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2015 Newsletter

What's behind & what lies ahead

by Managing Partner Ray Goffamavi_pepperbridge_061
     Fourteen years have passed since we harvested our first vintage in 2001.  Many Coin Club members will remember the fun parties we had in the old barrel room at our “log cabin saloon” downtown. Can you believe it has been fourteen years? In that time, despite a tumultuous economy, we’ve built a new tasting room and barrel room. You can still rely on fantastic service by Patty Lynch and her tasting room crew at this location; we look forward to the good times ahead.
     We’ve also updated our label twice. We adopted our original “burnt-edge” label with the 2006 vintage. Our newest rendition debuts with the release of the 2013 & 2014 vintages. The design pays homage to the softly rolling hills that help define the Walla Walla Valley. We feel it also makes the label more contemporary and consistent with our “zen-like” tasting room.  Please let us know what you think! 
     The Pellet, McKibben and Goff families continue to operate the winery. Jean-Francois Pellet continues to masterfully craft the exquisite, award-winning wines. Eric McKibben continues in his role as Director of Finance and Accounting plus managing day-to-day operations.  Dana Lane continues working expertly with Eric to handle the many back office tasks that keep the wineries functioning. Travis Goff has divided her job responsibilities between our new National Sales Manager, Aaron Smith, and Sales and Marketing Coordinator, Ashley Wondra.  Aaron is introducing Amavi wines to new markets as I am writing.  If you like the look and content of this newsletter, Ashley is the one to compliment.  As for Travis, in addition to caring for our newest granddaughter, she continues working with the wineries as Director of Sales and Marketing for our wines in Montana and Yellowstone Park. The Amavi dog, Boots, and I continue to greet and taste wine with our Coin Club members and customers in the new tasting room.  You’ll also see us out and about in the red ’53 Chevy pickup overseeing grounds maintenance at the winery.
     Enough about us.  Thank you for being part of the Amavi story for the last fourteen years!  Please visit us in Walla Walla or Woodinville soon!

the 2014 vintage

december sunset 

One of our favorite Walla Walla Valley wine tastings occurs annually and is organized by the Vineyard Manager, Sadie Drury, of our estate Seven Hills Vineyard. The location of the event changes year-to-year, generally alternating between Leonetti Cellars, Pepper Bridge Winery, and L’EcoleN° 41 (who graciously played host for us this year).

     The premise of this tasting is to invite all the winemakers and viticulturalists who utilized fruit grown within the vineyard to taste each other’s unique and youthful offerings, side-by-side. Tables are set up and then identified by varietal. Within the varietal sections, things are further separated by block. As you can imagine, it’s highly likely that one can end up sampling multiple offerings of the same clone of Cabernet Sauvignon (for example) from the same winemaker, with the same oak program, coming from the same vineyard, but made unique by the individual block from which it was harvested. The difference between the winemakers’ blocks is sometimes nothing short of astounding!
     We were enthusiastically impressed with the overall quality of what we tasted from the 2014 vintage. Bright notes of bold red fruits were heightened with a well balanced level of acidity. Lush tannin structures indicate that these wines will not only be enjoyable upon their release, but will also age gracefully with a bit of cellar time. The first samples of the ‘14 vintage you’ll be seeing from us will be released this May in the form of our Sémillon and Cabernet Franc Rosé. We look forward to sharing them with you soon!

Events Calendar

Click here to view our full events calendar. Olive Marketplace’s food truck will again be located beside the tasting room Friday-Sunday, now through October! And we’ve added a gazebo to the property for your dining pleasure. Reserve a table by emailing or contacting 509-525-3541.


July 10th | September 11th
    Dinner, dancing, and of course wine, all accompanied by music within the vines beside our tasting room. What more could you ask for?!
     Last summer’s event attracted four food trucks and over 150 attendees.  Dancing to the sweet tunes of Gary Winston lasted well into the starlit evening. Due to its immense popularity, we’ve decided to host not one but two Food Truck Nights this year! Bring your friends (or even the family) and join in the fun! Our online events calendar will be updated with trucks and musicians as they become available.
gotr 3

August 14th-15th

     Mumford & Sons. Foo Fighters. The Flaming Lips. Jenny Lewis. Plus many more, live in Walla Walla! Presented by Gentlemen of the Road, this festival is one you won’t want to miss. Not only will this event sell out quickly, but lodging will also be hard to come by – get yours now!
We've purchased a set of tickets (a $400 value!) which will be awarded to the winners of our Concert Contest! Read more about this below...

olive @ amavi is back!

Olive Marketplace’s food truck will again be located beside the tasting room Friday-Sunday, now through October! And we’ve added a gazebo to the property for your dining pleasure. RSVP a table by emailing or contacting 509-525-3541.

Catfish Po'Boy Gazebo 1

Stopover Concert Contest!


