The NEXT generation of Washington wine, COR Cellars is an exciting young winery producing high end Bordeaux varietal reds, Alsatian style Gewurztraminer / Pinot Gris blends and Friulian varietals in the Columbia Gorge AVA. We aim to showcase Washingt
Fair, 71° F
Picnic Area, Retail Sales, Tasting Room
Hours of Operation
THURS-SUN 11AM-6PM Open Year Round excepting crazy winter weather events!
Open to the Public
Yearly Production (in cases)
2011 ALBA COR
2009 Cabernet Franc
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
2010 Petit Verdot
COR Cellars was started in 2005 by Luke Bradford. After working in the Val D'Orcia in southern Tuscany for Tenuta di Trinoro and then on Mt Etna in Sicily for Passopisciaro from 2000-2002, Luke returned to Washington and went to work as assistant winemaker for Wind River Cellars and then Syncline Wine Cellars in the Columbia River Gorge.
Seeing the enormous potential in Washington fruit, Luke embarked on his own and sourced Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Merlot in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA, and Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris in the Columbia Gorge AVA. He also planted a small vineyard at the winery which is comprised of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Friulano.
Moving into a renovated facility in Lyle, WA in 2006, COR Cellars now makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo, MOMENTUM (red Bordeaux blend), ALBA(Pinot Gris/Gewurztraminer) and the Old Hwy series of wines (Merlot based red and Friulano based white)
As a young winemaker, Luke was exposed to the great wines of Bordeaux and the Mosel and fell in love with the idea that in Washington he could make both! Our initial effort went into site selection and the process of matching varietals to sites around the state that matched the idea of distinctive wines which accurately reflect the state. As we grew we incorporated more and more sites and at the present we work with 8 growers and over 10 vineyard sites. Since we have sites all around Washington state our harvest is spread out from the beginning of September until the end of October. As the grapes are brought in we ferment each lot separately and then run them into barrels or small tanks and keep each lot independent throughout the following winter. The following Spring, blending decisions are made, red wines are run into barrels with the final blends intact and the whites are bottled young and fresh to retain their fruit and youthfulness. For our younger released red wines (MOMENTUM) we do final blending in the late Spring and the first red wines are bottled before the following winter. Our longer aged reds (Cabernet Sauvignon) remain in barrel for an additional winter and then are bottled the next spring.
Throughout the winemaking process, we aim to be as low impact as possible, using gravity when we can and handling the wines as few times as we can to raise them up into their maturity. Our goal is to have the wine in bottle represent the youthful energy and enthusiasm that we feel for winemaking and to try and relate this to the consumer by presenting the wines young but ready to drink. We produce wines as companions to food, and feel the greatest expression is when you can share them with a great meal and all your best friends. It is in this spirit that we were initially enamored by winemaking and the message that we are trying to convey is that wine is for enjoyment and to enhance the act of eating and talking and the interchange of ideas.
We are farming organically and incorporating biodynamics into our estate vineyard. We are also focusing on corkless closures, becoming one of the first Washington wineries to use glass stoppers.