Photo Credit: Paul Freeman
There's an old adage that warns "Don't judge a book by its cover." Battle Ground, Washington, a sleepy enclave in Southwest Washington known locally for its stunning volunteer-constructed contributions to the Portland Rose Parade and its summer Harvest Days festival, knows a thing or two about that expression. For there is no battle ground in Battle Ground, you see.
While she may look like the pop princess, Britnee's music is a far cry from dance beats and over-produced vocals. In preparation for her recent March 1 and upcoming April 7 shows at Rusty Grape, she's been putting a full band together, fusing her love of country music with the depth of catalogue she's been able to explore with her other band, Five Guys Named Moe. She suggests sipping on the Pinot Noir if you can get your hands on it, and settle in for fun. When asked what to expect she told me to picture "singing Rihanna and there's a fiddle & a mandolin...it's just going to be fun for people." While not all of Rusty Grape's performer's are rubbing elbows with Ryan Seacrest, Jeremy and Heather's support is giving local musicians a great venue, and Clark County residents a reason to stay on the Washington side of the river for their night out.
While creativity in introducing local audiences to their wine may get folks in the door once, it's the quality of their wine that keeps people coming back. On a hot summer day, patrons soak up sun on the back patio with a glass of the Moto Rouge Rose, a crisp and lightly citrusy wine that walks the fine line between dry and sweet. In the cooler months, their 100% Clark County Pinot Noir is like a comforting old friend for Pacific Northwesterners familiar with the varietal. Southwest Washington, sharing a watery border with Oregon, frequently lends itself to comparison, and Rusty Grape has hopes that their Pinot will follow the tradition set by their friends south of the Columbia.