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New Team | New Potential

Matthews is thrilled to announce the release of our 2021 Columbia Valley Claret, Cuvée, and Cabernet Sauvignon. These are the first red wines crafted by our new winemaking team.

For our loyal fans and our newest members, we feel they are the finest versions of these wines we’ve ever made. 

Starting today, they are available online, and in our Woodinville tasting room for you, your friends, and family.

But how did we get here?

Matthews was founded in 1992, and was in good company with other promising wineries in Washington State. Although promising, a number of setbacks interfered with fulfilling the winery’s potential.

In 2004, our family stepped in to chart a new path forward. We made notable strides in expanding vineyard sites and fine-tuning our fermentation process, yet our family had a strong conviction there was more to be done.

We evaluated every aspect of our process and asked ourselves, “Are we fulfilling our potential in the pursuit of authentic Washington wine?” 

The answer led to big changes at Matthews…

In 2021, we were joined by a new winemaking team: Alex Stewart, Hal Iverson, and Jesse Schmidt.

With more than 45 years of winemaking experience, Alex, Hal, and Jesse have been instrumental in crafting Washington State’s highest rated Sauvignon Blanc and more 100-point Cabernet Sauvignon wines than all other Washington wineries combined.

The level of expertise they brought to Matthews resulted in a complete overhaul of existing winemaking techniques and processes.

The overhaul began in the vineyards, with seven new vineyard sources for reds, and three new vineyard sources for Sauvignon Blanc.

We also added new, carefully selected grape clones across all varietals to offer complexity and dimension at blending. We deliberately reduced grape yields across all varietals by 30% to concentrate and intensify flavor.

With three winemakers, our vineyard oversight improved dramatically. Collectively, we are now able to visit vineyards more frequently than in years past.

Our harvesting time is 3-6 weeks later in the season to allow for riper fruit expression. The wines have more richness and depth due to the maceration being 2-3 times longer.

Fermentation temperatures are strictly monitored to match the balance of extraction to a specific site. Highlighting smaller, artisanal cooperages lends toward an oak profile that is aromatically and texturally more dynamic.

Lastly, we put the wines together much later in their élevage so that time and thoughtfulness can be the drivers of the blend.

The combination of all these improvements has created a completely new flavor profile and experience for every Matthews wine.
— Bryan Otis, Proprietor

In celebration, we are pleased to announce the 2021 Matthews Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Claret, and Cuvée will be available today, both online and in our Woodinville tasting rooms (for a limited time). These wines represent our twenty-year commitment to fulfilling our potential in pursuit of authentic Washington State wine.

The work we have done as a team to re-imagine our winemaking process has given our family a renewed sense of wonder for what is possible with our vineyards across the Columbia Valley.

We are grateful for the years of support from our members and friends. We are eager to share these new wines. Our family is excited for what the future holds. We invite you to walk this journey with us.

With gratitude,

The Otis Family

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