that, coupled with the later Bob Dylan stories and tales of all the other ensuing musicians who’d played at The Gorge, brought him to a state of acute nervousness before his own show in The Cellar.  But he told us that afterwards, good man.  For the show itself you never would have known.  He kicked off the venue well.  The room was nearly full.  People bought and drank wine, sat at their tables…and shushed each other. 

Somewhere along the process we had neglected to mention that these performances were to be lively; like a club.  You didn’t need to sit in silence, like at a classical music performance at a winery.  But it was too far into the night to change that particular perception, so the shushing continued.  Vince and Carol Bryan were shushed, which elicited chuckles from them and stern looks from others.   Hm.  Good show, but a little….”shush-y. ” There was more work to do.    

Were you at The Cellar for TJ Sherrill?  Tell us what you thought by leaving a comment!

Tween Season

Friday, October 10th, 2008


Right now, nearly mid-October, the SageCliffe land is going     through as many changes as a ‘tween;’ not quite far enough long in the year to be pre-teen or teen, but certainly past the child days of summer.  To walk the property right now is to see everything from green, green grass around the Inn and the pond, to the bumpy orange and white squash lying among their own vines and leaves–which are starting to brown and decay–to red-red and partly-red apples on the orchard trees, to rock-hard pans of dirt in the cold early-morning hours.  There is, sometimes in the scope of just a few minutes, sun, warmth, breezes, high winds, cool wet showers, dark massing clouds, baby-blue cloudless skies, and sun yet again.  Emotional and dramatic; much like a ‘tween.  The ground is both browns and greens; the Columbia River 900 feet below the property loses its Paul Newman-blues and takes on a blue-grey sheen that echoes the layers of basalt in the cliffs above.  Wild mustard grows in healthy tufts among grey-green sagebrush.  The vineyards are no longer lush green; the vine leaves are a darker green now, and begining to brittle.  The colors are a mottled sunset of reds, oranges, yellows, ochre. As the vines lose their leaves, the vines themselves take on a larger, more noticeable role:  thick, sinewy brown vines that look too wooden to have twisted themselves into such elegant scarecrow poses; arms draped down along the trellis wires; not-quite straight stems rooted in their mounds of hardened, rock-pebbled earth.  The poplar trees that soldier in their straight lines along each side of the entry drive skip the red, changing apparently overnight from green to yellow; the undersides of their small, disc-shapd leaves catching the late afternoon sun like showers of countless falling gold coins.  Soon the green will all but disappear, and then, as the snow comes, so will the brown.  But for now, the palette is broad, and the colors deep and rich.  ‘Tweens, it seems, can be breathtakingly beautiful.

The Fifth Annual Harvest Festival..fantastic!

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

hrvst_08_m.jpg hrvst_08_u2.jpg

Did you attend this year’s Harvest Festival and take some great photos?  Visit our Flickr page and upload your photos–we’d love to see them!

Is it hokey to say that our latest Annual Harvest Festival was joy-filled?  Well, we’re saying it anyway, because it seems the closest adjective for describing the event.  This was the first year we had expanded the event to three days–always a little trepidation with expansion like that–but the three days seemed to simply spred the joy over…you guessed it; three days.Wherever you looked, there were smiles…on the faces of children, singles, couples, parents, SageCliffe staff.  The sky was dramatic and tumultuous, with clouds hovering over the Columbia River in great–and at times dark and thunderous-looking–piles.  But the rain held off and at times the sun burst through, bringing the leaves of the grapevines and apple trees to fire-infused hues.  And  smiles to those faces again.  It was three days of straight up fun.  There was everything from pumpkin carving to wine seminars–all in the same place, with the kind of easy flow and mingling that takes place at the best of parties.  As one mom put it, an event that had activities for kids and wine just seemed like a must-do!  Taking part in Harvest Festival just feels so good; it evokes those feelings of wholesome activity like the lemonade stands of all of our youth, coupled with that feels-good-in-your-soul sensation which comes from learning something new–like how to make a knockout recipe that pairs well with a particular wine.  Or what it’s like up on the winery crushpad.  The scenery, of course, can’t be beat.  And the fresh air and exercise just makes you feel somehow…joyful.  Joy filled! 

Need a dog fix when you’re away? That’s Cuvee

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008


For those of you who have come to SageCliffe and stayed at Cave B Inn, undoubtedly you met (and were met by, with rambunctiously-wagging tail) Cuvee, The SageCliffe Dog.  Cuvee, named after one of the winery’s most compelling wines (2004 Cuvee du Soleil) is our gregarious two and a half year old black lab.  A solo canine, running to the beat of her own generous paws, owned by no one but claimed by all, Cuvee is a maverick canine with a heart of gold. 


     Have you ever wondered who makes sure Cuvee is fed?  Who takes her to the vet and makes sure her shots are up to date?  Or where she goes when it’s very, very cold outside? These are some questions which have been posed by you–our guests, and they show just how bonded Cave B Inn guests become to Cuvee during their stay.  She simply has a way about her.  But to the answers:  The Inn staff are primarily responsible for feeding Cuvee.  The area by the Inn front desk is Cuvee Central Headquarters, with her food, water, dogbed and treats.  It’s the place where Cuvee crashes after running miles around the property, and it’s where she curls up on cold, cold days, to fall asleep to the sound of the Front Desk Staff answering the phone and chatting with guests. 

  As far as medical care, this is a shared responsibility by various SageCliffe staff.  In fact, at one staff meeting, the in-between-agenda-items topic of conversation was who was bringing Cuvee to the vet next.  Cuvee is a true example of “it takes a village.”  In this case, it takes the entire SageCliffe staff!



Cave B Inn guest Megan Perry sent us these artful shots of Cuvee leading a hike to the river.

And it takes the guests, too…because no dog’s happiness is complete without a job to do, and Cuvee takes hers very, very seriously.  Her jobs?  Property Greeter.  Property Guide.  Dog Snuggle Stand-In.  Positive Dog Relations Representative.  If Cuvee wore hats, apparently she’d be wearing four of them. 


      Able to get along with just about every dog that comes to the property (and, as a truly dog-friendly destination, there are many of them), able to sense the arrival of a guest even before they can be seen by the front desk staff, and uncannily able to chaperone various guests–apparently simultaneously–around the property, Cuvee has taken “Property Dog” to a whole new, completely unprecedented, level.  And we’re sure she takes as her reward those (frequent!) requests by Inn guests for Cuvee to spend the night in their cliffehouse or room.  She seems to understand that these humans have been separated from their dogs and are suffering terribly from dog-withdrawal.  She is happy to be an overnight stand-in; laying on the rug before the fire, making you step over her as you move about the room, awakening you with a whine to start the day already….you know; just like you have at home.  This is Cuvee’s mission. Come to SageCliffe and visit Cuvee–she’ll be the black dog bounding down the vineyard path to greet you:  it’ll make her day, and we’re pretty sure it’ll make your stay, too.