Olympic Cellars Winery has gone through many changes over the years. We’ve changed owners, location and winemakers but through it all we’ve maintained a deep love and respect for our heritage.
The winery was founded in the late 1970s by Gene Neuharth. At that time there was no wine.com where you could order a new tank and have it shipped within two days. He had to build his equipment. To this day we still use the 375 gallon stainless steel fermentation tanks that he built.
Every fall when we pull them out of storage for cleaning just prior to harvest, I’m reminded of our history and feel the connection to our past.
Our current winemaker Greg Vogtritter came to us from Kennewick, Washington through a somewhat circuitous route. He became interested in winemaking while working as a fine art photographer creating a calendar of winemakers.
The artistry of winemaking appealed to him. So, he took some classes and gained experience working at the WInemakers Loft and Sun River Vintners.
We were working with a consulting winemaker but really needed someone in house. Greg was looking to move out to the Olympic Peninsula and a mutual friend put us in touch with each other. He has now been with us since the harvest of 2013.
Greg has added some really great wines to our repertoire. He created a Port-style wine we’re calling Sailing Moon. He also brought Tempranillo and Souzao grapes to our cellar creating a Winemaker’s Select wine we call Neuharth’s Legacy. When Maria Neuharth, Gene’s wife visited and saw that we were honoring the Neuharth Legacy through the wine, her eyes glistened with approval.
In 2014, the original Working Girl, Kathy Charlton retired. She had been the owner since the late 1990s. My husband Tom Martin along with my Aunt and Uncle, Patricia and Steve Green and a dear family friend, David Ikeda had been investing in the winery for a few years. We completed the ownership transfer and have been working hard to carry on the traditions begun by Gene and Kathy.
The winery is no longer Woman owned and operated, but once again Family owned and operated.
Cheers, Lisa Martin