Chateau Ste. Michelle (a division of Altria, a DiversityInc Noteworthy Company), Washington State’s founding winery, will open a brand-new Visitor Center in August at its Woodinville Chateau, outside of Seattle. The new visitor center represents a significant investment for the company during its 50th anniversary year, totaling $7 million.
At 22,731 sq. ft., the renovated site will be double the size of the winery’s previous tasting room and will feature a modern 80-seat theater with tasting tables, an interactive blending room where guests create their own bottle of wine from the winery’s iconic estate vineyards, private tasting salons, a Vintage Reserve Club room dedicated for wine club members and more.
The winery’s wine educator is designing a curriculum featuring fun and informative classes covering the historical breadth of Chateau Ste. Michelle’s portfolio. Classes will include food pairings prepared by the winery’s culinary staff in the visitor center’s new restaurant-style kitchen. A course list will be published by August 1.
A grand opening celebration for the winery’s new visitor center will take place on Sept. 2 and 3, 2017. Held at the Chateau during Labor Day weekend, a variety of events will mark the special occasion including winery tours, tastings of special bottlings, music and more.
“The opening of the new visitor center represents the next chapter in Chateau Ste. Michelle’s growth and will dramatically enhance our ability to offer world-class wine experiences for decades to come,” says Ted Baseler, President and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. “We will be able to offer a wide range of unique wine experiences for visitors, whether they want to enjoy a tasting in one of our private tasting salons, take a guided tour of the winery, blend their own bottle of wine or attend special programs in our theater.”
The new visitor center was designed by the architecture firm BCRA Seattle and built by Wilcox Construction Inc. of Edmonds, Washington.
Fifty years ago—in 1967—a small winery called Ste. Michelle Vintners introduced its first vintage of a European-style premium wine, a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Yakima Valley. It was this release that marked the beginning of today’s thriving Washington wine industry. In 1976, Ste. Michelle Vintners built a French-style Chateau in Woodinville, outside of Seattle, and changed its name to Chateau Ste. Michelle.
Today, the winery has become the number two premium domestic wine brand in the U.S by case volume, with wines available in all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Chateau Ste. Michelle hosts more than 300,000 visitors annually.
Chateau Ste. Michelle is celebrating its 50th Anniversary year with commemorative Cabernet and Chardonnay bottlings, special events, library wine releases, the visitor center expansion, its famous Summer Concert Series and other programs throughout 2017.
Visit www.ste-michelle50th.com for event information and updates. Follow Chateau Ste. Michelle on Instagram:@chateaustemichelle, Facebook: Ste. Michelle, Twitter:@stemichelle and the conversation at #CSM50.