Brian Carter Cellars

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Brian Carter Cellars
February 14, 2019

Meet our Employee
Kim Underwood

If you have visited the tasting room recently, you probably have met Kim’s bright smile behind the tasting bar. 

What is your favorite part about your job? 
I love the opportunity to share my passion for wine with our customers. Taking customers on a trip around the world with Brian's wines and describing the styles they reflect is one of the best parts of my job. I love the chance to create a unique and fun experience for each customer, which most typically involves adopting one of my specially customized accents to describe the wines. The great group of people at BCC is the icing on the proverbial cake, or perhaps more appropriately, the cheese to enjoy with the wine!

What attracted you to work for Brian Carter Cellars?
Brian Carter is a pioneer in the Washington wine world and remains someone who is highly respected amongst his peers and those who know his wines. Who wouldn't relish the opportunity to work with one of the best winemakers in Washington!

What is your favorite Brian Carter Wine?
Ask anyone in the tasting room - it is no secret that I have a very special place in my heart for Corrida.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I'm addicted to traveling and am always planning my next adventure. Most recently, I was in Ireland, a beautiful country which exceeded my expectations. I love to be active and spend time hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, scuba diving and walking my pups with my husband. We have a cabin in Mazama (the Methow Valley) where I get the opportunity to do a lot of my favorite things.

What would people be surprised to know about you?
Couldn't decide between the fact that I was on the drill team in high school or that I am an attorney. I guess the fact that I'm an attorney is more surprising since anyone who knows me probably figures I am the type who would have been the goofy girl on the drill team.

Tell us a little bit about your family?
My husband is originally from England. Although beer is his favorite beverage, he is a willing participant in my many wine escapades. I have two beautiful daughters; my eldest is a project manager for a digital presentation design company in Seattle while my youngest is in her second year of law school in San Diego. #proudmama, my family, also includes two wonderful pups - a Siberian Husky and a rescue "mutt" that my daughter says reminds her of the street dogs she would see while traveling in Mexico.

Feb 14, 2019 at 1:13 PM
Brian Carter Cellars
January 3, 2019

Happy New Year! It is time to look back on the year as Brian Carter Cellars wraps up 2018 on a successful note. Brian Carter shared his thoughts on his 39th harvest in Washington State.

“What a year,” said Carter, winemaker and managing partner of Brian Carter Cellars in Woodinville WA, “the 2018 harvest which is safely in the barrel and is one of the best I can remember, this year’s wines have great balance and fruit, with the reds showing particularly well with dark color and ripe, rounded tannins.”

This year, Brian Carter Cellars took home the following top honors:

  • “Winery of Distinction” Award - Northwest Wine Summit
  • Best of Category and Gold - Northwest Wine Summit for the 2013 Le Coursier, 2013 Solesce, 2013 Ace, and 2015 Opulento. 
  • “Best of Show” - Washington State Wine Awards for the 2017 Abracadabra Rosé
  • Double Gold - Washington State Wine Awards for the 2014 Trentenaire
  • “Top 50 Wines $30-and-under” - Seattle Times Pacific NW Magazine for the 2015 Abracadabra Red and 2015 Opulento.
  • Double Gold – Seattle Wine Awards for the 2013 ACE, 2013 Le Coursier, and 2016 Oriana
  • Jefferson Cup Nominee and Double Gold – Jefferson Cup Wine Invitational for the 2014 Solesce
  • Best of Class and Gold – Cascadia Wine Competition for the 2015 Abracadabra Red
  • Double Gold - Cascadia Wine Competition for the 2015 Opulento
  • Best of Class & Double Gold – Tri-Cities Wine Festival for the 2014 Byzance
  • Double Gold – Tri-Cities Wine Festival for the 2015 Opulento

Brian Carter Cellars was also honored with 8 Double Golds, 12 Golds, 30 Silver, and 14 Bronze medals in 2018, receiving a total of 70 medals.

“We are deeply honored to have Brian Carter Cellars chosen for these highly competitive awards. Along with the many honors we have received, this a great tribute to the Washington growers who provide us with such exceptional grapes and to my hardworking staff who continue to contribute to making Brian Carter Cellars great”, said Carter.

