Making very small quantities of wine from the highest quality fruit is half of the goal at Covington Cellars. The other half is to make guests feel like family. Housed in a warehouse space, what this winery may lack in decor, it makes up for in the wineglass.
Founded in 2002 by David and Cindy Lawson, the winery is a labor of love. David and Cindy started making wine as a hobby back in 1999 and soon their passion grew into so much more. "It's David's fault we have a winery," Cindy laughs. The couple didn't just leap into the business however; they took classes at UC-Davis for a few years before starting their commercial venture. Learning how to make wine properly helped them secure acreage in some of the most desired vineyards in Washington State. "Our fruit comes from some of the most respected vineyards, including Seven Hills Vineyard and Pepper Bridge Vineyards in Walla Walla, as well as Klipsun and Kiona Vineyards on Red Mountain. We believe that wine is made in the vineyard, so our standards are very high when it comes to our fruit," David reports.
Covington Cellars' wines are handcrafted, gravity fed, and allowed to age gracefully in a combination of French, American, and Hungarian oak barrels for 18-36 months. This constant attention to detail is daunting, which is why Covington Cellars now employs two full time employees. Morgan Lee and Donavon Claflin have a great time making and selling wine together. "When they aren't in the cellar they are out pounding the pavement to sell our product," Cindy says. "Morgan and Donavon are both very personable and passionate about wine."
And all this passion has served them well, as every one of their wines have been awarded some sort of recognition, be it an award at a wine competition or a grand score in a publication like Wine Spectator. "We certainly appreciate great scores, but honestly, we just love making wine we like to drink," Cindy says. "And we never imagined the great friendships we'd make in this business. Even if we never make a dime, we'll always feel rich just from the wonderful friendships we've made."
Cindy also is passionate about the culinary arts and the art of wine and food pairing. She holds classes on wine and food pairing regularly at the winery and even created a wine infused BBQ sauce called Cellar Sauce that is very popular. Every release party they host is perfectly accompanied with food pairings and they even have what they call the Underground Supper Club, which is similar to a winemaker dinner, at the winery every couple of months.
Covington Cellars has a full-service wine club that offers a summer cruise and many other private events. The winery also offers a unique service called the Wandering Tasting Room where the winery "sends the wine tasting" (samples of Covington wines) to wine lovers living in a reciprocal state.
The Tuscan-inspired tasting room envelops visitors in its warm ambience. Many sign up for a wine class, or schedule a private barrel tasting or winemaker dinner. All are sure to leave with a true appreciation for David and Cindy's passion for wine, food, and friendship.
What to Buy:
'06 Tuscan Red Elegant balance of Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon $35
'06; Cabernet Franc 100% Cabernet Franc. Only 95 cases produced $35
'05; Artisan Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec blend $55
425.806.8636; Fax: 253.638.1654
18580 142nd Ave. NE
Woodinville, WA 98072
Tasting Room Open Fri-Sat 1-5
From I-405, exit WA-522 toward Woodinville/Wenatchee. Take 195th Street Exit and make a right. Turn right onto 142nd Ave NE and an immediate left onto 142nd Ave. NE (yes it's the same name). Winery is in building "F" on left.