Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery

Overview

  • Chateau Ste. Michelle pioneered vinifera grape growing in Washington state and has been producing classic European varietal wines since 1967. The winery combines an ongoing dedication to research with a commitment to classic winemaking traditions. It is best known for its award-winning Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Winery:

  • Chateau Ste. Michelle is Washington state’s founding winery. Today, Chateau Ste. Michelle has more than 60 wines which can be found in all 50 states and more than 100 countries worldwide.
  • Established in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle pioneered vinifera grape growing in Washington state and has been producing classic European varietal wines under the Ste. Michelle label since 1967.
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle is the world’s leading Riesling producer and has been making Riesling for more than 45 years. Ste. Michelle was catapulted into the national spotlight when its 1972 Johannisberg Riesling won the now-famous blind tasting of nineteen White Rieslings sponsored by the Los Angeles Times in 1974. Today, Chateau Ste. Michelle offers up to eight different Riesling styles designed to showcase the versatility of Riesling and the regional styles within Washington’s Columbia Valley, “which produces more Riesling than any other American wine region.”
  • The winery’s portfolio includes Columbia Valley wines styled to bring out the varietal character of the region; Indian Wells wines from a collection of warmer vineyards; Single Vineyard wines that epitomize the terroir of the winery’s best vineyards; Ethos Reserve the winery’s pinnacle tier; and Artist Series, a Bordeaux-style blend styled for power and longevity.
  • The winery is best known for its award-winning Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle wines are crafted at two dedicated winemaking facilities: The white wines are made at the Woodinville winery (15 miles northeast of Seattle) and the red wines at the Canoe Ridge Estate winery in eastern Washington in close proximity to the winery’s vineyards.
  • Between its winery tours, summer concert series and culinary classes, Chateau Ste. Michelle is a major tourist destination in the Seattle area, attracting more than 300,000 visitors from around the world each year.
  • For two decades, Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Artist Series, a Bordeaux-style blend crafted for power and longevity, has celebrated the inspired collaboration between artesian winemaking and fine art. Works by renowned artists are featured on the Artist Series labels and many are on permanent display at the winery.
  • Weather conditions have enabled Chateau Ste. Michelle to harvest ice wine only nine times in the Washington winery’s 50-year history. (Previous vintages were produced in 1978, 1995, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016.) Chateau Ste. Michelle was one of the first producers of ice wine in North America when it released its 1978 Ice Wine.

Meet the Winemaker:

  • The winery combines an ongoing dedication to research with a commitment to classic winemaking traditions. Winemaker Bob Bertheau takes advantage of the company’s vineyard research and innovative winemaking techniques to craft the highest quality wines from Washington.
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle’s head winemaker, Bob Bertheau, joined Chateau Ste. Michelle in June 2003 as its winemaker of white wines, after 16 years of winemaking in Sonoma County, California. He was promoted to head winemaker in August 2004. Prior to joining Ste. Michelle, Bob made his mark at Hambrecht Vineyards and Wineries with their Belvedere and Bradford Mountain labels. In his formative years out of UC Davis, he gained valuable mentoring from such renowned winemakers as Bob Sessions at Hanzell Vineyards and David Ramey at Chalk Hill.

The Vineyards

  • Although the winery’s Chateau is located in Woodinville, outside of Seattle, the winery’s vineyards are located in eastern Washington, where warm, sunny days and cool evenings create the ideal conditions for growing world-class wine grapes.
  • The winery owns 3,500 acres of some of the most mature vineyards in the Columbia Valley of eastern Washington, including Horse Heaven, Canoe Ridge Estate and Cold Creek vineyards.
  • Cold Creek and Canoe Ridge Estate vineyards are LIVE and Salmon Safe certified.Awards and Accolades:
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle has received some of the highest accolades in the industry, including “2013 Winery of the Year” by Wine Press Northwest, “Washington’s Most Respected Brand” in the Puget Sound Business Journal “Battle of the Brands” competition, “Winery of the Year,” in Wine Trials 2011, “Wine Brand of the Year 2008” by Market Watch magazine, “American Winery of the Year 2004” from Wine Enthusiast Magazine and “2005 Winery of the Year” by Restaurant Wine Magazine.
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle has been named one of Wine & Spirits Magazine’s “Wineries of the Year” 22 times, more than any other American winery.
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle has earned 18 wines on Wine Spectator’s prestigious “Top 100 Wines” of the world list.

