Toward the end of a Pacific Northwest summer, those of us who like to drive our classic and exotic cars begin to think about the last weekend of good driving weather while days are still long, before atmospheric rivers bring the rain our area is known for as they flow over us on their way across the continent.
Our state is divided into two distinct climates by the Cascade Mountains. We are wet in the West and dry in the East where the land flattens out into high country desert. When August turns into September, Western Washington cools down into the 60s and 70s while the blazing-hot high desert plain summer in Eastern Washington begins to feel comfortable.
This time of year is always a crapshoot; we can have a dry weekend or a wet one. This year the Seattle Jaguar Club selected a weekend that turned out to be weather perfection.
Beginning with a meeting in North Bend in the foothills of the Cascades, 13 Jaguar cars and their owners and passengers meandered their way across the mountains, deep into Eastern Washington wine country, on their way to a destination in Benton City.
One of the members, Brad Vancour, hosted the club at his idyllic bed and breakfast (and private vineyard), the Red Mountain Villa on the Yakima River. I’d be hard pressed to think of a better place to park a group of beautiful late model and vintage Jaguars—or any cars—for socializing, wine tasting and photography. The Avon River at Stratford-on-Avon? That would need one long weekend.
“Our members had been yearning for an overnight drive that includes more than great Northwest roads and scenery, like sharing great wine and food in a beautiful location. This trip was perfect,” Kurt Jacobson, President of the Seattle Jaguar Club, said.
“The early October Wine Country tour was a glowing event. We had perfect temperatures and soft early fall light on the ochre yellow hills we enjoyed driving through to taste the many red and white wines. Camaraderie between the participants grew as we shared this experience.
The variety of Jaguars, from the mid-1960s Mark 2 saloon, through three generations of E-Types to the current F-Type and F-Pace looked spectacular in the shade of trees next to the river and tucked up next to the vines of the Red Mountain Villa.”
The Jaguar Club’s Arrival at Red Mountain Villa
After a brief orientation, the group drove a short distance to Terra Blanca, where lunch was almost too beautifully presented to eat. We ate it.
After lunch, we returned to the Red Mountain Villa to sample some of Vancour’s private wines—made from grapes grown in his own vineyard on the river.
Vancour Estate Wine and an iconic silhouette—possibly the most recognizable in the world.
Later in the afternoon we drove a short distance to Hedges Family Estate, one of the oldest wineries in Washington where Mr. Hedges spoke to the group about the founding and growth of the business. He also gave a brief history of the Red Mountain AVA, and spoke about why it’s such a great place for vineyards.
Most of the group left Hedges for hotel check-in while a few of us returned to Red Mountain Villa for more wine tasting before dinner.
I had to leave the group to drive back over the Cascade Mountains for an early event the following morning. I can’t tell you anything about dinner or the return drive with the club. For that, you need to buy a Jag and join them or be invited as a guest in 2022.
The Jaguar Club in the British Racing Green
They come in four doors, too.
What sort of Jaguar is this?
En route to the gathering at the river.
Hey! I’m the Photographer here!
What a way to say goodbye to summer!
“As a Jaguar owner myself, it was a pleasure to host the Seattle Jaguar Club at our hobby vineyard at Red Mountain,” said Mr. Vancour. “This was our first auto event, and we are already planning to make it an annual car enthusiast gathering in the years to come.”