Mike & Chris Stewart of Chris Daniel Winery
Chris Stewart and his father Mike say it was the combination of smoking Cuban cigars and sipping tempranillo on a Spanish beach that convinced them to open a winery on their home property near Quincy, WA. Mike had years of experience as a vineyard and orchard consultant and Chris had a winemaking degree from WSU, as well as experience in the wine worlds of Chile and Napa. In fact, Chris is now a winemaker both in Napa and here in WA at the new family-run Chris Daniel Winery. Tasting room doors opened in April 2017, just a few miles off of I-90 on the Soap Lake road. The facility was once an indoor pool, but is now filled with sand and covered with flooring and comfortable furniture to flop in while sipping Chris’s fabulous, mostly single-varietal wines.
The family property is in a climate zone too cold for vines, so grapes are sourced from vineyards Mike works closely with in the Wahluke and Royal Slope areas. Chris and Mike plan to keep production low at 1000 cases in order to ensure quality, but they’ll be adding some new varietals to their line-up, including petite sirah and petit verdot. In this interview they discuss key aspects of their winemaking process, such as fermenting uncrushed grapes, fermenting red wines in barrels with heads removed, barrel fermenting all their wines red and white, and much more. What you won't hear in the interview is why the clockworks on the label are fixed at 10:23 - the month and day Chris was born.
Listen to the Interview: