In an effort to show more content regarding my journey as a winery owner and winemaker, I'll be posting videos and photos here for you to see. Please click, watch, and comment.
Have you ever noticed how fast time flies when you have deadlines? I can't believe it's already August 2017. With harvest quickly approaching, the new winery construction is progressing rapidly. The stucco on the outside of the building was being applied the day I visited and the concrete floors were being polished and treated. There is a lot to accomplish over the next 60 days, but I have faith the project will be move-in ready by the end of October. As long as all permits are approved and we can get internet service in the tasting room, we will open. As with everything in the wine industry, we must hurry and wait.
We are proud to be partnered with the Port of Kennewick and Banlin Construction. This is a first class project they are putting together. As you may know, there have been some delays. Completing this project has proven more difficult than the port commissioners, architect, city, and I thought. One foreman told me the finished project will be 100% better than the original drawings. I can't wait to see!
We hope to open this location in November 2017. Meanwhile, if you would like to purchase our wine now, feel free to navigate to our "Wine" page above, or visit our tasting room in Seattle, Washington.
Lots of folks have been asking why we decided to move our wine production across the state, so far away from our current home base. The truth is, we couldn't pass up this fantastic opportunity! The Port of Kennewick was building new winery sites; they just needed a few awesome tenants to make their vision a reality. That's where Bartholomew Winery and Palencia Winery - La Monarcha come in.
Currently, Bartholomew is leasing warehouse space built for "other" manufacturing, retrofitted to suit wine making. The new building in Kennewick is designed specifically to support wine production and hospitality services. It's an energy efficient building, which reduces operating costs and provide a “sustainable practices” marketing advantage. Adjacent to a nature trail are outdoor seating areas designed and situated to take full advantage of the surrounding natural area, while using the buildings to block the hustle and bustle of the busy street, and street-scape improvements to enhance the “manner of arrival”. Phase 2 improvements will add supporting elements (such as food trucks) and additional sites for complementary businesses (like beer, wine, spirits, art, and food). What's not to love!
Also, a forward thinking approach to waste water is incorporated into this winery site. New regulatory requirements are currently being discussed and enacted by the State of Washington Department of Ecology. The cost involved to accommodate these new regulations will be expensive for existing wineries. This is why the Port project is quite enticing to us. While all the individual wineries around the State will be attempting to understand and comply with these new requirements, the City of Kennewick is handling all of the permitting to discharge the winery waste water into their existing 6 million gallons of daily flow. We simply have to sign up for the City’s water and sewer meter billing, apply some simple best management practices, and pay a monthly water bill. Is it a perfect situation? Time will tell, but we are more than hopeful.
Personally, we are excited to help improve an under-served community of Kennewick, and transform it into a bustling center of commerce. Here is a 2-minute video provided by PBS showing a sneak peek of the wine village construction site and the key Port official and architect involved: www.pbs.org/video/3000929868/ (or click the image below)
Introducing, the release of our most popular wine selections, Noon to 5 PM, Sat & Sun, May 6-7
Details about the new wine:
2016 Rose of Carmenere, Konnowac Vineyard, $18/bottle ($14.40 Wine Club). 171 cases produced. This is a dry, fruit-forward rose, and light in color. A great wine that is versatile enough to pair with sea food, burgers, or Thanksgiving dinner. On the nose are raspberries and lychee with a crisp, clean finish.
2014 Primitivo, Coyote Canyon Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills, $26/bottle ($20.80 Wine Club). 122 cases produced. 2014 was the perfect growing season for this grape. The wine has plenty of body and fruitiness. A touch of oak to round things out, and a beautiful ruby color. Unfortunately, it is our last vintage of this very popular wine.
2014 Cabernet Franc, Coyote Canyon Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills, $29/bottle ($23.20 Wine Club). 123 cases produced. The grapes from this block continue to mature wonderfully. I can't say enough about how beautiful these grapes are just before picking. And the vineyard is always in immaculate shape. There are no detectable "bell pepper" flavors from this hot vintage. If you are a fan of Cab Franc, this is the perfect vintage for you. Drink now, or cellar up to 8 years.
Wine Club Customers: This is NOT one of the two required purchases to satisfy club minimums. However, we hope to see all of you at the release.
From the Compass Wines Newsletter
Unless you are a regular imbiber of the red wines from Uruguay or the 'black wines' of Madiran, you are likely unfamiliar with Tannat. As should be apparent by the nickname of 'black wine', this is certainly not delicate or a shrinking violet of a wine. Rather, this is more like a 'purple people eater', but in a good way. Inky black with notes of dried lavender, kirsch, loganberry syrup and with a peppery finish not unlike a Petit Verdot. This is one of, if not the first, straight varietal version of this I have seen from Washington and if this is any indication of the potential, we have a new star on the horizon. Grilled steaks on the BBQ, a rich and robust leg of lamb or hearty stew are beckoning for this gem. Only about 100 cases were produced and we have only 5 of those. Pretty killer stuff. Their Website
And another from Review of Washington Wines...this from a visit at Taste Washington.
2014 Bartholomew Tannat, Rattlesnake Hills, Konnowak Vineyard ($32)
This is the first Washington Tannat I’ve run across, from a grape originating in Southwest France. It displays a deep ruby-crimson color and intriguing aromas of raspberries, cherries, cranberries and plums, with scents of black roses, tobacco, violets and smoldering incense. The flavors, as well, are attention getting, with layers of red and blue fruits that are intermixed with black licorice, cocoa, roasted coffee beans and earth. The grainy textured back picks up macerated berries and roasted nuts, mocha and charcoal, followed by sturdy tannins (a trait of Tannat) on the deep finish. 18.5+/20 points. Rand's Website
Thank you Compass and Review of Washington Wine for the kind words. We are very glad to have you as partners selling Bartholomew wine.
