Maryhill Winery adds Reserve Room, small-lot vineyard-designated reds

By on June 22, 2013
Maryhill Winery

Maryhill Winery is near Goldendale, Wash., in the eastern Columbia Gorge. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

GOLDENDALE, Wash. – Maryhill Winery owner Craig Leuthold has never been one to sit still, and now he has a new lineup of vineyard-designated wines that not only allow his Columbia Gorge winery to showcase a new reserve tasting room, but also some of his favorite vineyards.

Late last year, Leuthold and his winemaker, Richard Batchelor, released a group of wines they call “The Vineyards” – small-lot vineyard-designated wines that are available primarily to wine club members.

“The biggest driving force was the introduction of our Reserve Room,” Leuthold told Great Northwest Wine. “We really wanted the iconic appellations of Washington represented in that room and the vineyards we think express those appellations.”

Here are the wines. Click to read our reviews:

Most of the new wines were made in lots of 300 cases or less, and they were crafted to not only showcase the vineyards, but also winemaker Batchelor’s skills. The 2010 vintage was just his second since arriving from California.

“There is no doubt I have a lot of trust in Richard,” Leuthold said. “He brought a lot to our cellar.”

Batchelor brings stability to Maryhill Winery

Maryhill Winery

Richard Batchelor is the head winemaker at Maryhill Winery. He took over in 2009. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Batchelor who moved to California from his native New Zealand in 2000, has brought stability to Maryhill, which went through a three winemakers over the course of a few vintages as the Leutholds tried to find someone with the skills to improve quality and quantity at the same time. Today, Maryhill makes about 80,000 cases of wine.

In future releases, Batchelor will add Red Mountain to his mix, as he brought in grapes from Kiona and Klipsun vineyards. And he will increase his number of Horse Heaven Hills offerings with fruit from McKinley Springs.

Leuthold said that while not all Washington appellations are represented, he pointed out that his Gewürztraminer is from Celilo Vineyard in the Columbia Gorge, though it is not labeled as a vineyard-designated wine.

Maryhill Winery Reserve Room for wine club members

Washington wine

Last year, Leuthold built the Reserve Room adjacent to his tasting room. The Reserve Room is open only to his 1,000-plus wine club members – as are the vineyard-designated wines. He said this allows him to pour a few more wines for his top customers and helps keep them in the wine club.

“We’ve had so many positive comments about them,” Leuthold said. “They love having the exclusivity. It’s really fun to showcase the vineyards of Washington.”

Customers who are not wine club members are allowed into the Reserve Room for a tasting for a $20 fee, refundable upon purchase.

Maryhill Winery fans aren’t the only ones loving the new wines. Critics are hailing them, too. The Clifton Hill Cab won gold at the Great Northwest Wine Competition, while the Hattrup Farms Marvell GSM and Les Collines Syrah won gold at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. At the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, the Elephant Mountain Indira won a double gold, while the Clifton Hills Cab won gold at the Dallas Morning News Wine Competition.

About Andy Perdue

Andy Perdue is the editor and publisher of Great Northwest Wine. He is a third-generation journalist who has worked at newspapers since the mid-1980s and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Eric Degerman and served as its editor-in-chief for 15 years. He is a frequent judge at international wine competitions. He is the author of "The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer's Handbook" (Sasquatch, 2003) and has contributed to four other books. He writes about wine for The Seattle Times. You can find him on Twitter and .

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