This last Friday we joined Cedergreen Cellars for another ‘At The Tasting Room’ experience. If you are passionate about food, you are going to love their wine!
Cedergreen Cellars is a family winery founded by Kevin and Julie Cedergreen in 2002. Growing up in Eastern Washington, they watched the sage and scrub change to seas of green and now seek the wines that issue from the best fruit of the Columbia Valley.
Their focus is finely crafted wines with an eye on the bright flavors that delight the palate and deliver their optimum expression in the dining room. Experience garnered working at wineries in Washington State and New Zealand, in addition to trade visits all over France and along the Pacific Rim from southern Chile to the far north of Canada, have shaped their wine-making philosophy to value old world concepts and new world techniques. They make wine that captures the essence of harvest. Awe inspiring fruit, handled with care, short hours from vine to the winery and a light hand combine to create a wine that shows the best the fruit has to offer. Look for Cedergreen Cellars wine in restaurants, wine shops and fine food markets.
If you are anything like me, you are probably wondering why Cedergreen Cellars chose their signature red box logo. Winemaker, Kevin Cedergreen, has quite the sense of humor and shared with me the story behind their logo creation.
His team was working on labels, and after some discussion they decided a strong nuemonic for easy recognition and recall would be best. Kevin thinks outside the box and their label perfectly represents his winemaking style. John Newton from Distefano Winery crafted several figures seen in Cedergreen Cellars. The one with the block-shaped head is a rendition of Kevin’s signature photo in the vineyards (view our photo gallery for images). He even created the figure with a pair of pruners!
Cedergreen Cellars is located in the Warehouse District here in Woodinville. More specifically, they are located in an enclave we like to call Artisan Hill. Artisan Hill lies just south of North Woodinville Way as it winds up the hill. The name is all too ﬁtting, as this burgeoning enclave is home to a growing community of wine and food craftspeople. It’s bursting with distinctive ﬂavors and characters, but it’s easy to miss, so be sure you don’t. This is where the person pouring is often the winemaker himself, and the personalities you’ll meet and the methods and opinions they share make the perfect pairing to any glass.
Cedergreen Cellars is currently taking reservations for tasting room visits. You can book a reservation through their website here.
While visiting Cedergreen Cellars, you have the option of two tasting flights. They change their tasting flights weekly, so you have an opportunity to taste something new every time you come in. While the wines may change, please see below for flight options:
- $15 for 4-5 wines, mix of red and white wines. Waived with a purchase of $30 or more.
- $10 for Rose’ and bubbles.
~ Written by Amber Schmitt, Marketing Director of Woodinville Wine Country
First and foremost, Cedergreen Cellars is a working winery. In their tasting studio, you will be sitting nestled among the tanks-industrial chic! Perched on barrel heads, survey the crazy funhouse reflections of your face in the shiny stainless steel of cooling jackets while you taste wines from bottle or occasionally pulled directly from those tanks. Experience the aroma’s, sounds and intricate infrastructure of what it takes to make wine, what it is to make wine.
Simple and complex, in sun and shade, grab a glass. Bob your head to the tunes curated by whatever mood they are in that day while you enjoy some Cedergreen Cellars wine. Talk with the winemaker/owners, talk with your friends and try the vegan tamale with a glass of sparkling Chenin blanc or some aged Riesling with a chocolate dusted in hot chili flake.
Cedergreen Cellars often hosts themed weekends such as a Library wine tasting or food/wine pairings. For the pairings, they work with a local food provider that they love, and develop pairings that provide a unique, fun, learning experience that will bring something to their customers that they have never tried before.
Let’s recap what Cedergreen Cellars has done this past year in terms of food and wine pairings:
- Chocolate and wine pairing for Valentines weekend, that included a ginger chocolate paired with Chenin Blanc. Chocolate was from Theo’s Chocolate.
- Cheese and wine pairing for our Spring Wine release weekend. Cheese was from DeLaurenti’s at Pike Place market and included goat, sheep, and cow cheese with a finale of a cooke dipped in hot peppers paired with an aged Reisling from our cellar. Some really great new experiences for our customers.
- Tamale pairing for our Pét-Roc frizzante release weekend – paired with the frizzante and a chilled Gamay Noir. Tamales from Tamale My Life!
LET’S TALK WINE
Cedergreen Cellars produces classic Northwest wines for Northwest cuisine. Keep reading below to learn more about their current wines and some tasting notes from my latest visit.
2020 Viola Rosé
Amber’s Notes: The Viola Rosé would pair nicely with smoked foods such as ham or trout, making it perfect for the holidays. Winemaker, Kevin Cedergreen, prefers to drink wine with food as he believes the pairing provides a more dynamic experience than consumption on their own.
*Fun Fact: In 2020, Pagliacci Pizza purchased a majority of the Rosé produced at Cedergreen Cellars and sold the wine with their food delivery orders.
Our Viola Rosé is a blend of Gamay Noir and Cabernet Franc. We were smitten by the aromatics of this classic Loire-style Rose’. A racy palate with flavors of bright crushed strawberries and raspberries combine with deep floral notes of lilac and violets. Viola is fine company for a cheese board, smoked trout or a warm evening on the dock. Enjoy!
