E.B. Foote Releasing “Remembrance” Wine For Alzheimer’s

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E.B. Foote's late Rich Higginbotham will be memorialized with a wine label.

Sherrill Miller hopes her newest wine makes a lot of money, but not for her.

E.B. Foote’s newest wine, Remembrance, will raise money for Alzheimer’s research, in honor of her late husband, Rich Higginbotham, who died of the disease last year.

“Rich’s dad had Alzheimer’s, and research has shown a strong heredity link,” Miller says. “Once Rich was diagnosed at 56, he knew what would eventually happen, but he didn’t know a timeline. We learned as much as we could about the disease and found out that often the earlier the onset, the faster the timeline.”

Miller and Higginbotham took over the winery, one of Washington’s oldest, in 1991. They moved from South Park to Burien in 1999.

In that time, they learned to make award-winning wines, focusing on reds using grapes from Washington’s Columbia Valley.

“Rich had always liked to make blends and I tended to be the purist,” Miller says.

“From early in our winemaking career, he wanted to make a Bordeaux-style blend. In 2002 we finally had all three grapes to do it, and we made Perfect a Trois.

“He was pleased with the wine, and he was pleased with the name that I had come up with,” Miller recalls. “The wine was well received by customers, and earned a Gold Medal at the Northwest Wine Summit and 89 points from Wine Spectator.”

Now Miller is using that knowledge to create a new wine, Remembrance, also in the Bordeaux style (French wines from that region typically are blends of different grapes, unlike varietals, which largely use a single grape variety).

Higginbotham was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2003.

“Rich’s decline too soon got to the point where he was not able to do very much at the winery,” Miller says. “I decided that I wanted to make a wine in tribute to him that would benefit Alzheimer’s research. Of course the wine had to be a Bordeaux-style blend.”

Using 2007 vintage grapes, Miller created Remembrance, a blend of 60 percent Cabernet, 30 percent Merlot and 10 percent Cabernet Franc. The grapes come from three different Columbia Valley vineyards, including Milbrandt, Graves and Arianses.

“I wanted to make as many cases as I could, and I will end up making 795 cases of this wine, the most of any wine I’ve made by nearly double,” Miller says.

The label, designed by Sharone Fischer, features Higginbotham’s picture with information about him and the creation of the wine.

Miller is donating 50 percent of the $28 purchase price to Alzheimer’s research. That could raise as much as $133,000. In addition, 50 percent of the purchase price of a special commemorative wine glass also will be donated.

Miller continues to collect Alzheimer’s donations at the winery as well.

“My plan is to make my ‘Step into Spring and Stamp Out Alzheimer’s Disease’ an annual fundraising weekend in March, and all year I plan to donate 10 percent of all Perfect a Trois sales to Alzheimer’s,” she says.

An estimated 4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s.

“We wanted to do what we could to support the Alzheimer’s Association so that someday no other families would have to suffer with this dreadful disease,” Miller says.

“I’ve seen first-hand what this devastating disease can do to a person and a family,” she says. “It may be the worst diagnosis to receive since there is neither a treatment nor a cure.

“Unlike other diseases like diabetes or heart disease where medications can control the disease, current treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease only slow the progression of the disease for a very short time. I am hopeful that this money can make a difference in finding a treatment or a cure.”

Step into Spring and Stamp Out Alzheimer’s, featuring the release of Remembrance, will be Thursday, March 26 from 5-9 p.m.; Friday, March 27, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday, March 28, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 29, noon-6 p.m.

The event includes a $5 tasting fee, which can be applied toward a purchase of a bottle. Miller advises customers to dress warmly, as E.B. Foote is a working winery.

For more information, contact Sherrill Miller at E.B. Foote, 206-242-3852, or email [email protected]otewinery.com.

E.B. Foote Winery is located at 127B SW 153rd St. in Burien. It is open for tasting Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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