Even though our winemaking team has been sourcing and blending grapes from Washington and California for over ten years, this method is still considered somewhat unconventional in the wine world. However, consistently winning top medals from prestigious wine competitions is validating our process. We’re proud to be bending, breaking, and creating new traditions in the science and art of winemaking to make wines we are proud of and guests enjoy.
Our Winemaker Aaron Peet, a graduate of Walla Walla Community College, recently got the attention of Andy Perdue, a Washington native wine author, journalist, and international judge who wrote an article about Aaron’s methods in the Seattle Times.
Aaron and his wife, CC, started getting into wine — not an easy task in Maine, which has 12 wineries — after earning liberal arts degrees at the University of Maine (he in creative writing, she in history). Looking at their options, they decided to pack up and move to Washington to attend Walla Walla Community College, where Aaron earned a winemaking degree.
By 2007, they were back home in Maine, working at Cellardoor Winery. The winery opened in the late 1990s but had come under new ownership in 2007 and needed a winemaker.
The 3,100-mile journey begins when the grapes are picked in the Yakima Valley, on Wahluke Slope and at Horse Heaven Hills. After being picked, grapes are chilled for a day, then loaded onto a refrigerated truck for a three-day, cross-country drive. They arrive in surprisingly good shape, then are processed just as they would be if Cellardoor were a Washington winery. The Peets can get up to 20 tons on one truck, so the most difficult chore is coordinating picking to get as many tons on a shipment as possible.