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Production: (1997) 800 cases
Gordy Rawson started in the wine business in 1983 as a delivery driver for a wine distributor in Spokane. From that position he quickly moved up, and his involvement with wine led him to try winemaking at home. He won several awards at amateur competitions with his home winemaking attempts. Soon he branched out into making sparkling wines at home with grapes from the LaCenter, WA area.
Gordy went to work at Columbia Winery in 1987, where he made small amounts of sparkling wine that was marketed through the tasting room under the owner's private label. He continued to make sparkling wines at home, as well, refining his style. In the spring of 1996, Gordy decided to become a commercial winery, becoming bonded and licensed in the fall of 1997. He borrowed space from Whittlesey Mark and Matthews Cellars to produce his first vintages, all while continuing to work at Columbia Winery as production manager.
In 1999, Gordy was forced to change the winery name -- the corporation that owns the name "Alexis" for their vodka product decided "Alexia" was too similar to theirs. The new name is Chatter Creek.
In 2000, Gordy opened out the basement of his home near the
U. District, removing 126 cubic yards of dirt, and turning it into a
very compact winery.
The Wines: Current releases (Winter 1998)
Gordy Rawson 1996-present
Of special note:
All of the fruit for Alexia sparkling wines is whole-cluster pressed. After pressing, the juice is settled and then barrel fermented at 55 degrees. All wines undergo malolactic fermentation. In mid-February, the base wines are brought together. The cuvees are bottled and laid down in tirage bins until October when riddling and disgorging begin. The sparkling wine is finished naturally, with only a short time on the yeast to preserve the fresh fruity qualities of the Pinot Noir. This combination of ripe grapes, barrel fermentation, dry finish, and shorter time on tirage is what gives Alexia wines their elegance.
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