For over 35 years, Brian Carter has been mixing it up: Old World traditions with Northwest fruit, 6 Washington AVAs with 12 different vineyards, and complex wine blends combined with the casual, friendly atmosphere of a little yellow tasting room in Woodinville’s Hollywood District.
The story of Brian Carter Cellars reads like the history of Washington and Woodinville wines. Arriving in Washington State in 1980, Carter’s passion for creating European-style blends was a major influence in broadening the range of varietals grown in the state. After making wine for several Washington vintners throughout the 80’s and 90’s, he started his own label in 1997, opening his Woodinville tasting room in 2005. 2015 marked the tenth anniversary of Brian Carter Cellars in Woodinville, but it was just the first in a series of celebratory milestones for the winery.
Last year saw Carter pull off the Triple Crown of Northwest winemaking with best of show honors in three different competitions. Their 2011 Opulento dessert wine topped the Seattle Wine & Food Experience, while their 2009 Solesce, a Bordeaux-style red, took home the best wine award at both the Washington State Wine Competition and the Northwest Wine Summit. And to top off 2015, Wine Press Northwest named Brian Carter Cellars their Washington Winery of the Year.
After more than three decades of superb winemaking, the accolades have been a long time coming. More than almost any other vintner, Brian Carter has dedicated himself to the art and science of combining classic, Old World winemaking with the unique terroir of Eastern Washington. Inspired by regions like Bordeaux, the Rhône Valley, Tuscany, Spain and Portugal, his red and white blends form a perfect marriage of old and new, classic and contemporary, tradition and inspiration.
And the blending doesn’t end in the bottle. What one hears over and over from the culinary crowd is how well these wines complement food—which should come as no surprise given their European lineage. With that in mind, the delicious combinations of Brian Carter blends and the cuisine and company you choose to pair them with should be almost endless.