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2 017 S P R I N G N E W S L E T T E R | WINERY & WALLA WALLA TASTING ROOM Open Daily 11am - 4pm 3796 Peppers Bridge Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362 | 509.525.3541 WOODINVILLE TASTING ROOM Open Sunday - Thursday, 11am - 5pm, Friday & Saturday, 11am - 6pm 14810 NE 145th Street, Bldg A-3, Woodinville, WA 98072 | 425.483.7026

A NOTE FROM RAY Happy Spring, My Friends! Well… I can hardly believe it, but all of a sudden its been 30 years since Diana and I first ventured to Walla Walla from our ranch in Montana and became life-long fans of the Valley, and the beautiful wines produced here. There were only a handful of wineries back then, but, voila! we now have over 150 wineries in the Valley. May marks our halfway point of being on the Southside vs. our humble and rustic original tasting room downtown, with seven full years at both locations. Diana and I would never have guessed back then that we would be here in this beautiful winery offering such amazing views with wineries sprouting up in the alfalfa and wheat fields around us. But here we are, and we are loving it! Wine lovers change from year-to-year, but I’ve noticed one constant - they are still mesmerized with the year-after-year quality and value of our Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sémillon, and Rosé. We began our wine club in 2004 and when we see so many of our original members are still with us, it’s testimony to the fact that we offer consistently elegant, beautiful, estate wines. And we thank those members wholeheartedly for sticking with us! We’ve come a long way from our 2003 start-up days at that old Montana log cabin saloon which was our first tasting room on 13th Street. Our club members’ continued support enabled us to move to our new, “zen-like” tasting room in 2010. It is here, from the magnificent deck, that you enjoy the best view in the Valley! We look out upon our nearby Pepper Bridge Estate Vineyard, and a little further out to the foothills of the Blue Mountains and our world-class Les Collines Estate Vineyard. I would like to invite you to come join Jean-François, Diana and I, and the entire Amavi team (including Boots!), on the deck for a glass of one of our incredible wines this Spring ....or Summer....or both! Thanks, and Enjoy! Ray

A FUN WASHINGTON STATE WINE INDUSTRY VIDEO! Please share this with your family and friends, post on your Facebook page, show at your wedding or bar mitzvah, open your shareholders meeting with it...we saved it to CD and buried it in a time capsule with “all things 2017.”

WINE CLUB COOKING CLASS WITH JEAN-FRANÇOIS Wine is better with food and food is better with wine! Winemaker Jean-François is teaming up with Tom Douglas’ Hot Stove Society to offer a very unique cooking class to our wine club members and their guests. We look forward to a fun evening of celebrating new and old friendships, great food and fantastic wine from Amavi Cellars and Pepper Bridge Winery. Guests will roll up their sleeves and cook alongside our winemaker and the Hot Stove Society's chef to help create a variety of delicious recipes from scratch. Once all of the dishes are prepared, we will sit down for the fantastic meal paired with a wonderful selection of our wines. SPACE IS LIMITED! (Hot Stove Society is in downtown Seattle) May 12th, 5:30pm-9pm | $85/person (tax and gratuity not included) For reservations call: 206.436.0383 or email

THE 2016 VINTAGE Ask any Washington vintner - 2016 was the longest harvest we can remember. It was one of the earliest growing seasons on record, bud-break, bloom and veraison were all the earliest we have ever seen. For Amavi we started picking in August and didn’t finish until mid-October (just before the rain!). This combination of early and long created the best of both worlds. 2016 is poised to go down in the books as one of the most perfect growing seasons. April and May were warm and dry with temperatures jumping into the triple digits by early June. This hot start led to a large crop, with larger berries and cluster weights. We managed both the yields and water throughout our vineyards. By mid-summer cooler temperatures arrived and continued through harvest. As things cooled in late August and into September and October, it allowed for long hang times and optimal picking dates. The especially long season allowed the grapes to ripen slowly which helped preserve freshness and elegance in the finished wines. We are incredibly pleased with the balanced, powerful, and yet refined wines of the 2016 vintage.

OUR SPRING RELEASE WINES These wines are the result of two very different vintages, both yielding some of the best wines we have ever produced. We are excited to offer them and we look forward to sharing a glass or two with you in the near future.

BRRRRR....HOW COLD WAS IT? We’ve had a lot of questions about the condition of the vineyards after the crazy winter we had. The answer is “yes” we had some freeze damage in the lower areas, but we had buried vines for this very reason - to protect the crop. We anticipate a great vintage in 2017 and we expect more than enough high quality grapes to continue our tradition of offering excellent wines. It is in years like this where our winemaking team shines and gets to showcase their expertise and talents. As we say... “this is farming!”


honeysuckle, orange blossom, lemon zest, wet stone Fuji apple, pink grapefruit, honeydew melon, flint refreshing acidity, rich & balanced structure rich fish & shellfish, grilled asparagus, spicy dishes


mountain strawberry, hibiscus, lilacs, soft forest floor strawberry-rhubarb, toasted hazelnuts, rain-misted gravel bright & fresh, rich mid-palate, lively tannin & structure friends on the deck, anything BBQ or Asian, fresh seafood