There are only 10 cases left. Grab some from our tasting room in the Old Rainier Brewery or online from this website. You can always purchase online and designate the order as "Pick-up" if you don't want to pay for shipping. We'll hold the order for you until you can make it into the tasting room.
We are moving our wine production space from West Seattle to Kennewick, Washington.
Our tasting room in the Old Rainier Brewery building will remain. Tastings will continue weekly as usual. We are excited to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to grow our company in the heart of Washington wine country. Our wine making space will double in size and we are able to open a second tasting room east of the mountains. Anticipated opening in late July 2017. Along with another winery next door, there is a great brewery, restaurant, and hotel within walking distance. Here's an artist rendering for some perspective.
We look forward to talking to you more about it as time unfolds. Here is a great article that explains our move in more detail.
2017 Spring Release Weekend
When: Friday March 3rd, 5-8 PM and Saturday to Sunday, March 4th-5th, noon to 5 PM
Where: Tasting Room in the Old Rainier Brewery at 3100 Airport Way South, Seattle, WA 98134
What: 2014 Tannat, 2014 Malbec, and 2016 Sauvignon Blanc
Who: You, your friends and family. Open to the public.
Details about the new wine:
2014 Tannat, Konnowac Vineyard, $32/bottle. 102 cases produced. Our first vintage of this variety. What is Tannat you ask? Here's the Wiki and an article about us from the Seattle Times. This is a full-bodied red wine with big tannins. On the nose are bright cherries with hints of cinnamon and allspice. We highly recommend decanting this young wine. Truly unlike any other grape.
2014 Malbec, Painted Hills Vineyard, Columbia Valley, $28/bottle. 99 cases produced. This north facing vineyard highlights a distinctly Washington terrior, making a Malbec like none other. Deep color leads to leafy tea components and crushed berries. Smooth tannin and bright acid make it a can't miss.
2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Konnowac Vineyard, Rattlesnake Hills, $17/bottle. 123 cases produced. This wine has citrus notes similar to a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and gooseberry flavors familiar to those produced in Bordeaux. Made in a stainless steel tank to keep it crisp, like spring-time in a glass. Oh, and it has a screw cap closure perfect for beaches, picnics, and camping.
This release introduces the 2014 vintage of our red wines all with the new white label. We'd love to hear what you think about the new design.
2016 Fall Wine Release
Details about the new wine:
2013 Red Mountain Carmenere, Kiona Vineyard, $28/bottle. 99 cases produced. Our first vintage from this vineyard. True to form, this Red Mountain Carmenere is full bodied with soft tannins, plenty of red fruit flavors, and a peppery spice finish. Truly unlike any other grape produced.
2013 Cabernet Franc, Horse Heaven Hills, Coyote Canyon Vineyard, $28/bottle. 60 cases produced. Our 5th consecutive vintage of Cabernet Franc from this vineyard. With only 60 cases produced, we won't be surprised if it's sold out in 60 days.
2015 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $15/bottle. 256 cases produced. Un-oaked, bright fruit flavors with a creamy texture is the best way to describe this one. If you like Chardonnay, but could do without the oak, this is your wine. A Chablis-like Chardonnay, perfect for any kind of weather.
2013 Bartholomew Primitivo, Horse Heaven Hills, Coyote Canyon Vineyard ($24)
Deep ruby colored, this relative of Zinfandel emits rich, smoky aromas of blackberry, cherry, plum, rosebuds, pipe tobacco, lavender and spiced incense. On the palate, the flavors are thick and generous, with intermixtures of licorice, dark cocoa, espresso, and Horse Heaven scorched earth. The chewy textured back picks up semi dried cherries, plum preserves, and mocha, followed by a spicy (nutmeg, clove) moderate alcohol (13.9%) and sweetish tannin finish. 18.5/20 points.
2013 Bartholomew 5th Quarter Blend, Columbia Valley ($??)
This is a tasty combination of 55% Carmenère, 20% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot and 7% Cabernet Franc. It shows a deep crimson-ruby color and seductive aromas of blackberry, blueberry, cassis, crushed roses, mulberry, sweet tobacco, violets and oriental incense. The flavors, as well, are alluring, with layers of supple black and blue fruits that are interspersed with licorice, cocoa, black tea, and variegated earth minerals. The back picks up pressed berries, crème de cassis, blueberry preserves, and graphite, followed by a lingering sweetish tannin finish. This is a winner. 19/20 points.
2013 Bartholomew Carmenère, Red Mountain ($28)
This is a fine rendition of the “lost grape” of Bordeaux. It shows a deep crimson color and a perfumed nose of wild currants, black cherries, Damson plums, lavender, violets, sweet tobacco and incense. The black and blue fruit flavors are mouth encompassing, with notes of licorice, bittersweet chocolate, black tea, and Red Mountain calcareous minerals. The back reveals sensations of pressed berries, crème de cassis, kirsch, and mocha, all leading seamlessly into a long sweetish tannin finish. As a vin de plaisir, this gets a plus. 18.5+/20 points.
Authored by Rand Sealey
Bart & Chona Fawbush
Owners of Bartholomew Winery in Seattle Washington Since 2007