Treveri Cellars, Yakima, WA

Approaching Treveri Cellars you see the patio on the left.  More patio space is coming due to demand!
Approaching Treveri Cellars you see the patio on the left. More patio space is coming due to demand!

I wrote about Treveri Cellars before Christmas this last December (here), but hadn’t had the pleasure of visiting the tasting room south of Yakima in Wapato until recently.  It was a lovely, warmish day and everyone seemed to have the same need to get outside and do something to celebrate Spring’s imminent arrival; the patio was full of people when we rode up, inside there were no tables available and it was difficult to find a space at the bar to taste.

Juergen Grieb, making wine in Washington State since 1982, is owner and winemaker of Treveri Cellars in Yakima, WA.
Juergen Grieb, making wine in Washington State since 1982, is owner and winemaker of Treveri Cellars in Yakima, WA.

We found a place at the far end of the bar from the doorway, a great place to people watch and stay out-of-the-way while we shared our tasting.  A family owned sparkling wine house, Treveri Cellar has been open since November 2010 (2008 first vintage originally downtown Yakima, now in its own facility).  Juergen Grieb and his son Christian are the wine making team.  Juergen learned wine making from two of Germany’s top wine makers, Herr Breiling and Christoph Tyrell before completing a second apprenticeship at Duhr Sektkellerei where he followed his passion for sparkling wines to learn the traditional ‘Méthode Champenoise’.  In 1982 he made his way to Washington State to make wine for German based company Langguth Winery, at the time a state-of-the-art winemaking facility large enough to compete with St. Michelle’s Woodinville facility.  It was a short-lived endeavor and Herr Grieb moved on to other winemaking positions in Washington.  {In researching I discovered a funny parallel to my life that I wasn’t aware of: this illustrious winemaker was in Ellensburg

The production side of Treveri Cellars with storage inside the buildings.
The production side of Treveri Cellars with storage inside the buildings.

during the same years I was the first time around (1986-1990), when I moved to Yakima he was back in Yakima at another winery.  I moved away, to the west side of the state shortly after that though.} Juergen’s son Christian is his assistant wine maker; he is supplementing his father’s teaching with UC Davis enology classes.

As a family owned sparkling house Treveri Cellars produces a cross-section of Washington grapes as sparklers from Extra Brut to Sec (extra dry to sweet).  Some of these wines have been featured at State Department dinners 2011, 2013 and on James Beard menus 2012, 2013 and , great achievements for a very young winery.  It is distributed around the country and is available on-line.

Trevari Cellars Sparkling Syrah Brut, had to show you the lovely dense color.
Treveri Cellars Sparkling Syrah Brut, had to show you the lovely dense color.

The sparkling wines:

  • Extra-Brut Chardonnay – initially bread dough giving way to citrus and melon finishing with a lovely creamy fizz: 2.5 g/L RS
  • Brut Chardonnay – fresh apple tarts with much finer bubbles 12 g/L RS
  • Rose’-Sec – a blend of Chardonnay and Syrah grapes, it is  fairly sweet at the front end, with fresh bread and apples with a bright fizz: 22 g/L RS
  • Riesling-Demi-Sec – light floral notes rise from the glass, tropical and temperate fruit salad fill your mouth as the bubbles tickle the roof of your mouth and the lovely Riesling acid puckers your cheeks in a very well-balanced finish: 34 g/L RS
  • Gewuerztraminer-Demi-Sec – pears and pink grapefruit aromas followed by honeyed nectarines and a lychee finish: 35 g/L RS
  • Sparkling Syrah-Brut – the deep ruby red wine offset by the cotton candy pink head is truly eye-catching and non-traditional with black cherry and raspberry flavors as intense as the corresponding colors: 13 g/L RS
  • Germanic Blend-Sec is a ‘Bubble Club’ limited release, of Riesling, Mueller-Thurgau and Gewürztraminer combining the spice of Dianthus and lily flowers on the nose and a melange of fruity sweetness in the mouth: 23 g/L RS

From a one-thousand case first vintage in 2008 made in 8,000 square feet to 20,000 cases in 2014 in this space there has been a staggering amount of growth for Treveri Cellars.  They are bursting at the seems within the three buildings they presently have, their patio is in high demand causing a patio expansion this season to keep up with it.

Having witnessed my first ‘sabering’ in December I had to ask about Juergen’s sabering experience.  He shook his head and explained that they use environmentally friendly glass and sabering left him holding the base of the bottle the last time he did.  A waste of good wine; not recommended.

Cheers!

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