Brian Carter: A Master Blender Bringing Out the Best in Washington Wine Working with more than 20 varietals, Brian Carter Cellars wine epitomizes great crafted Washington wines. BY TOURING & TASTING
Photos courtesy of Brian Carter Cellars
Brian Carter Cellars has mastered the chemistry of blending the perfect wine.
“ This artwork becomes the wine’s label and the original is on display in the Brian Carter Cellars tasting room.”
Every bottle of classic, elegant Brian Carter Cellars wine tells the story of one man’s passion and the teamwork it takes to maintain his standard for crafting exemplary European-style blends. Brian is considered a pioneer in Washington State, where he has been an advocate for developing the quality and quantity of its varietals in many ways. Today, Brian Carter Cellars sources more than 20 varieties from more than a dozen different vineyards throughout central and eastern Washington. Each of these varietals is crafted separately in a small lot to fully express the distinctive characteristics of the grape and its vineyard. Brian then applies his master blending skills to handcraft a stunning portfolio of beautifully balanced blends that taste wonderful at release and also have the ability to improve with age.
The portfolio of Brian Carter Cellars wines reads like a map of the entire European continent, with stops in France’s Bordeaux and Southern Rhône regions, Italy’s Tuscan region, sunny Spain, E and Portugal for dessert. The wines are all very food friendly and are favorites among the top-tier chefs of Woodinville and sommeliers across the country. Each wine has its own story to tell. When Brian has perfected a blend, he and his business partner, Mike Stevens, name it and share the concept with their designer, Stephen Black, who creates a unique and distinctive piece of artwork for the wine. This artwork becomes the wine’s label and the original is on display in the Brian Carter Cellars tasting room.
The little yellow house that serves as the winery’s tasting room sits in the heart of Woodinville Wine Country’s Hollywood District. It is instantly welcoming, with plenty of windows and a delightful deck offering panoramic views of Mount Rainier and the Sammamish Valley. The people behind the tasting bar are wine savvy and enthusiastic about the wines, Woodinville, and creating a memorable wine tasting experience for their guests. Considering the quality of the European blends they’re pouring, this isn’t hard to do.
What to Buy '12 Oriana - $22
Tangerine, apricot, pear, touch of jasmine, anise
'09 Byzance - $29
Ripe cherry, rose petals, bay leaf, spice
'08 Le Coursier - $34
Blackberry, chocolate, cassis, cedar, spice
Scenic outdoor seating, wine club events and discounts, winemaker dinners, private tastings by appointment, pet friendly
14419 Woodinville-Redmond Rd. Woodinville, WA 98072