Vineyards: Contracts with six growers; Pinot Meunier in Spokane, Chardonnay in Othello (two growers), Pinot Noir in Pasco, Pinot Noir in Lake Roosevelt and Pinot and Chardonnay in White Salmon.
Distribution: Eastern WA, Northwest Select; Western WA, Unique; OR, CA, ID, MA, VA, KY, GA, Hong Kong
The Manz family started their winery in September of 1984 crushing 1 ton of hand picked Columbia River Basin grapes in the classic Champagne proportions of 1/3 Chardonnay and 2/3 Pinot Noir. They were crushed in their kitchen! This vintage was released in 1988.
They've built their own unique 4000 square foot geodesic dome home on an 80 acre forest in the foothills of Mount Spokane, and in 1987 they started construction of the 8500 square foot winery by themselves, while managing a 6 ton crush! Since 1988 they've had a reserve bottling, and have used only small French oak barrels. They're up to 2500 cases per year, with all state-of-the-art equipment, and are planning to complete a 15k square foot underground bottle storage by 2001.
The entire family including all three children (ages 12 to 20) are involved in the winery in some way or another. Michael Manz M.D. is a child psychiatrist practicing in Spokane when he's not being a winemaker. Patricia runs a montessori school, the administrative side of the winery, and shares in the winemaking duties, and Michael's brother John brings sales and marketing expertise and all around winery help. As with many WA wineries, some of wineries work is done by volunteers and friends who help out when needed.
All the tanks at Mountain Dome Winery are named after historic people important to the Manzes, particularly from the fields of psychology and education. In early 1998 they were preparing their first still wine releases, which will be under a second label.
The winery has obtained WA State's first permit to distill brandy since Prohibition. They're well in progress for a future Ratafia (18% alcohol brandy with fresh Chardonnay or Pinot Noir juice).
Mountain Dome makes exclusively Methode Champenoise champagnes, and only three of them. As they have they own website with extensive information about their wines, I recommend you go there (the link is near the top of this page).
Michael and Pat Manz
Of special note:
When asked about the Brut label (click on thumbnail of it above for a larger image), Michael says:
The Gnomes on the label are a family of friendly gnomes that work here late into the night making sparkling wine to bring happiness to the world. The artist is Spokane's John Mraz and they represent my wife, myself, our three children and my brother John!!!!
At their website (link near top of this page) they have photos of the whole family -- you'll see the artist did a great job!
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