Presented by Gentlemen of the Road, this festival is one you won't want to miss - and we want to give tickets to a couple of you music and wine lovers.

Contest rules:

1. Drink our wine or visit our tasting rooms and take some fun pictures.
2. Follow @AmaviCellars on Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook.
3. Post your pictures on your public page (private pages cannot be viewed).
4. Tag your photos with @AmaviCellars
5. Comment on your photo using #AmaviCellars

Winning photo will be randomly selected on 7/15/15. Winners will also receive a private tasting with us here at the winery. We look forward to seeing your entries!

a new face for the new releases


2014 Sémillon

smells like:    honeysuckle, orange blossom, lemon zest, wet stones
tastes like:    granny smith apple, grapefruit, honeydew melon
mouthfeel:    refreshing acidity, rich & balanced structure
drink with:    rich fish & shellfish; spicy dishes

2014 Cabernet Franc Rosé

smells like:    white peach, cherry blossom, wild strawberry
tastes like:    raineer cherry, meyer lemon, watermelon, honeycomb
mouthfeel:    refreshing acidity, dry minerality, lingering finish
drink with:    sharp cheeses, flaky white fish, roasted vegetables, Thanksgiving dinner!

 2013 Syrah

smells like:   blueberry, blackberry, dusty leather, freshly-cracked black pepper
tastes like:   raspberry, black currant, olive tapenade
mouthfeel:   elegant acidity, complex tannin, lengthy finish
drink with:   bbq, roasted lamb or chicken, ratatouille

 2013 Ceres

*Coin Club Exclusive Release; Les Collines Vineyard designate*
smells like:  plum, vanilla bean, coconut shell, clove
tastes like:  caramelied fig, dark cherry, cocoa powder
mouthfeel:  lushly structured tannin, crushed-gravel like minerality
drink with:  pork paella; carne asada tacos, falafel with baba ganoush

An Old Favorite Makes a Sweet Return...

2013 Late Harvest SémillonAmavi_2013 LH Se?millon

Weather in the Walla Walla Valley isn’t typically conducive to producing late harvest and ice wines, but the ‘13 vintage cooperated and we couldn’t be happier. Cool temperatures in early fall allowed for the Sémillon grapes at Les Collines Vineyard to hang long into harvest season. This yielded higher sugar levels while maintaining a beautiful acidity, producing a rich, honey-like texture on the palate. Released in November ‘14, our second-ever release of this beauty is now almost gone. Order yours now, and enjoy it alongside a plate of sharp cheeses or apple tarte tatin!

View more information & purchase here.

Woodinville Happenings

Meet Chris Burnell, Tasting Room Manager

     In case you hadn’t heard, our former Woodinville Tasting Room Manager, Jennifer Clapp, has moved to Walla Walla as Director of Direct to Consumer Sales at Pepper Bridge Winery, and none other than the fabulous Chris Burnell has stepped in to fill her shoes!
     Chris has an extensive background working in all areas of the Washington wine industry, and we couldn’t be happier about this new direction.
Click here to read more about Chris.

We’ve Remodeled

   2015 marks the 5 year anniversary of our Woodinville tasting room. To commemorate the event, we decided to give the place a bit of an update. New paint adorns the walls and an accompanying set of updated furniture yields a fresh new atmosphere.
   If it’s been a while since you’ve visited, we’ve also added plenty of patio seating. Next time you’re in the area, be sure to pack a picnic and cozy on up for what is sure to be an enjoyable tasting experience. 

An Amavi Cellars Love Story

(we helped, or something...)
Amavi Cork Screw
   After an introduction by a matchmaking pal, Ashley and Garrett faced the reality of having a relationship while living 500 miles apart. Because things went so well, however, they decided to meet again the next time Ashley visited town.
   Anxious to see Garrett again, Ashley headed to her friends’ home to meet Garrett prior to their date – armed with a bottle of Amavi Cellars wine to help ease her nerves before their first one-on-one outing.
   Their friends had just moved in to the home, and despite valiant efforts Ashley was unable to find a corkscrew and furthermore enjoy her much desired glass of wine. Garrett stepped in, took the bottle of wine, and disappeared to the garage. He returned bearing a bottle embedded with a screw as well as a crowbar, which he used to effortlessly pry the screw and cork from the bottle.
   The cork, complete with screw intact, became an endearing memento of her first date with the man she would come to marry –  and after finding out what ‘Amavi’ meant, as well as the philosophy with which we produce wine, she shared the story with the guests of her wedding in the form of her wedding toast! She then shared her toast with us after their one year anniversary, which our wines helped celebrate.  We’ll just say tissues were needed...
love  |   life   | wine
To each of these things and endless more, Ashley and Garrett, we ‘cheers’ you. Congratulations!

We look forward to seeing you Soon!