Running the Northwest’s largest winery is daunting. Simultaneously crafting some of our region’s best wines is downright difficult.
That’s what Chateau Ste. Michelle manages to do year after year, and its latest releases show no signs of cutting corners in quality as it continues to grow in size.
Chateau Ste. Michelle is Washington’s flagship winery. Its roots run deep, going back to the repeal of Prohibition. In 1934, two wineries — Pommerelle and National Wine Co. — began, and they were fierce rivals until Pommerelle bought out Nawico prior to World War II. By the 1950s, they merged, and in the 1960s, the first Ste. Michelle wines hit the market.
With the opening of a grand chateau in the eastern King County community of Woodinville in 1976, the winery was rechristened Chateau Ste. Michelle.
Today, head winemaker Bob Bertheau oversees a team that spans the state, with white wines made in Woodinville and red wines made at the winery’s Canoe Ridge Estate winemaking facility in the remote southern Horse Heaven Hills overlooking the Columbia River.
Here are some of Ste. Michelle’s latest releases. For the most part, they are broadly distributed and should not be difficult to find at groceries and wine retailers throughout the West and across the nation.