Brian Carter, Winemaker

Jan 3, 2019 at 2:25 PM
Brian Carter Cellars
December 3, 2018

Meet our Employees
Arielle Moule
Wine Club Manager

We would like to congratulate and introduce our new Wine Club Manager, Arielle Moule.  If you have visited the tasting room, you probably have already met Arielle’s bright smile behind the tasting bar. She has been a valuable member of our team since August and ready to help make the Brian Carter Wine Club something special for all of our members.  If you have any questions, Arielle can be reached at the tasting room or via email at wineclub@briancartercellars.com.

What is your favorite part about your job? 
I truly love how many new people I meet every day. It’s a fantastic Tasting Room right in the heart of Woodinville Wine Country, so there are always customers coming and going. It’s great to hear stories, find out where people have traveled from, and get to know new faces, as well as see the Club members too. What better way to meet new people than over a wine tasting?

What attracted you to work for Brian Carter Cellars?
I have been a fan of Brian Carter Cellars wines for years and was thrilled to learn that there was a position available. The staff here is like a family, and such a fun environment to be in, I couldn't think of a better way to be involved.

What is your favorite Brian Carter Wine?
That's like picking a child! I think my go-to favorite is Corrida. I love the earthy quality, with lots of dusty, dry gravel notes mixed with perfect spice and dark fruit.it Reminds me of the mountain paths of Northern Spain, and it’s a perfect glass on a chilly Autumn evening.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to garden. I’m always trying to pawn off extra veggies to the Brian Carter staff, I also love to cook and make pickles. I also love to read about history and travel and collect books from around the world.  

What would people be surprised to know about you?
I’m pretty quiet and shy most of the time. There's something about my passion for this wine that brings out this other side of me! It’s nice to tap into that, especially working with such other enthusiastic people.

Tell us a little bit about your family?
I grew up outside of Philadelphia, PA. I’m an only child, and my mother is a Dean at a Girl’s School in New Jersey. She and I are very close. We can trace our family tree back to 1258 AD in England, and we love to collect old family records. I moved out to Washington seven years ago to pursue the world of wine. I have two cats, Nyla and Pooh, and live in Mill Creek. 

Dec 3, 2018 at 1:30 PM
Brian Carter Cellars
November 25, 2018

Port is the most recognizable name in fortified dessert wines. In 2007, Brian Carter started a project to produce a great port-style wine in Washington. Working with the Newhouse family on Snipes Mountain in the Yakima Valley, we planted the Portuguese varieties Touriga Nacional, Souzao, Tinto Cão and Tinto Roriz (also known as Tempranillo) - the finest port varieties used to make the great fortified dessert wines of Portugal.

Hailing from the Douro River Valley in northwest Portugal, Port was originally created in the 18th century by the British who experimented with adding brandy to still red wines, fortifying them to stabilize them for the extended voyage across the Bay of Biscay and up the coast of France to England.

Most port-style wines have a semi-sweet to the notably sweet taste profile. Brian Carter Cellars Opulento is no different showing the intensity of fruit with a deep impenetrable garnet color, with aromas of raspberry, cherry, and chocolate with hints of almond and orange peel. On the palate, this wine has opulent flavors of chocolate and berry fruits with a perfectly balanced and satisfyingly sweet finish. The sweetness in the wine comes from the brandy that is added during fermentation, which halts the fermentation process, leaving some sugar behind.

Serve with your favorite dark chocolate dessert, such as our Flourless Chocolate Cake


Flourless Chocolate Cake

•   8 oz unsalted butter
•   8 oz bittersweet chocolate
•   1 Tbls cocoa powder
•   1 cup white sugar
•   5 eggs, separated
•   1 cup slivered almonds ground till fine or
•   1 cup almond flour

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease 9” springform pan with butter or pan spray and set aside.

Melt butter, chocolate, and cocoa powder either in a double boiler over water or in a microwave. Mix together till homogenous. Beat 5 egg yolks with sugar till pale yellow. Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture and mix well. Add ground almonds (or almond flour) and mix.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites till stiff. Gently fold whites into chocolate mixture.

