Editor’s Note: This is part two of a series featuring local wineries. Look for future installments in upcoming editions of the NVN and online at yelmonline.com.
Tucked along the quaint main street in Tenino is a friendly place “where everybody knows your name” called Scatter Creek Winery and Brewing.
The owners, Terril and Andrea Keary, want all their guests and wine club members to feel like family. The welcoming smiles were wide on a recent day as several longtime customers came to purchase gifts and taste any one of the 15 varieties of wine or a glass of home-brewed beer on tap.
The Kearys opened their winery in 2005 and began brewing beer in 2017.
“It was quite a lengthy process to get our license to begin brewing beer, but we felt it was important to offer both. Some friends and spouses of our customers don’t drink wine, and we wanted to make our business a place for everyone,” said Andrea.
Sourcing for both grapes, fruit and hops from Washington vineyards and farms, Scatter Creek prides itself on buying as local as possible. Terril purchases freshly destemmed and pressed grapes. He buys chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and others from vineyards in Yakima. In addition, his fruit wines are all based on grapes with different fruits free pressed on top.
“This provides the fruit-forward flavor without being overly sweet,” he explained.
Tastings are $9, and visitors can choose five samples. Many enjoy the Inverno Veritas Dry and the Kokolishous, a rich port blend.
Much of the winery’s business comes from its wine club members. There are various levels of participation that affect the pricing of their wines. Andrea enjoys offering “Sip and Shop” events where local crafts people and small businesses can hold events. The winery hosts several large events per year, including a murder mystery dinner theatre. There is a large room upstairs that can be rented, and guests cater events with food from local restaurants.
With plenty of tables and a huge comfy couch that faces a big screen television, the ambiance is relaxing.
Wine club member Sam Luensman has been a member since the club’s inception 15 years ago. His favorite label is their Raging Red. Sam lives in Olympia, and he recently brought his family and friends to the winery for a Friday evening taste. He agrees with Andrea that the place is very much like the TV program, “Cheers,” from years ago.
Scatter Creek Winery is open on Monday, Thursday and Friday from 3 to 9 p.m., Saturday from 1 to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m.
Learn more online at www.scattercreekwinery.com and view upcoming events and specials or call 360-264-9463.
From cozy and quaint to uptown chic, Stottle Winery in Lacey has a lot to offer.
Josh and Amy Stottlemeyer opened their winery in 2010 in a business park on the outskirts of town. Josh spent the beginning of his career as a web development and internet marketing manager. He left the high-tech industry to follow his passion and attended the Northwest Wine Academy.
Stottle Winery is open daily and has more than 450 club members. The members get discounts from 10 percent to 25 percent, depending on the club level they choose. Members also get free wine tasting. The tasting fee for non-members is $9. The atmosphere is sophisticated and serene. Tasters can view the oak casks behind a glass wall, and the winery offers barrel tastings as well as food and wine events.
Josh Stottlemeyer is focused on quality. He uses 11 varieties to create 17 blends of wine. His Viognier is fabulous, with lustrous mouthfeel and a lovely finish. The Big Eddie is another one of his award-winning wines.
Josh explained that Stottle Winery is the largest South Sound winery, selling 1,800 to 2,500 cases per year. His staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and it isn’t hard to draw them into a lively conversation about their wines and how they are made.
Josh explained why he believes his wines consistently win awards.
“My grapes come from some of the oldest vines in Eastern Washington,” he said.
Not only does he have a contract for the vines, but he’s in complete control of managing the care of his rows in the vineyard. Josh visits Eastern Washington 30 or more times per year to inspect his vines, change feeding formulas and look for any emerging issues. He has intimate knowledge of his grapes and uses this to ensure they are picked at exactly the right time. His care of the vines shines through in the taste of his wines.
“I use oak barrels for the red wines and keep them in casks for 18 months,” he said. “Then they spend up to another year and a half in bottles before they are sold.”
His white wines age for six months before they are bottled, and they mature for another year before Josh makes them available to the public.
Winery tours are available by appointment, and Stottle Winery is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Call 360-515-0356 for more information, or visit www.stottlewinery.com.