Making Fine Wine to Create Shared Memories
After many years in the high-tech industry we never dreamed we would take our passion for wine to create William Church Winery. But start it we did in 2005 when we decided to take our garage based winemaking efforts to a higher level. Seattle natives (and WSU Cougars) we started to look into where to establish a winery and were happy to find a booming wine industry practically in our backyard in Woodinville. One of the original eight “warehouse” wineries, we joined a small group of passionate winemakers and began our journey! We were founded on the idea that fine wine can fit into the fabric of life and be a part of creating lasting shared memories which really came from the impression made on us during our honeymoon in Italy where life and wine seemed intertwined in such a simple and meaningful way. Nothing makes us happier than to hear the stories of those who have enjoyed our wines in so many different settings.
Winemaker – Noah Fox Reed
Noah has been involved with making fine wines in Washington for over 10 years. He spent six years at Northstar Winery and worked in a number of other prominent wineries as an intern and assistant. He graduated from the Walla Walla Community College viticulture and enology program; learning firsthand how to work with Washington grapes. He has traveled extensively among the wine regions of the world including time in Australia. He brings a wealth of knowledge to William Church and shares our devotion for making exceptional wines using old world winemaking techniques.
We focus on traditional old world style winemaking with limited use of new oak that makes the wines approachable at release with the acidity to pair well with food. We start with grapes that are hand harvested and transported to Woodinville in refrigerated trucks. Gentle winemaking techniques are used throughout the process that includes punchdowns by hand during fermentation. We do not filter our red wines but often use traditional fining techniques. Our goal is to create rich, balanced wines with intense varietal character that reflect the origins of the vineyard. We use a combination of established vineyards along with some up and coming newcomers.
Name & Label
The name William Church comes from both our fathers’ names. Rod’s father’s first name was William and Church is Leslie’s father’s middle name. The middle name Church was his mother’s maiden name and has been used as a middle name for many family members. We decided to name our winery after these important men that influenced our lives and to acknowledge the importance of our family in everything we do.
Our label includes a representation of a rose window made famous in 13th century French Gothic cathedrals. We wanted to use this symbol of completeness and balance to represent what we strive to achieve in our wines. It also signifies to us the historic roots of classic French wine making.
William Church Winery was established in 2005. Our winery is located in an office park in northern Woodinville, Washington, along with a host of other wineries. Better known as the “Warehouse Winery District,” this is where many of Woodinville’s newest, most exciting wineries can be found. We also have a tasting room in the Hollywood Schoolhouse District that is open every day during the summer months and most days the rest of the year.
The inspiration for William Church Winery came about to honor and acknowledge the legacy of our families on both sides. We are dedicated to making wine that is inviting and approachable, that is great with food but can stand alone, and perhaps most important, contains the complexity and structure found in truly great wine. The rose window design from French Gothic architecture signifies the beauty, completeness, and balance we strive to achieve.
We currently produce 2800 cases of nine different wines at our winery in Woodinville. Detailed tasting notes can be found on the “Wines” page of our website. We hope you will join us at our casual and fun tasting room where the goal is to gather and talk and where kids and dogs are always welcome.
Thank you for your interest in William Church Winery.
Red Willow Vineyard
One of the oldest and most iconic vineyards in the state, the first wine grapes were planted in 1973 under the direction of WSU renowned viticulturist and researcher, Dr. Walter Clore. Owned and operated for more than forty years by Mike Sauer, Red Willow remains a family operation catering to many of the top wineries in Washington. The vineyard is located on the Yakama Indian Reservation, on steep south-facing slopes in the Cascade foothills, in the Yakima Valley AVA. We source Syrah from Les Vignes de Marcoux a newer planting named after Mike Sauer’s mother. This 60 acre vineyard slopes south and south east with an elevation range of 1100-1300 feet. It has its own unique characteristics especially for Syrah so we are pleased to use these grapes in our limited quantity Syrah.
Run by long time fruit farmers Roger and Bob Gamache this is a remote, gentle southern slope on the eastern ridge of White Bluff overlooking the Basin City floor and flowing into the Ringold area on the Columbia River. When the Gamache’s put their first vines in the ground in 1982, there were less than two dozen wineries in Washington State. Nearly 30 years of grape growing has given the brothers an appreciation for the unique expression of the site. By gently nurturing their vines in keeping with the climate, soil and rhythm of the seasons, Bob and Roger grow grapes with pure varietal character and a deep sense of place. We source both Viognier and Malbec from this vineyard. The Malbec vines are some of the oldest in the state and you can taste the difference in our Malbec and Sur La Mer Bordeaux Style Blend.
Conner Lee Vineyards
We have sourced our Viognier from this well respected vineyard since our first vintage in 2005. Known for its Cabernet Sauvignon as well as the white grapes it produces, Connor Lee Vineyard was planted in the early 1980’s. The vineyard is located at the upper east end of the Wahluke Slope on sandy glacial marine sediments left by the Missoula floods of the Pleistocene. A cooler site with great temperature variations, the vines ripen slowly and have a longer hang time to develop deep, rich flavors. The balance of fruit and acidity that comes off this vineyard contributes a great deal to our Viognier.
Dineen Vineyards is located in the Yakima Valley AVA just north of the city of Zillah. A unique hill-top area that is especially well suited for growing premium wine grapes. We appreciate the partnership we have developed with this vineyard to provide input during the growing season and keep yields low to develop maximum flavors. The vineyard is known for producing wines with medium tannins and deep rich color and we source both Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from Dineen. Shallow soil means the vines have to reach into the volcanic rubble for nourishment which adds earthy, mineral elements that result in wines with exceptional character.
Lewis Vineyard is located Southeast of Prosser in the Yakima Valley AVA. While getting very hot in the summer Lewis Vineyard has the distinction of a higher elevation, with a gentle southern slope allowing the cool air to flow away from the vineyard. This allows the vineyard to be a late harvest with extended fruit hang time. Developing flavors that cannot be achieved in other areas of the AVA. We source Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from Lewis Vineyards.
Located on Red Mountain, Ambassador Vineyards was planted in 2005 and 2006 and is managed by Dick Boushey, one of the most widely respected growers in Washington. Ambassador is new to our selected set of vineyards and is next to some of the most famous Red Mountain sites, such as Ciel Du Cheval and Col Solare. Hot, dry and windy the Red Mountain AVA produces some of the best grapes in Washington State, often distinguished by their big tannins and powerful dark fruit. We are sourcing Cabernet Sauvignon from this vineyards steep sloping south block.