Pour batter into prepared springform pan and bake at 350˚F for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Remove from oven and slide a knife around the inside of springform to separate cake from pan to eliminate center of cake falling.  Allow to cool.

When ready to serve, remove the jacket from springform pan and slice into 16 servings, as the cake is incredibly rich.  Serve with raspberry purée or fresh raspberries and whipped cream.  The perfect dessert served with Brian Carter Cellars Opulento!

Nov 25, 2018 at 10:31 AM
Brian Carter Cellars
November 12, 2018

Meet our Employees
Jenny Schaening

Jenny Schaening is Brian Carter Cellar’s Tasting Room Manager and is always ready with a smile and ready to create the perfect wine tasting experience for you. If you have any questions about our tasting room, you can contact Jenny at info@briancartercellars.com

What is your favorite part about your job? 
I began by volunteering with Brian Carter Cellars during crush season in 2009 while I was working in the tasting room at Columbia Winery. I quickly became hooked with learning everything there was to know about wine production and went on to complete two years of study at the NW Wine Academy. In 2012 I was offered a position at Brian Carter Cellars working in the tasting room and was promoted to Tasting Room Manager in 2017. I continue to get my hands dirty during crush as often as Brian will let me.

What attracted you to work for Brian Carter Cellars?
Meeting the customers that come through our door from all walks of life. I love working with my staff - they are super energetic, passionate about wine and a joy to have on the team.

What is your favorite Brian Carter Wine?
I would have to say Trentenaire, which I consider the most unique wine in Brian’s portfolio. With the main grape variety being Petit Verdot it also includes four other Bordeaux varieties. Big, bold, inky, slightly tannic and beautiful in its bouquet. I adore wine that you can sink your teeth into!

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I am all about cooking, enjoying great wine, spending time with my family and friends and listening to fun eclectic music! I would consider myself a culinary adventurer. Always up for exploring new cuisines, mastering recipes and creating some of my own. Sharing my cooking with others is one of my greatest passions.

What would people be surprised to know about you?
I have a BFA and an MA in graphic design and photography. My first job was dressing up as an elf and taking holiday pictures of unhappy kids on Santa’s lap.

Tell us a little bit about your family?
We are Michigan natives that transplanted to this beautiful state in 2004. I have three grown children, a wonderful husband, and a very active mini-Aussie named Audie. The rest of my extended family still live in Michigan, so I am a frequent mid-west visitor. I consider Seattle my home.

Nov 12, 2018 at 11:14 AM
Brian Carter Cellars
November 7, 2018

Wine Pairings for Thanksgiving
What will you be serving with your Thanksgiving dinner?

Question: Red or White? - A good and simple strategy for Thanksgiving wine is to offer a great bottle of each to allow your guests their choice. Plus, it's a good opportunity to introduce your guests to something new that they might not have tried before.

For a white wine, look for a wine with well-balanced acidity. The Oriana is the perfect choice for those prefer traditional white wines. With its seductive aromas and perfect balance, it’s popularity just keeps soaring. Oriana is a richly aromatic wine, resplendent with tangerine, apricot, ripe pear and apple with touches of honey and anise. Crisp acidity greets the palate while mouth-filling fruit flavors linger making this an excellent companion to any Thanksgiving table.

For reds, look for soft tannins that will yield to and blend with your dishes and will delight most red wine lovers without overpowering lighter turkey flavors. The ripeness of the 2013 Byzance with its complex nose of bright red cherries, tar, and white pepper. The wine explodes in your mouth with lots of bright fruit and finishes with a long slightly earthy mineral note. A great balance and a hint of tannin make this wine a great match for a wide range of foods, including your mother-in-law’s stuffing recipe.

Ending on a Sweet Note - Well, what pairs with traditional Thanksgiving desserts like Pumpkin or Pecan Pie? We suggest a glass of Opulento. Deep impenetrable garnet color, with aromas of raspberry, cherry, and chocolate with hints of almond and orange peel. On the palate, this wine has opulent flavors of chocolate and berry fruits with a perfectly balanced and satisfyingly sweet finish.   

