Chateau Rollat: Walla Walla to Woodinville

by Shona Milne on June 25, 2014

Look for the Chateau Rollat Winery tasting room to open up sometime in July. They will be located in the the warehouse district at 18742 142nd Ave NE Woodinville, WA 98072. It’s located by Baron’s Winery and Covington Cellars.

Why wine? How did you get started in wine? Tell me about your wines.

My passion in life is winemaking.  Since my late teens, twenty three years ago, my life has revolved around wine. At eighteen years old I started working as a server and wine captain at a high end restaurant in Seattle.  This experience sparked my original interest in the wine business. I started reading wine production textbooks and any literature I could to help me develop my own winemaking style.  I toured local wineries every weekend just to immerse myself in a winery environment.

In 1992 I began volunteering at a small winery in Woodinville, WA. Within a few months this small winery offered me the position of Cellar Master/Winemaker. I immediately accepted the position and began working days at the winery and nights at the restaurant.  In the fall of 1993 the winery offered me the opportunity to produce what would become my first vintage of wine.  I produced three barrels of red wine, equivalent to 75 cases of wine, and a small amount of white wine. Fortunately I was able to accept the materials to make the wine (grapes, barrels, etc) as compensation for a portion of the hours I worked at the winery.  These experiences led me to the decision that producing Bordeaux style red wine was a commercially feasible opportunity for me in Washington State. During the harvest of 1995, I released my first vintage, the 1993 Matthews Red Wine – completely selling out of my first vintage in 30 days.

What is your role with Chateau Rollat?

Winemaking Director

Why Woodinville? Why now?

Woodinville is close to our market as well as access to other markets around the US & abroad.  I selected this area because it’s close to my home and close to resources related to marketing our wine.

What does the future look like for Chateau Rollat?

Rollat has continued to grow since starting in 2005. We are expanding our exports to China as well as our markets within the US.  We are refining our Winemaking process to better define the regions where we source our grapes. These wines are created in a French style but with an American touch.

Is there anything you would like to tell me?

Château Rollat intends to use our tasting room for private events as well as public tastings Friday – Sunday weekly. We are set up to entertain guests and let them fully experience the Winemaking studio where we care for our wines during their aging.

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