2015 SYRAH | $33 JOIN US FOR OUR “VINE TO WINE” TOUR & TASTING IN WALLA WALLA Experience a short walking tour of the vineyard followed by a private seated tasting in the barrel room. Learn about the Walla Walla Valley AVA and our estate vineyards while you enjoy specially selected wines, which may include a barrel sample, library and limited production wines, along with our current releases. Email or call 509.525.3541 for more details.  Complimentary for Wine Club member plus one guest (once per calendar year)  $20/Wine Club member for additional visits and/or guests  $30 non-members  Fridays 2:30 pm and Saturdays 10:30 am (or by special appointment)


plum, blackberry, crushed rock, spice box currant, blueberry, blackberry, fig, olive tapenade smooth & richly developed tannins, elegant finish BBQ, pork ribs, roasted lamb & chicken, ratatouille


plum, vanilla bean, coconut shell, nutmeg & tarragon carmalized fig, black cherry, hints of cocoa powder lush structured tannin, crushed gravel-like minerality carne asado tacos, paella, baked brie, Texas BBQ

THE 2015 VINTAGE The 2015 growing season was the latest in a trend of being the warmest on record for our valley. The last week of June had the highest temperatures we’ve seen! The record-breaking heat gave way to cooler days and nights around veraison, allowing the fruit to develop perfectly. The last week of August brought harvest, our earliest ever. Wines of this vintage are richly structured, showcasing ripe fruit and floral characteristics.

PLAN AHEAD FOR WINE TASTING Hydrate. Bring your favorite water bottle, or pick up a souvenir bottle. Drink up! We are happy to refill. Snack. We love food! Start your day with breakfast. Shop ahead for your day’s provisions or plan to sit down for a meal. We do not offer food in our tasting rooms, but we often have a food truck on premise in Walla Walla, and in Woodinville we have great neighbors to fulfill your cravings. Ask. Our tasting rooms are staffed by people who know and love our neighborhoods. Talk with your pouring host, or call before you arrive and we are happy to help plan your trip. We would be delighted to fill you in on dining options, tasting itineraries, accommodations, driving services or upcoming events. We love dogs, but we do have to conform to the health codes of our counties, and ask that they be on leash and are respectful of all our guests. Traveling with wine. Think about temperature! On a sunny day it can take less than an hour for cars to reach a temperature that could spoil your lovely wines. Similarly, if you’re a winter visitor your wines will not want to spend a sub-freezing night in the trunk of the car. Traveling with a cooler protects wine from temperature extremes. Alaska Airines allows for one case per person to be checked for free. We are also happy to ship and we will pay particular attention to the weather when doing so. Dress. We are all about comfort. We suggest you dress accordingly. If you are planning to tour our winery please wear comfortable, flat shoes - say no to flip flops, open toe shoes or spike heels. After all, wineries are work places with machinery and potentially wet floors. And please no perfume or cologne, allow yourself and others to enjoy the aromas of the wine. Go with it. Both Woodinville and Walla Walla are wonderful and casual places. There are plenty of sights to see, people to meet and wines to taste. So, relax and enjoy your day. As they say...wherever you go, there you are.

UPCOMING EVENTS For additional information on any of these events and for our most current list please visit our website ( or call the winery. April 8 | Feast Walla Walla | Walla Walla May 5-7 | Spring Release Weekend | Walla Walla May 6 | Wine Club Barrel Room Tasting | Walla Walla May 12 | Wine Club Cooking Class | Hot Stove, Seattle May 13 | Wine Club Spring Release Brunch | Woodinville June 15 -17 | Celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine | Walla Walla June 23 | Food Truck Night @ Amavi Cellars | Walla Walla June 23-25 | Southside Wine Club Weekend | Walla Walla Aug 3-13 | Festival at Sandpoint | Sandpoint, Idaho Aug 4 | Food Truck Night @ Amavi Cellars | Walla Walla Aug 12 | Wine Club Picnic in the Parking Lot | Woodinville Aug 17-19 | Auction of Washington Wines | Woodinville Oct 18 -22 | Balloon Stampede | Walla Walla Nov 3-5 | Fall Release Weekend | Walla Walla Nov 4 | Wine Club Breakfast | Walla Walla Dec 1-3 | Holiday Barrel Weekend | Walla Walla Dec (tbd) | 7th Annual Holiday Party | Woodinville

NORM McKIBBEN PRESENTED WITH THE 2017 WASHINGTON WINEGROWERS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Norm received the Lifetime Achievement Award for years of service to the industry, including serving as the chair of the Washington State Wine Commission, co-founder of Vinea, Walla Walla’s sustainable farming program, and a cochair of the Auction of Washington Wines. Norm is co-owner in several wine businesses and orchards, including Pepper Bridge Winery and Vineyard, as well as Seven Hills, SeVein and Les Collines Vineyards.

NEW PACKAGING FOR AMAVI CELLARS Sommeliers and enthusiasts celebrate! The 2015 vintage brings a fresh look with our new neck label. Not only does this preserve the appearance of the bottle after being opened, but no more foil cuts! Tin capsules were originally used to deter rodents from nibbling on the corks and helping themselves to a little late night cheer. We hope these unwanted guests are not inviting themselves into your cellars, and we are certain they are not in ours! So in a move to become even more sustainable, we are shifting away from the tin capsule over the cork to a full paper neck label. The wines will still age beautifully for many years, we just won’t be adding tin to the landfill.

2017 Spring Newsletter  
2017 Spring Newsletter