Nov 7, 2018 at 10:56 AM
Brian Carter Cellars
November 6, 2018

Grapes are in! It is time to look back at the harvest and see what happened. Another memorable harvest indeed. A successful one, my 39th in Washington State. While the wines are certainly not finished, I am happy to say that 2018 was a good one for Brian Carter Cellars and Washington State. The flavors are really nice across almost all varieties. It was a warmer year which favored the varieties that like basking in the heat such as Cabernet Sauvignon. Just to put the heat in perspective: while 2018 was warmer than average, it was not in the record-setting league of 2015. 2018 was in terms of heat pretty close to 2017.  The hot summer got harvest started a week earlier than normal, but a moderate September and October temperatures gave us good hang time on most of our fruit. Harvest finished at the end of October which is pretty normal. We did have some rain this year, which caused us to cancel several pickings in October, but it did not last long and did not seem to have a significant effect on quality.

Quantity wise, yields were pretty close to expected in most vineyards.  I worked with each grower to assure we had a modest yield while supplying what we needed.  In total we crushed about 160 tons and just under 100 tons for Brian Carter Cellars, the balance being for our custom clients. This puts Brian Carter Cellars production a bit higher than the 2017 harvest and almost exactly what we did in 2016.

Again, the wines are tasting good. The white and rosé wines are fruit forward with some weight; the reds are dark in color and have good varietal character and balance. The tannins in the Bordeaux varieties are there but have a nice ripe smoothness.  More to come as the wines get finished; I can’t wait until the spring when I start blending!

Brian Carter, Winemaker

Nov 6, 2018 at 2:47 PM
Brian Carter Cellars
October 10, 2018

Hello Friends,

Thank you to all of you who have donated so far to my "Real Men Wear Pink" campaign, raising both consciousness and funds for breast cancer research. Today is my 5th day of wearing pink at the winery, the shirts are getting splashed with lots of grape juice and stems from the clusters. You can follow my daily sartorial photos on Instagram!

There are still 26 days left in the "Real Men Wear Pink" campaign, and I grateful to all of you who have donated. I'm hoping to inspire those who haven't donated yet to dig down and give!  

We currently have a donor of $3,165 who is in the lead for the five-course wine dinner for six at Karen's home.  We have a $2000 donation that is in line for receiving the six-year vertical of Solesce, and we have two folks in line for the private tasting at Brian Carter Cellars with food and some treats from Brian's private library. Plus, there are 37 $100 raffle tickets sold so far that are vying for the Jeroboam of Solesce.

Now is the time to up the ante for anyone who wants to compete for the wine dinner or the six-bottle vertical. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month; please give by the end of the month to make your donation count! 

Come by the tasting room and see the daily collection of my photos in PINK, or feel free to visit the winery any time in October to see me in person in PINK!

With kind thanks,
Brian Carter, Winemaker

Click here to visit my PERSONAL page

If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address: 
http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?px=48055692&pg=personal&fr_id=90506&s_locale=en_US&et=Qz-n6wpzHhBrm9NJ0-WHMg

Oct 10, 2018 at 11:57 AM
Brian Carter Cellars
September 11, 2018

We recently received a great article from a local wine writer about our first dedication release, "ACE" ~ Enjoy!


Ace is a tribute wine to Brian Carter’s beloved Grandpa, Nick Carter. It is also the first offering of an annual release; The Dedication Series; inspired by people who have contributed to Brian’s life directly. Therefore, the bar is set high for “Ace”.

Nick Carter learned to fly before he drove a car. He and his parents paid for flight school; even though they didn’t have a plane. It finally arrived . . . in a box! After assemblage, they melted the engines twice. The third time was the charm because they switched from aluminum pistons to steel. Nick was first to volunteer to fly with the instructor. They almost crash-landed on a beach. The instructor was so shaken, he quit on the spot.

Nick didn’t quit. He went on to fly hundreds of missions out of France and was awarded The Distinguished Service Cross and other medals for winning 17-0. He lived on to give Brian many best memories from boyhood. Nick is pictured on “Ace”; in uniform, standing next to his tri winged plane. You can see his swag; so it’s fitting his wine would be a Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah blend that was popularized in Australia; where swag is in men’s DNA.