2018 Sauvignon Blanc
Amber’s Notes: The Sauvignon Blanc is one of the Cedergreen family’s most versatile wine. It is one of their biggest production items, producing 1,000-1,200 cases each year. This wine is crisp and refreshing with bright acidity. Its dry mouthfeel is balanced by bits of fruits and sweetness pulling through. It would pair well with fresh plates such as salads, seafood, and light bites. The delivery is strong, but would be perfect with oysters and delicate sauces such as mignonette.
*Fun Fact: The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc has primarily lent itself to the Seattle restaurant seafood industry. It was available on the menu at Steelhead Diner for 10 years.
Cedergreen Cellars’ Sauvignon Blanc can still be found throughout many restaurants in Seattle. If you ever find yourself at Elliotts, Hotel Interurban, Cedarbrook Lodge or Le Coin, grab yourself a glass and enjoy!
Dry, brilliantly crisp and clean with juicy lemon, apricot and nectarine flavors. Think shrimp, scallops, crab and oysters sizzling over a wood fire, an icy cold glass of Sauvignon blanc a fine partner.
2016 Gamay Noir
Amber’s Notes: Winemaker, Kevin Cedergeen, prefers to serve all of his red wines at 55F degrees with whites wines and Gamay at 35F. It is recommended that you enjoy this wine in a chilled glass. However, If you prefer to warm it up a bit with your hands on the glass, you can get multiple different tasting experiences as you bring up the temperature. While tasting the Gamay Noir, expect floral notes, like violet and lilac, and black pepper.
Since the Gamay Noir works well against spice, it is usually released around Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Winemaker, Kevin, shared with me that some of our local Indian restaurants pour their Gamay with spicier dishes to help offset the heat. Spicy food reads sharper and more flavorful when paired with a wine that has a smooth finish. It is extremely food friendly and has been nicknamed at Cedergreen Cellars as the “little black dress of wine.”
An exciting varietal in Washington State requiring just the right microclimate… found at Skyline Vineyard. The high elevation creates a cooler site, delivering delicate tannins and a silky, smooth mouthfeel – expressions of crushed cherry, raspberry, plum with deep floral aromas of cut iris and peony flowers. Pair with animal, vegetable, mineral – roast turkey, salmon, lamb.
You may be wondering where the name Thuja comes from. Winemaker, Kevin, shared that “thuja” is the genus for cedar trees. How fitting!
It is mainly a restaurant wine, as they regularly bring small amounts of bottles to fit the current restaurant shelf needs. Many Woodinville wineries make red wines that are meant to be drank upon purchase. This wine was made with the intent to be enjoyed with a minimum of 5-7 yrs of bottle age.
Cedergreen’s 2010 Thuja contains notes of black berries and holds a smokey flavor. They use Hungarian oak when barreling this wine, adding a little bit of sweetness and a spice box aspect. I could see this wine pairing well with meat based dishes such as BBQ plates or spaghetti.
Deep, dark, and luscious with black cherry, clove and peppery pizzazz! The aroma of this blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon entices the nose, deep and unctuous on the palate with a lifting finish that demands another glass. As with many fine wines, Thuja will benefit with decanting 1-3 hours prior to serving.
2017 Chenin Blanc- Old Vine
Cedergreen Cellars actually produces 2 wines with the Chenin Blanc varietal (scroll down to my bonus pour to learn more). The 2017 Chenin Blanc was aged on the lees for 10 months. Aging this wine on the lees with intermittent stirring gives this wine a certain richness and roundness on the palate. Similar to a buttery mouthfeel.
As mentioned above, if you are passionate about food, you are going to love their wine. Winemaker, Kevin, is a great home chef. So much so that all their friends frequently ask if Kevin is cooking. Kevin recommends creamier style foods to pair with this wine. A good example would be Thai coconut soup.
Floating on air and water, our dry Chenin Blanc balances minerality with aromas of D’Anjou pear and Jamaican ginger. Piercingly fresh yet succulent, this wine pairs well with Dungeness Crab and grilled fish. Hand harvested, hand sorted, stored and stirred on the lees to promote mouth feel and creaminess.
If you are new here, it is common for me to include bonus pours to a winery’s tasting flight. I was over the moon excited to try Cedergreen Cellars new Sparkling Chenin Blanc (Pét-Roc frizzante) and was not disappointed!
*Bonus Pour: 2020 Pét-Roc frizzante
Hands down this is my new go-to summer wine. It is fun and fresh with notes of citrus and Jamaican ginger. The Pét-Roc frizzante is very easy to drink and would be perfect on a boat or at the beach ice-cold.
Due to a lack of glass for their Chenin wine bottles, Kevin decided to put the Chenin Blanc through secondary and malolactic fermentation process to produce this amazing frizzante. There was never intent to make this wine off the bat, but as Kevin says, “Necessity can be a wonderful mother of conception.”
A secret subterranean cuvée made from sparkling Chenin Blanc with more minerality than Tourraine tuffeau . Barrel fermented, stirred and stored on the lees for 10 months. Serve well chilled for 2 Bars of spanking, sparkling fun. 5 grams of dosage puts us in an Extra Brut state of mind. We love this wine. Enjoy!
A huge thank you to Cedergreen Cellars for their hospitality. If you would like to visit the tasting room, we encourage you to make a reservation here.
Last but not least, give them a follow on social media or subscribe to their mailing list by using the links below.