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Production: (1997) 2k cases/year
Vineyards: none; grapes from Graves Vineyard (Columbia Gorge), Elerding Vineyard, Outlook Vineyard, Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, Boushay Vineyard
Doug, originally a music teacher in the San Francisco area, started making wines in his garage after moving to Lake Stevens to work at Hewlett-Packard in 1988. Brian Carter, at that time winemaker at Paul Thomas Winery, consulted with McCrea for the first few years. As McCrea Cellars grew and met with critical success, Doug found his plans for expansion blocked by Snohomish County. He and Kim embarked on a search for a new winery site, until they found land that they liked outside of Rainier. The property had a good view, plenty of land, plenty of clean, pure water, and easy accessibility to the Yakima Valley. They moved to the new site and built the winery in 1994.
Originally McCrea Cellars produced only a Chardonnay. In 1989 Doug found Grenache growing at Graves Vineyard in the Columbia Gorge, 50 miles east of Portland, and decided to produce Rhone-style wines. He convinced the owners of Graves Vineyard to plant Syrah in 1990, and in 1992 produced his first Tierra del Sol, a Grenache/Syrah blend. He is now playing with Syrahs from the Boushay and Ciel du Cheval Vineyards. Unfortunately, the Grenache at Graves Vineyard died in the winter of 1996, so there will be no more Grenache blends. However, Doug is expanding his Rhone repertoire to include the white wine Vigonier.
The Wines: Current releases (Fall 1997)
Doug McCrea 1988-present
Of special note:
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