When I decanted “Ace”, I expected it to be boldly flavored . . . but not immediately! Usually, I decant for an hour or sometimes a day, if it needs it. It allows the fruit and secondary traits to surface and have a chance to blend. After only 30 minutes, I stopped decanting; to save the pleasure of unfolding components to be enjoyed over dinner. There is no meltdown in Ace. Its flavors are solid to the last drop. Its immediate gratification makes it a good choice for opening on short notice; like in a restaurant.

I imagine Brian gave a lot of extra effort to “Ace” to best eulogize his beloved Grandpa, as well as to set the bar high for his first Dedication Series bottle. Suppose you wanted to honor through your art, a person you love deeply. How would you that, compose the music, or write the poem? You would spare nothing, bringing your best to it. That worked for Brian. He recently won Double Gold Medal and Best of Class for “Ace”.

It was at the Northwest Wine Summit; the largest competition for exclusively Northwest wines. He won so many medals there (12 across varieties and blends) that they judged him THE 2018 Winery of Distinction out of the 320 wineries considered.

That is why you need to stop in at Brian Carter’s Woodinville tasting room or simply buy a bottle of his at your local wine store. Brian Carter Cellars has had more huge wins than ever, since 2015. That is when he was named Washington’s Winery Of The Year by Winepress NW. Since then, everything is coming up Aces.

~ Scot Overturf 

 

Scot Overturf, sommelier in Seattle. Overturf is a longtime wine expert, judge, and writer in the greater Seattle market. He has written for publications around Washington for several years.

Sep 11, 2018 at 12:40 PM
Brian Carter Cellars
August 13, 2018

Dear Friends,

I am participating in the American Cancer Society’s “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign this year to help raise funds for the fight against breast cancer. I am doing this both because I believe the ACS has and is making a huge difference in the battle to save the lives of women from breast cancer, and also because my life has been personally touched by this disease: my older sister is a breast cancer survivor.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in American women who currently have a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with an invasive form of breast cancer, and 41,000 women will die of breast cancer in 2018.  By raising awareness about prevention and early diagnosis, as well as providing caretaking, free transportation and reduced hotel rates for patients receiving treatment, the ACS helps both patients and caretakers.  The ACS has funded $46 billion in cancer research since 1946 and currently has $62 million currently invested in breast cancer research. This has helped the death rate from breast cancer drop by 39% between 1989 and 2015 which translates to saving 322,6000 lives.

I am reaching out to you, my community of personal, business and wine-loving friends and professionals to help me, the ACS and all women who have been or could potentially be affected by this disease to contribute to my “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign. I will be wearing pink every day for the month of October and you are all welcome to visit me in the winery as proof! Any amount you can contribute is gratefully accepted, I offer some extra motivation for you to dig deeper…

  • For each $100 contributed, you will get a ticket for a raffle to win a Jeroboam (3L) of our most highly coveted wine, Solesce. The winner will be announced at the end of the campaign.
  • The third biggest donor to my campaign which requires a minimum bid of $250 will enjoy a private tasting at Brian Carter Cellars for 6 persons. I will personally lead you through the wines and will provide some special food pairings to bring out the best in the wines. Expect some special library treats.​
  • The second highest donor which requires a minimum bid of $500 will receive a 6-bottle vertical of Brian Carter Cellars Solesce including 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012, all sold out and highly sought after.
  • The top donor with a minimum donation of $1,500 will enjoy a dinner for 6 at my darling Karen’s home on Portage Bay (several of you can band together for this one!).  Karen and I will offer 5 courses expertly paired with wines from Brian and Karen’s cellars, both vintage Brian Carter Cellars wines as well as European wines.

Click here to visit my PERSONAL page

If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address: 
http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?px=48055692&pg=personal&fr_id=90506&s_locale=en_US&et=Qz-n6wpzHhBrm9NJ0-WHMg

You can also follow me on Instagram! Spread the word and the posts…the more folks who are involved the greater is our impact!

Kind thanks in advance,
Brian Carter, Winemaker

Aug 13, 2018 at 8:33 AM