Morrison Lane opens another place to taste

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Visitors to Morrison Lane Winery got to drink in a new view over the weekend.

The Walla Walla winery opened its longtime production facility to the public with a new tasting room at 1249 Lyday Lane off Braden Road. The special opening event Saturday featured special guest MaLynda Poulsen, whose artwork adorns the winery.

The new space operates noon to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The winery's Library Tasting Room will also continue to operate at its location at 201 W. Main St., Friday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Both places are also open by appointment. Morrison Lane is a multi-generational winery run by Dean and Verdie Morrison and their children, Sean, Dinah and Dan.

Garrison Creek Lodge and the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce crowned Walla Walla's Tara Crain as "Mother of the Year" during the 38th annual Walla Walla Balloon Stampede.

A crowd of about 100 people were gathered by the Serenity Point stage during the Mothers Day event to see a surprised Crain get the award, according to an announcement from the Chamber.

Gary Lunden from Garrison Creek lodge presented Crain with flowers and a Mother Of The Year necklace.

Crain was nominated by her daughter, Kayla Crain, who completed an essay for the contest that made its return this year after a seven-year absence from the Balloon Stampede.

"Since (as long as) I can remember my mom has been there for me and all of my siblings by cooking us dinner, help us with homework and packing our lunches and last but not least being there when we are going through medical issues that are hard to deal with. Not only is my mom a great mother, she is also a great friend," Kayla wrote.

Baker Boyer Bank has awarded Walla Walla Catholic Schools with $5,000 to assist in three summer programs at Assumption School, officials have announced.

The allocation from the bank's Yancey P. Winans Testamentary Trust will be used in June and July for a three-day science camp, a three-day reading and math fundamentals refresher course and a two-day art program.

The science camp takes place every summer under Assumption science teacher Julie Brinson. The program is designed to teach as well as pique the students' interests in science through experiments, study and demonstrations.

The math and reading program, led by Joann Williams and Brenda Shields, is designed for first- through third-graders. It includes in-class instruction, hands-on experience and game playing. The funding from Baker Boyer will provide books the students can take home for continued summer learning.

The art camp portion is designed by led by art teacher Chris Johnson, assisted by DeSales High School art students. Crayon, oil pastels, collage, watercolor and tempera paint will be used. All area students are invited for the June 12 date. For more information, visit thewwcs.com or email Johnson directly at cjohnson@thewwcs.com.

The California wine company that owns Three Rivers Winery is expanding with yet another Napa Valley acquisition.

Foley Family Wines announced this morning its purchase of Sawyer Cellars. The transaction includes a 49-acre parcel -- 40 acres of which is premium Rutherford vineyards -- and a 20,000-gallon winery and tasting room along Napa's Highway 29. The purchase price was not disclosed, and the acquisition did not include the Sawyer brand. The wines will continue to be sold from the tasting room.

Brad Warner, who's been winemaker for Sawyer since 1999, will become head winemaker for Foley Johnson. After starting his career at Charles Krug in 1967, he moved on to Robert Mondavi winery in 1970, working there for 30 years.

The winery and hospitality center operate in a converted redwood barn that's been on the property since the Prohibition era. The land also includes an underground barrel room, wine library and a modern gravity-feed cellar.

Established in 1996, Foley Family Wines began with the acquisition of Lincourt Vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley. It has grown into a major producer, marketer and distributor of wines with a dozen different brands and properties, including Lincourt Vineyards, Merus and Chalk Hill -- all in California; New Zealand's Vavasour and Clifford Bay; and Walla Walla's Three Rivers.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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