Last week on Facebook, I noticed that Sleight of Hand Cellars and Tero Estates were celebrating their Tenth Anniversaries, both having been founded in 2007. Here's how they started.
In 2007, Trey Busch was the winemaker at Basel Cellars when he got together with Jerry and Sandy Solomon to start Sleight of Hand Cellars. The marketing concept was eye catching labels of magicians creating their illusions, and fine winemaking. In 2011, S of H moved from a downtown storefront location to its present one on JB George Road. An additional barrel room was added in 2014 and the winery's capacity is now close to 9000 cases. As fans of Pop Rock, especially Pearl Jam, the team's motto is "Good wine, and music, and lots of fun, that's the recipe for the Sleight of Hand lifestyle."
In 2006, Doug and Jan Roskelley and Mike Tembruell got together to form TR Wines (Tembreull and Roskelley) and in June 2007 the Hendricks Windrow Vineyard in the South Valley, adjacent to Seven Hills,was purchased. Subsequently, the two names were combined into one brand name, Tero Estates. Doug had previous experience making wine in Woodinville with John Bigelow and the Tero launch was off to a quick start. In 2010, the Flying Trout brand was added and later, Waters. Today, there are two tasting rooms, one on Peppers Bridge Road (Flying Trout, Waters) and the other at the Marcus Whitman Hotel.
This year also marks another tenth anniversary of sorts. In March of 2007, Lynn and I stopped in Walla Walla on our way home to Seattle from skiing in Idaho. We visited several wineries and became attracted to the Walla Walla Valley lifestyle. In December we looked at houses for part-time living in Walla Walla and purchased a renovated 1906 craftsman near downtown in January 2008. Later that year, I started the Review of Washington Wines and in 2013, we moved to Walla Walla to live full time.
The significance of these anniversaries is that it was around 2007 and in the following years that winemaking in the Walla Walla Valley saw tremendous growth and consumer awareness. Since then, Walla Walla has become a a mecca for wine lovers.