Sultan winemaker wishes for market stability

Denice Ingalls owns Sky River Brewing, a honeywine maker in Sultan. She recently took the time to answer a few questions about how the company’s holiday season is shaping up.

The Storefront is closed this week, but we’re featuring Q&As with local business owners. Come back later for more.

Q: What sort of sales trends do you generally see around the holiday season?

A: As with most wineries, we are generally very busy during the holidays. ‘Tis the season to not only enjoy a wonderful wine, but also pick up a favorite to share with friends and family.

Denice Ingalls of Sky River Brewing in Sultan. (Herald photo/Dan Bates)

Q: What has business been like this season?

A:This holiday season things have started out slow, but have been gaining some momentum recently. It’s my feeling that big retailers are discounting so heavily on so many big ticket items that it has captured much of the consumers attention. As the holidays draw closer people are beginning to take care of the more intimate gifts on their lists.

Q: What’s your top-selling item around this time of year, and why?

A: This year we’ve had a lot of attention and success with our newly released Sky River Raspberry Honeywine. The wine has an indulgent quality, and a vibrant red hue, that fits perfectly with the holidays. And, our guests at the winery are thrill to find out that it is made from local Washington raspberries and honey.

Q: What have you found to be the best way to promote your products?

A: Sky River Winery produces honeywines, which is a small niche within the wine world. Consequently, our best promotion comes from our customers, through word of mouth.

Q: If you had to write a wish list for your business with next year in mind, what would be at the top?
A: My wish is that some of the big questions on interest rates, healthcare, accounting regulations, taxes, etc. are resolved, one way or the other, so that all parties in the marketplace will begin to move forward. There was so much worry and anxiety, born from uncertainty about what the future held, that in 2009 businesses and individuals are reacting, rather than acting. We’ll all have a happier, healthier, more prosperous 2010 if we begin to move forward once again.

Know a small business we should write about? Email Herald writer Amy Rolph at

Return to The Storefront

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Left to right, president Bill Peterson, vice president Jamie Gamez, and executive vice president Jeff Cannon pose for a photo at Morris Magnets in Monroe, Washington, on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Gift and souvenir maker Morris Magnets calls Monroe home

Morris makes 30,000 items like refrigerator magnets and key chains a day out of its factory.

Scenes from the Jackson High School graduation ceremony at Angel of the Winds in Everett, Washington on Saturday, June 17, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Looking back on 20 years of Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett

The 10,000 seat arena, community ice rink and conference center continues to draw 700,000 visitors to downtown Everett per year.

Two students walk along a path through campus Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. The college’s youth-reengagement program has lost its funding, and around 150 students are now without the money they need to attend classes. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Fewer students enroll at state’s public colleges, study says

Enrollment has picked up since the pandemic, but the lag threatens the state’s quest for education equity.

Richie del Puerto watches as a student works to jump start a car during class at Sno-Isle Technical Skills Center on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021 in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Washington’s Job Skills Program has trained employees for 40 years

Since 1983, over 75,000 workers have taken advantage of the state program.

Fluke Corp. President Jason Waxman at the Everett offices on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett’s Fluke Corp. adds solar test firm to its portfolio

The acquistion of Solmetric boosts Fluke’s solar test and measurement product line.

Yansi De La Cruz molds a cheese mixture into bone shapes at Himalayan Dog Chew on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Give a dog a bone? How about a hard cheese chew from Arlington instead!

Launched from a kitchen table in 2003, Himalayan Pet Supply now employs 160 workers at its new Arlington factory.

Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Washington minimum wage to top $16 an hour next year

Meanwhile, some salaried workers and rideshare drivers could see their earnings rise from other state-required adjustments.

Inside the new Boeing 737 simulator at Simulation Flight in Mukilteo, Washington on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
New Boeing 737 simulator takes ‘flight’ in Mukilteo

Pilots can test their flying skills or up their game at Simulation Flight in Mukilteo.

An Amazon worker transfers and organizes items at the new PAE2 Amazon Fulfillment Center on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amazon cuts ribbon on colossal $355M fulfillment center in Arlington

At 2.8 million square feet, the facility is the largest of its kind in Washington. It can hold 40 million “units” of inventory.

A computer rendering of the North Creek Commerce Center industrial park in development at 18712 Bothell-Everett Highway. (Kidder Mathews)
Developer breaks ground on new Bothell industrial park

The North Creek Commerce Center on Bothell Everett Highway will provide warehouse and office space in three buildings.

Dan Bates / The Herald
Funko president, Brian Mariotti is excited about the growth that has led his company to need a 62,000 square foot facility in Lynnwood.
Photo Taken: 102312
Former Funko CEO resigns from the Everett company

Brian Mariotti resigned Sept. 1, six weeks after announcing he was taking a six-month sabbatical from the company.

Cash is used for a purchase at Molly Moon's Ice Cream in Edmonds, Washington on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Paper or plastic? Snohomish County may require businesses to take cash

County Council member Nate Nehring proposed an ordinance to ban cashless sales under $200. He hopes cities will follow suit.