MikeL's Guide to WA Wineries
Sky River Meadery
Winery: 32533 Cascade View Drive, Sultan, WA 98294
Business: P.O. Box 869, Sultan, WA 98294
Phone: 360-793-6761, Fax: 360-793-2485

[Label collection: Beth Schoenberg]
Click here for map/directions.
Page last updated: 27-Jan-2002, Page generated: 10-Oct-2004

Production: (1999) 3k cases
Vineyards: none -- honey sourced domestically and internationally

Derek and Denice brought a personal love of wine and beer making together with a long family tradition of working with the best honeys, and began an odyssey to reinvent the ancient tradition of mead making. After moving their young family to the quiet town of Sultan, Derek and Denice sought out some of the most innovative minds in the wine-making world to help develop new ways of overcoming the inherent difficulties of making honey wine. After five years of research and testing they emerged with three beautiful meads.
Sources: [the winery]
The Wines: Current releases (Summer 2000)
  • Sweet Mead:
    Sky River Sweet Mead enjoys a lingering full honey body. The intricate notes of the flowers and fruits that prelude the making of the honey are richly represented. Reminiscent of a fine German Riesling. Many enjoy Sky River Sweet Mead as a delicate aperitif, or dessert wine. And, in the long cold months of winter, Sweet Mead is a genuine indulgence, warmed, with perhaps a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom.
  • Semi-Sweet Mead:
    Sky River Semi-Sweet Mead, although drier, enjoys a similar depth and character to the Sweet Mead. With hints of pear and a crisper finish Sky River Semi-Sweet Mead, served chilled, delicately offsets the exotic notes of sesame and ginger in Pan-Asian cuisine, and the rich herbal textures of the Mediterranean.
  • Dry Mead:
    Sky River Dry Mead - for those who enjoy life's great subtleties. The gently honeyed nose of Sky River Dry Mead accompanies an elusive fruitiness. Served chilled, Sky River Dry Mead generously accompanies the extraordinary flavors of curry, ginger and sesame found from Thailand to India. We also recommend pairing all of the Sky River Meads with your favorite seafood dish.

Denice L. Ingalls(?)
Denice Ingalls 19?-present

Of special note:
All of the Sky River's Meads are lighter and crisper than most people expect. The delicate bouquet and fruity palette of the wines celebrate the fragile perfumes and flavors of the flowers and pollens that the honeys are drawn from. Generations of family knowledge of bees and honey have aided in the quest to make these delicate, handcrafted Meads. No detail is ignored, from the careful selection of the perfect honeys, to the gentle hand labeling that each bottle receives. The presentation is as beautiful as the wines, all of which combine the ancient tradition of mead making with the methods of the 21st century, to meet today's discerning palettes. The results are simply delicious.

One year into the adventure of teaching people about Sky River Mead, Derek and Denice are enjoying the challenges that come with distribution from Bellingham south to Vancouver, and Port Angeles east to Wenatchee and Yakima. Next on the horizon is moving east to Spokane and perhaps south to Portland, OR.

Mead is believed to be the first alcoholic beverage known to man. Mead is heard of in Norse mythology, Anglo prose and poetry, Irish tradition, Welsh remedies, Greco-Roman ceremony, sacred Hindu texts and African tradition and culture. This ancient wine, with its fascinating history, once considered the elixir of the gods, has all but vanished from the American landscape. At Sky River Meadery we are endeavoring to restore the mythology and the wine. We invite you to visit our web site and learn more about where Mead has come from, and where it is going. Perhaps you will find it as fascinating as we do.

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