MikeL's Guide to WA Wineries
Columbia Crest
P. O. Box 231, Paterson, WA 99345-0231
Phone: 509-875-2061, Marketing/Sales 206-488-1133

Click here for map/directions.
TCWA member winery
Page last updated: 10-Oct-2004, Page generated: 11-Sep-2005

Winery Building
1989 Semillon-Chardonnay label
1992 Barrel Select Merlot label
Winery building
1989 Semillon-
Chardonnay label
1992 Barrel Select
Merlot label
Newsletters: Jun 2001.
Production: (1995) ?
Vineyards: ?

The winery was designed in 1979, primarily underground in order to maintain year-round temperature and humidity, and construction was begun in 1981. The winery's first production year was 1982 (though it was not yet completed), and was known as the River Ridge facility of Chateau Ste. Michelle. The first releases bearing the Columbia Crest name (all whites) were in 1985. Although initially the winery was intended as "the Eastern Washington arm" of Chateau Ste. Michelle, it was set up as a completely independent "sister" winery in 1987. It is still a wholly owned subsidiary of Stimson Lane Vineyards & Estates of Woodinville WA, which is in turn a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Tobacco.

employees: 88 full-time, 21 part-time

The winery:

412k sq feet; 180k warehouse, 232; cellar, barrel room, bottling line fermentation cap: 8500 tons tank cap: 4.5M gals palletized barrel storage: 17k barrel racks case good storage: 1M French oak upright tanks: 20 @ 64k gals American Oak upright tanks: 33 @ 117k gals Bottling cap: 13k cases/day (750 mL) (2 ten hours shifts) Bottling tanks: 4 @ 8k gals Stemmer/Crusher: one, used for red only, cap 5 tons/hour Pressing cap: 1k tons/day Refrigerated stainless steel tanks: 212 @ 1.7 Mgals

In 1999 all Stimson Lane port wines (including Whidbey's Liqueur) were made at this facility by winemaker Ray Einberger.

In 1978 about 500 acres of vineyards were planted by Chateau Ste. Michelle. An additional 400 acres were planted for each of the next 3 years. In 1991 another 150 acres were planted.

Varietal	Acres
Chardonnay	370
Chenin Blanc	278
Gewurtztraminer	 43
Muscat Canelli	 15
Muller Thurgau	 10
Sauvignon Blanc	220
Semillon	273
White Riesling	475

Cabernet Franc 5 Cabernet Sauv. 103 Grenache 99 Merlot 138 Malbec 0.5

The Wines: Current releases (Spring 1996)
Ray Einberger 2003-present
Red Winemaker: Gordon Hill ?-?
Asst Winemaker: Joy Andersen ?-present
Vineyard Manager: Jerry Decoto

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