Mark Ryan Winery
Mark McNeilly - tiny amounts of wine with complexity and depth -- and funny names. Tobacco, mineral, mocha flavors, dark cherries, chocolate: his wines are known for their trademark flavors.
Mark started making wine in a garage in Bellevue, Washington. Today his winery in Wilsonville is a destination for lovers of his big, burly red wines.
Long Haul is a red blend named for the long drive across the Snoqualmie Pass in a rickety Ford truck full of grapes; Dead Horse is another red blend, made entirely from grapes from Ciel du Cheval (Horse heaven) Vineyard.
McNeilly’s goal is to fashion flavorful, even-handed wines expressive of the region where the grapes originate. Classics Dead Horse and Long Haul are almost universally described as variations of “big” and “ripe,” labels which he agrees with wholeheartedly.
More About Mark Ryan Wines
Mark McNeilly’s goal is to fashion flavorful, even-handed wines expressive of the region where the grapes originate. Classics Dead Horse and Long Haul are almost universally described as variations of “big” and “ripe,” labels which he agrees with wholeheartedly.
“I definitely make my wine in a riper style; I keep the fruit on a little bit longer. But even though they may be big and ripe, they’re not out of balance.”
McNeilly began producing white wines in 2005. “White wine is fun,” he laughs. “I know people are kind of surprised at the whites.”
Surprised indeed – by their nuanced subtlety. He’s currently marketing both a Viognier and a Chardonnay. He traces his interest in developing Chardonnay in particular back – once again – to the Burgundy region of France.
“Burgundy is the most special place in the world. I tried to model my Chardonnay after some of those wines.” The Viognier, currently made with grapes from Ciel du Cheval vineyard was developed in two styles, one fermented entirely in steel and the other in oak.
The winemaker is remarkably modest about his winemaking, and seems oblivious to the "buzz" about his wines.
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