Winery Mystery: Belle Isle Wine Mystery Solved

by Shona Milne on August 26, 2009

belleisleWith the guidance of Steve Snyder of Hollywood Hill Vineyards the wine bottle mystery is solved. Steve told me to get The Wine Project book to help find out the origins of a wine bottle that had been found under the Whistling Post Tavern in Skykomish.

What I have found out from the book is that Stretch Island Winery, Inc. was founded in 1936 by Dr. Benson, Herb Drew, Ed Wright, and Wilbur Reeves. Erich Steenborg, a German immigrant with enology training, later joined the winery. Steenborg made the table wine called Belle Isle. The winery was one of many post Prohibition wineries that popped up in communities that used local fruit to capitalize on the repeal of Prohibition. Stretch Island went out of existence in 1947 but I can’t find any information on why they closed. Stretch Island Winery was located in Grapeview, Washington in Mason County.

I highly recommend reading The Wine Project. I have found out so much history about our state’s wine industry. We had grape vines growing at Ft. Vancouver in 1825, when the fort was established by the Hudson’s Bay Company.

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