Washington’s Wine Industry

  •  The Washington state wine industry is the nation’s second largest producer of premium wines, after California, with 50,000 acres (approximately the size of Napa Valley) planted to vitis vinifera.
  • Washington state has produced wines for three generations, and today the industry totals nearly 1,000 wineries and 350 grape growers with over 200,000 tons harvested each year. Washington state wines are known to combine ripe fruit (purity and intensity) with structure.
  • Washington wines are characterized by their balance of New World and Old World styles, which is largely due to the region’s diverse climate and diurnal temperature shifts. Generous amounts of daytime light and heat contribute to sweet, ripe, fruit-forward flavors (New World), while cold nights make for abundant complexity and acidity (Old World).
  • Washington’s Columbia Valley enjoys superior grape growing conditions – low rain fall (just 6-8 inches annually), sandy soils; it receives nearly two more hours of sunlight than California during the summer months; and it sits at the same latitude as the Bordeaux region of France.
  • Uniquely, the state is not defined by a single grape or even a group of grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Riesling and Chardonnay all thrive in eastern Washington. Over 40 varieties are regularly planted and experimentation continues. Diversity is a key pillar of Washington’s wine culture.
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle is the first winery to introduce international partners to Washington state. World wine pioneers sought partnerships with Chateau Ste. Michelle after tasting its wines: Ernst Loosen, of Germany, Piero Antinori, of Tuscany and Michel Gassier and Philipe Cambie of France.

Sustainability

  • Chateau Ste. Michelle is a leader in developing, practicing and sharing sustainable viticulture and winemaking at our vineyards and wineries.
  • Our Cold Creek and Canoe Ridge Estate vineyards are LIVE and Salmon Safe certified.
  • The winery’s conservation efforts include the reduction of energy consumption, waterconservation and solid waste reduction and management.
  • For more details, visit https://www.ste-michelle.com/pdfs/CSM_2015_Sustainability.pdf 

Giving Back

  • Chateau Ste. Michelle has a long history of giving back to the industry and community. The net proceeds from its popular Summer Concert Series helps fund its charitable giving program, which supports some 400 non-profit organizations annually, has provided more than $3 million for scholarships for high-achieving, low-income students at Washington universities, and helped to fund the new Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center.
  • In 2002, the Chateau Ste. Michelle Scholarship Fund was established to support high-achieving, low-income students at Washington universities and has awarded more than 100 scholarships totaling over $3 million since it began.
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle has hosted the Auction of Washington Wines every year since 1988, which is the
    nation’s largest charity auction showcasing Washington wine. The event is the industry’s annual gift to its communities across the state, benefiting Uncompensated Care for patients and families at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Viticulture and Enology Program at Washington State University. The auction has grown each year, from 100 attendees to more than 3,000, and from one event to a series of celebrated events, raising more than $37 million since its inception.
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle supports the Viticulture & Enology Program at WSU and the new Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities, a state-of-the-art research and teaching institution for the Washington grape and wine industries. The winery’s “Raise a Glass, Fund a Scholarship” program has enlisted more than 200 participating restaurant partners, raising more than $400,000 over the course of eight years to support future grape growers and winemakers of the Northwest.

For more information on Chateau Ste. Michelle, visit www.ste-michelle.com

PDF Downloads

Overview

History Timeline

Estate Vineyards

Visual Historic Timeline

Chateau Ste. Michelle 50th Anniversary

Fifty years ago, a small winery called Ste. Michelle Vintners introduced its first vintage of European-style premium wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Yakima Valley. It was the release that inspired today’s thriving Washington wine industry. In those early days, however, few people recognized or understood the region’s potential.

“I remember being asked, wine from Washington? What side of the Potomac do the grapes grow on?” reflects Ted Baseler, President and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.

Fifty years later, no one gets the joke. Washington is now the nation’s number two producer of premium wine with more than 50,000 planted acres, nearly 1,000 wineries and 14 AVAs. Chateau Ste. Michelle is the number two premium domestic wine brand sold in the U.S (Nielsen-Dollars), with wines available in all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Chateau Ste. Michelle is among the largest producers of Riesling in the world. The winery’s iconic French-style Chateau in Woodinville, outside of Seattle, is one of the most popular destination wineries in the country.

Led by Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington wines have won international acclaim and the state now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with world’s great wine producing regions. Chateau Ste. Michelle itself has received a long list of awards including 22 “Wineries of The Year” honors (Wine & Spirits) and 18 “Top 100 Wines” designations (Wine Spectator).

Chateau Ste. Michelle was the first winery to introduce international partners to Washington state. World wine luminaries sought partnerships with Chateau Ste. Michelle including Piero Antinori of Tuscany (Col Solare), Ernst Loosen of Germany (Eroica), and Michel Gassier and Philippe Cambie of France (Tenet).

Ste. Michelle helped pioneer the Washington growing region and today owns 3,500 acres of some of the most mature vineyards in Washington, including Canoe Ridge Estate and Cold Creek vineyards, which are the largest sustainably farmed and LIVE and Salmon Safe certified vineyards in the state.

Chateau Ste. Michelle also has a long history of giving back to the industry and community. The net proceeds from its popular Summer Concert Series help fund its charitable giving program, which supports some 400 non-profit organizations annually, has provided more than $3 million for scholarships for high- achieving, low-income students at Washington universities, and supports the Viticulture & Enology Program at Washington State University. Chateau Ste. Michelle is located at 14111 NE 145, Woodinville, WA.

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is a collection of distinctive wine estates, each allowed to explore to the fullest extent the unique growing conditions and individual winemaking practices that give the wines from these estates their extraordinary character. This singular dedication to uniqueness has become known as the STRING OF PEARLS philosophy. Read more at smwe.com

 

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