Traditional method sparkling wine from untraditional regions: Washington State

Traditional method sparkling wines from untradtional regions: Washington state.

My latest in The Drinks Business

Traditional method sparkling wine from untraditional regions: Washington State

by L.M. Archer

According to a recent Wine Intelligence report, US sparkling wine consumption grew 30% between 2019 and 2022.

As US demand for bubbles broadens, so does the desire for traditional method sparkling wines from untraditional areas.

In part one of a series, we consider US domestic traditional method sparkling wine, starting with a close look at the fine fizz from Washington state.

Leading the Way

Most consumers consider Washington state a source of big, bold reds, but a few brave bubble makers statewide aim to change that perception.

Ste. Michelle has obviously made a traditional method sparkler for years in the state,” says Christian Grieb, senior VP of Sales and winemaker at Treveri Cellars. “We were the first to really be a traditional method producer.”

Christian’s father, winemaker Juergen Grieb, immigrated from Germany to Washington state in 1982. Eventually, he founded sparkling-centric Treveri Cellars in 2010. Today, the winery produces approximately 40,000 cases annually. “We’re committed 100% fully in our hearts, our souls, and in practical methods to the traditional method of sparkling winemaking,” says Grieb.

Frizz fray

Since 2010, a handful of sparkling houses also joined the Washington frizz fray. These include Woodinville’s Elentone, and Prosser-based Tirriddis.

Elentone owner/winemaker Chris Sherry crafted bubbles at Harrow & Hope in England before moving stateside in 2016. (The name ‘Elentone’ nods to the ancient moniker for Sherry’s hometown of Maidenhead, listed in the Domesday Book.)

“I think you can make serious sparkling wines in Washington,” contends Sherry. The tall, taciturn Brit founded his 200-case sparkling house with wife Miggy in 2018.

More recently, Washington State University (WSU) Viticulture & Enology program graduates Andrew Gerow, Gabriel Crowell and Matthew Doutney established Tirriddis in 2021. (Its name riffs on sparkling wine processes tirage, riddling, and disgorgment.)

“The reality is that we have been drawn to its technicality,” says winemaker Gerow. “And the lack of definition of Washington sparkling wines – something we are excited to construct and define.”

Additionally, a few boutique wineries like Two Vintners in Woodinville, and Gros Grain in Walla Walla produce traditional method sparklers to enhance their portfolios. READ MORE HERE.

I’m delighted to share my article in The Drinks Business about Washington State sparkling wine with you here.

Link to more of my work here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.