Chris Peterson (left) and Marty Taucher are the owners of Avennia, one of Washington’s most acclaimed young wineries. The winery is in Woodinville.

Duo making a success of Woodinville winery Avennia

Since 2010, Avennia has gained a reputation as one of Washington’s most exciting young wineries, and owners Marty Taucher and Chris Peterson continue to raise Avennia’s quality and reputation.

The pair met while Taucher was an intern at DeLille Cellars, where Peterson had been a winemaker for several years. Taucher was on his second career after retiring as a Microsoft marketing executive and was taking classes at South Seattle Community College’s winemaking program.

Peterson, a Northwest native and University of Washington grad, went on to become one of the first graduates of the Walla Walla Valley Community College winemaking program in 2003. Then he returned to the Seattle area to join acclaimed DeLille Cellars in Woodinville. For the next eight years, Peterson worked alongside head winemaker Chris Upchurch, during which time he got to know where the best grapes in Washington were grown and what types of wine he might want to produce someday.

When Taucher interned at DeLille, he was working on a school assignment that was a winery business plan. It quickly became clear to Peterson and Taucher that they should work together, so they decided to create Avennia, a stylized word that pays homage to the French city of Avignon.

“We wanted it to reflect an Old World artisanal style that I learned at DeLille,” Peterson said.

Both share the duties of running the winery, based in Woodinville, with Peterson focusing on winemaking and Taucher handling the business side. Together, they produce 3,100 cases of wine, up from 1,100 cases in 2010.

Last year, the two launched a second label called Les Trouvés, which includes a red ($25) and white ($18) blend. They are produced in a “negoçiant” style, meaning Peterson and Taucher purchase barrels from other wineries and blend them together. The first release of Les Trouvés is about 800 cases.

In addition, Peterson makes the wine for Passing Time, a winery owned by retired NFL quarterbacks Dan Marino and Damon Huard. Taucher and Huard work with the same financial adviser, which is how they met.

Passing Time’s inaugural 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon was named Wine of the Year of 2015 by Great Northwest Wine. It used grapes from such top vineyards as Discovery, Champoux and Klipsun. Passing Time has opened an event center next to Avennia in Woodinville and will be open when wines are released.

Here are three delicious new Avennia releases we’ve tasted recently. Ask for them at your favorite wine merchant or contact the winery directly.

Avennia 2013 Boushey Vineyard Arnaut Syrah, Yakima Valley, $50: Complex aromas cast hints of sizzling back bacon, delicious dark purple fruit, toast, sweet herbs, minerality and forest floor earthiness. On the palate, it’s smooth, clean and round with plum, blackberry, black cherry and espresso. Satiny tannins, huckleberry acidity, a touch of gaminess and pinch of baking spices make for a stunning finish. (15 percent alc.)

Avennia 2014 Oliane Sauvignon Blanc, Yakima Valley, $28: This gorgeous white wine creates aromas of ambrosia salad, dried pineapple and starfruit, backed by honeysuckle, a wisp of smoke and the slow emergence of caramel corn. On the palate, the lively delivery of tropical notes is joined by mouthwatering flavors of gooseberry pie and lime peel. Spot-on acidity and pleasing minerality in the finish keeps you coming back, and suggested pairings range from chicken piccata to oysters. (13.4 percent alc.)

Avennia 2013 Justine, Columbia Valley, $40: This Southern Rhône blend of Grenache (47 percent), Mourvèdre (38 percent) and Syrah brings fruity aromas of black cherry and plum, which are joined by brown sugar, cocoa powder, light toast and cedar shavings. Inside, the structure offers elegance over power as smooth flavors of dark plum and elderberry create a luscious mouth feel that picks up touches of anise and white pepper in the back. (14.8 percent alc.)

Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue run Great Northwest Wine, www.greatnorthwestwine.com.

Talk to us

More in Life

The hardy fuchsia “Voltaire” is one the few fuchsias that can take full sun all day. (Nicole Phillips)
Eight perennials to add to the garden for summer-long enjoyment

July is a great time to fill in those blank spots with long-blooming perennials. (Yes, it is OK to plant in the summer.)

Kate Jaeger played Gretl and Kevin Vortmann was Hansel in Village Theatre’s “Hansel Gretl Heidi Günter,” which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Tracy Martin / Village Theatre)
COVID-19 curtain drops on a Village Theatre original musical

The lead actor in the canceled show says his disappointment pales next to that of the 10 young actors who were cast in the production.

PUD program now helps 10% more customers pay their bills

Changes to the PUD’s Income Qualified Assistance Program ensure more people will get the help they need.

Museum invites you to add your colors to vintage Northwest art

The Cascadia Art Museum in Edmonds creates a project where people can color woodblock prints. The results will be displayed in the museum’s windows.

A deservedly affectionate portrait of a civil rights icon

“John Lewis: Good Trouble” traces the life and work of a truly towering figure in American history.

Why more men aren’t wearing masks — and how to change that

The four-pronged M.A.S.K. Approach just might convince mask-averse males to do the right thing.

How to confront the disease epedimic in the COVID-19 pandemic

Good health empowers us to cope better and feel better, in mind and body, during turbulent times.

Working toward Phase 3 of a Safe Start for Snohomish County

Public Health Essentials! A blog by the Snohomish Health District.

Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ has blue foliage from late spring through early fall. In summer, tall flower spikes bear lavender blooms. (Richie Steffen)
Great Plant Pick: Hosta ‘Krossa Regal’ aka ‘Ginba Giboshi’

This hosta has blue foliage from late spring through early fall. In summer, tall flower spikes bear lavender blooms.

Most Read