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Driven by shared passion for wine & business excellence, a unique partnership Opens Avennia Winery in Woodinville
Chris Peterson, former DeLille winemaker, & Microsoft vet Marty Taucher join forces
WOODINVILLE, Wash. (Nov. 17, 2011) – On the face of it, Marty Taucher and Chris Peterson don’t appear to have a lot in common except perhaps for a mutual admiration of Miles Davis and Radiohead. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that they both have a shared passion for beautiful wine and a knack for building world-class brands.
Taucher, a well-known technology marketing expert, spent 15 years at Microsoft where he helped launch some of the company’s most iconic brands. Peterson has been instrumental in making some of Washington’s most iconic wines during an eight-year stint on the winemaking team at DeLille Cellars.
Flash forward to today. Peterson and Taucher have blended their business experiences with that shared passion for wine to form the unique partnership behind Avennia, a boutique winery located in the heart of Woodinville’s winery warehouse district.
According to Peterson, Avennia is inspired by the Roman name for the city of Avignon and signifies the heart of Old World winemaking,.
“Our goal is to make wines that evoke clarity: clarity of place, clarity of type and clarity of purpose,” he said. “Avennia are wines with a voice that express Washington terroir through Old World techniques and created in the most exacting fashion possible.”
Avennia also embodies a partnership that blends world-class experience in winemaking and brand creation.
While at Microsoft, Taucher served as director of public relations during a time when the company launched the original version of Microsoft Office and version 3.0 of the Windows operating system. He left the company in the late 1990s to pursue other interests, among them a growing interest in wine. That led him to the enology program at South Seattle Community College and eventually to an internship at DeLille, where he met Peterson.
Peterson joined DeLille after graduating from the prestigious enology & viticulture program at Walla Walla Community College, where he studied under legendary wine educator Stan Clarke. During his time at DeLille, Peterson helped the winery grow from 5,000 to 12,000 cases annually and helped create seven new brands. He also was a key part of the winemaking team that made two of Wine Spectators’ top 100 wines in the world, the ’04 D2 and the ’05 Doyenne Aix.
“As Chris and I talked about the possibility of working together, we found that we have shared visions for what Washington wine could be as well as building a successful business in a very tough industry,” said Taucher, Avennia’s managing partner. “Simply put, Avennia will be artistic and elegant, both in its brand and its wines, but more importantly, it will be based on smart business underpinnings.”
Avennia’s inaugural vintage, scheduled for release in September 2012, will feature two 2010 vintage Rhone-style blends and a 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. In early 2013, Avennia will release two additional wines – a pair of 2010 vintage Bordeaux-style blends. Avennia’s first year production will be approximately 1,000 cases.
Peterson said Avennia is sourcing its fruit through contracts with some of the best vineyards in the Yakima Valley and Red Mountain AVAs – Red Willow, Sagemoor, Boushey and Klipsun. “We are fortunate that these growers of this caliber have been willing to work with our start-up venture,” Peterson said.
“Like any new business, we are faced with a variety of complex challenges that can’t be solved simply by throwing money at them,” Taucher said. “We think of it not just as spending money, but investing it correctly in our grapes, our facility and our brand.”
Consumers interested in Avennia can learn more about the inaugural and future releases by signing up at www.avennia.com. The winery will distribute wine directly to its mailing list subscribers and to select wine specialty stores and restaurants, Taucher said.