RICHLAND, Wash. – Anelare, a small winery based in the heart of Washington wine country, has hired one of the state’s top winemakers to take over production.
The winery, owned by Kahryn and Forrest Alexander and Jim and Cindy Campbell, has moved its wines from the 2011 and 2012 vintages to winemaker Charlie Hoppes’ facility in Richland. Hoppes, one of Washington’s most respected red winemakers, owns Fidelitas Wines on Red Mountain and also makes the wines for such producers as Gamache Vintners, Hamilton Cellars, Market Vineyards and Vinagium.
Hoppes will finish the wines from ’11 and ’12 then take over all winemaking for Anelare beginning with this fall’s harvest. Hoppes operates out of a winemaking facility in Richland, about a 10-minute drive from Red Mountain.
For Anelare’s first six years, the wines were made by Victor Cruz, owner and winemaker at Cañon de Sol Winery, not far from Red Mountain in an area near Kennewick known as Badger Canyon.
Most of Anelare’s wines already use grapes from Red Mountain, and managing partner Kahryn Alexander is excited to narrow the focus, thanks to Hoppes’ expertise with the region.
“Charlie is going to open a lot of doors for us on Red Mountain,” she told Great Northwest Wine.
Anelare closes tasting room at Cañon de Sol
Anelare opened a tasting room in January 2009 in the Southridge area of Kennewick. A year ago, it relocated the tasting room to Cañon de Sol but has closed that part of the operation with the move. Alexander said Anelare is working on creating a permanent home for the winery and should have an announcement about those plans in the near future.
Meanwhile, Anelare wine club members can contact the winery with any questions or for wine delivery. The winery also has a tasting room presence in Spokane at Nectar.
The winery started six years ago with the concept of providing wines only for wine club members. While this remains Anelare’s primary focus, it also produces a red blend called Nonna Viola that is available to the general public.
From the 2011 vintage, Alexander expects to have about 800 cases, which will be its largest production.
Prior to this move, Anelare already was working a bit with Hoppes, who made a Roussanne for the winery that was released this spring.
Anelare gets its name from the Italian word that means “to desire or yearn for.” The winery owners worked with students from the University of Washington’s French and Italian studies departments to come up with the name.