Treveri Cellars Fast Becoming a Washington Sparkling Wine Institution
This article originally appeared in the February, 2017 issue of Bellingham Alive Magazine
Like a fine bottle of sparkling wine, Treveri Cellars, located just east of Yakima, has burst onto the Washington wine scene with style, character, and an understated air of elegance that have made it a Champagne-inspired favorite of many area wine enthusiasts who enjoy bubbles in their glass.
Since opening its current, picturesque tasting room facility in 2010, the state’s only true sparkling wine house has rapidly expanded its annual production to an amazing 15,000 cases while consistently earning accolades and recognition nationwide.
FAMILY-MADE, FAMILY OPERATED
Husband-and-wife owners, Juergen and Julie Grieb, established Treveri Cellars with the primary goal of producing affordable, flavorful sparkling wines for Washington wine drinkers.
Julie, who operates the facility as General Manager notes, “We’ve really become a family operation with (son) Christian (and his wife) Katie both joining us here at the winery.” Christian works alongside his dad as Assistant Winemaker, while Katie joined the business in 2014 as Senior Vice President of Marketing.
But it’s Head Winemaker Juergen who’s truly the cornerstone of Treveri, drawing on a wealth of experience that spans over three decades. “His mother was always a big fan of sparkling wine,” says Christian, “and along with his dad, who was educated as a winemaker and viticulturist in Germany, Juergen ‘caught the bug’ to produce sparkling wine.”
While training as a winemaker in Europe, he also had a chance to work in a sparkling wine house, which solidified his choice as a sparkling winemaker. “It sealed the deal, so to speak,” says Christian.
GOOD CHOICES AND A “BIG BREAK”
“One of the things that put us on the map was being super-unique,” Christian recalls. “There were only still wine producers in Washington…and there was almost a ‘yearning’ for a sparkling wine producer.”
“Another great thing that happened to let people know we existed was when (Treveri Cellars wines) were served at a US State Department dinner in 2011.” The Department’s Head Chef at the Chief of Protocol, Jason Larkin, had paid the winery a visit prior to that time and became fast friends with Juergen. Larkin later asked if he could serve three Treveri wines at a dinner under then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and has since had the winery return in 2014 and 2015.
“That got us some really great press,” says Christian. “People were also suddenly interested that there was really good sparkling wine produced in Washington (State) that they could try.”
QUALITY AT GREAT PRICES
Since its inception, Treveri has developed a reputation of producing delicious, quality wines at highly affordable prices…most of which are priced in the $15 to $20-a-bottle range. So how do they manage to keep prices so reasonable?
“When we started this ‘adventure’ we discussed how we wanted our bubbles to be delivered – not just physically – but how are we going to be perceived?” says Christian. “Juergen was adamant about sharing his craft with a lot of people without sacrificing quality. It’s not easy to do, (but) his 30 years-plus experience and steady hand have been very helpful. But it also takes a lot of patience and it can be very humbling,” he says with a laugh.
Although crafting sparkling wine is akin to making its much more expensive counterpart, Champagne, Christian notes, “Our mission is to give the Washington consumer something to feel good about. That way they can treat themselves daily (to a nice $15 bottle) without breaking the bank.”
BEST SELLERS AND THE BUBBLE CLUB
Treveri’s Brut Blanc de Blancs, a 100% Chardonnay sparkler is “a real crowd favorite,” according to Christian, “and the amount of pink bubbles we’re now selling has nearly tripled over the last year-and-a-half,” he says, with a nod to the winery’s nicely-priced $18 Sparkling Rosé (a blend of Syrah and Chardonnay). Other current releases include the Pinot Noir-based Blanc de Noirs and stand-alone sparkling versions of the Müller Thurgau, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Syrah grapes.
For those who like more exclusivity, the winery offers a Bubble Club option, which Julie notes, “generally includes wines not available to the public. These are winemaker-choice wines that Juergen and Christian decide. We do three shipments a year in May, September, and December….and this (past) year we’ve had some phenomenal offerings.”
Christian adds that Bubble Club choices are often “members-only selections…usually from 200 cases or less produced.” Even then, costs are extremely reasonable and “shipments average between $50 to $70 depending on the wine.”
WHERE TO FIND…
Julie says that Treveri plans to pour its Brut Prestige at Wine Yakima Valley’s “Secret Crush,” on February 17. This special event, featuring award-winning, 90+ rated wines, kicks off the Valley’s annual Red Wine & Chocolate weekend, scheduled for February 18 to 20. (Details are available at wineyakimavalley.org.)
Treveri wines are also currently available in Northwest Washington at Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants and Community Food Co-op locations in Bellingham, and at Compass Wines in Anacortes. Other stores may be added as Treveri continues to expand production.
“Our goal is that our volume will continue to grow as long as we can continue to deliver high quality,” Christian says.
For the growing number of those who enjoy Treveri’s sparkling wines, here’s hoping the sky’s the limit for this gem of a Washington winery.
Open – Monday to Thursday, Noon to 5 pm; Friday and Saturday, Noon to 6 pm; Sunday, Noon to 4 pm.
Address – 71 Gangl Road, Wapato, WA 98951
Phone – (509) 877-0925
Web Site – trevericellars.com