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Chinook Winery

Chinook Winery

Chinook is a very small production family winery, highly regarded and very hard to come by - Chinook sells almost everything out of the tasting room and at prestigious restaurants in the Seattle area. The Chinook Winery Cabernet Franc receives kudos from the press every year. In May of 2008, wine writer Matt Kramer (Wine Spectator) wrote glowingly of the Cabernet Franc 06, calling it "a you-can-bet-on-it winner".

Kay Simon and Clay Mackey combined their extensive experience in winemaking and viticulture to begin Chinook Wines in 1983. Since then,Chinook has become synonymous with a limited amount of highly acclaimed dry wines produced from Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Semillon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

Clay, who helped his father plant a Napa Valley vineyard in the early 1970s, and Kay, a graduate in enology from the University of California at Davis, are making wines intended to complement Northwest cuisine. Their Sauvignon blanc is an ideal accompaniment to the native oysters and pink scallops of Puget Sound. Chinook's flavorful Chardonnay heightens the richness of Pacific salmon, and their Merlot is a perfect match for Eastern Washington spring lamb.

After beginning his career as a vineyard manager for a handful of highly regarded wineries in the Napa Valley, Clay headed north in 1979, attracted by the pioneering spirit of the budding Yakima Valley wine industry. Kay, who has worked for large wine producers in California's San Joaquin Valley and in Washington state, has established herself as a winemaker of high standards; she participates actively in professional organizations which encourage research and enhancement of food and wine quality. Kay and Clay were married and released their first wine in August 1984.

Chinook owners Kay Simon and husband Clay Mackey have a deep appreciation of viticulture and cuisine, and a visit to the tiny Chinook tasting room is a must for serious wine lovers.

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