Brian Carter Cellars

Brian Carter, Winemaker

If there is a constant star in the world of Washington wines, that star is Brian Carter. Since his arrival in 1980 to the small Washington wine industry (only sixteen wineries) to today (over 500 wineries and growing weekly), Brian Carter’s influence has helped propel the industry to the international presence it deservedly commands. His involvement as winemaker, consultant, and guide to dozens of wineries has helped elevate Washingtonwines from a regional industry to an international powerhouse. Among Brian’s many accomplishments, he is the only three-time recipient of the Pacific Northwest Enological Society’s Grand Prize.

Brian’s early and natural curiosity lead him to study microbiology at Oregon State University and while there, discovered his appreciation for the wines of Oregon. After two years at University of California-Davis School of Enology, Brian honed his winemaking skill with stints at esteemed California wineries Mount Eden Vineyard and Chateau Montelena before returning to the Pacific Northwest. His first winemaking successes came with Paul Thomas Winery. At a competition held at Windows of the World in New York, Brian’s 1983 Paul Thomas Cabernet outscored most of the wines including a Chateau Lafite-Rothschild.

His early success did not fade. Twice touted as “Winemaker of the Year” by Washington Magazine, Brian’s work at Paul Thomas garnered many more awards, including the Grand Prize from the Pacific Northwest Enological Society for his 1986 Chardonnay. This string of accomplishments led Brian to pursue a career as a consulting winemaker for a series of young wineries including McCrea Cellars, Hedges Family Cellars, Randall Harris, Silver Lake, and many more. Most recently Brian was chosen as the Honored Vintner at the 2007 Auction of Washington Wines.

After years of producing wines for others, Brian created a small production of his own wine “Solesce” in 1997. The initial production of 80 cases, produced at the Apex winery where Brian was residing as winemaker and co-owner, quickly sold out and set the pace for what was to come.

Brian’s passion for winemaking has always been his hallmark. With the introduction of his signature series of wines in 2006, he completed one aspect of his outstanding career and began another. “It’s great to see my passion for blended wines transformed into these new European- style blends using Washington State grapes,” he says. 

The Brian Carter Collection epitomizes his commitment to quality, taste, and terroir. The six European-style blended wines are the culmination of his years as a premier Washington winemaker. With his connections to the best vineyards in the state, he is able to source the perfect grapes from the best growers in Washington to help achieve his vision of wines with balance, dimension, and depth. This collection marks the beginning of a new phase in an already amazing career and an exciting new direction for Washington winemaking.

Brian Carter, Winemaker