Hedges Family Estate

Head Winemaker – Sarah Hedges Goedhart

1. What is your/your family’s story around your winery?
My parents met in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1975 and then married in Paris in 1976. Tom worked in international produce for six years, first in Buenos Aires, Argentina and then northeast Canada. Canada was not their favorite place to live, so they headed back to Washington in early 1986, and started looking for “phase two” of their lives.
The wine involvement started late that year as a very small company in Kirkland, Washington which they named American Wine Trade. When the government of Taiwan privatized import of alcoholic beverages shortly thereafter, the produce connection that Tom had in Taiwan decided to be a wine importer instead of a produce importer. One thing led to another, and they were soon shipping wine to Taiwan, the Dominican Republic, Tahiti, and Japan. My mom, being French, pushed the importance of terroir, and 50 acres of dirt and sagebrush were purchased on Red Mountain in 1989. About the same time, Sweden’s import monopoly came looking for red wine and when they couldn’t find bulk in California, they were introduced to Tom and the world of Washington wine. Hedges Cellars became a negotiant brand with our first sale of wine to Sweden.
We now have 120 acres of biodynamic and organic certified fruit on Red Mountain. Our winemaking facility is also certified biodynamic and organic and we produce not only estate wines, but also the CMS label wines from Columbia Valley. Our tasting room is a beautiful French Chateau on Red Mountain with fountains, courtyards, chickens and an organic vegetable garden. You truly feel transported to France when you visit.
I work alongside my brother and a great team here at the winery. My path was not to work for the family business and I went to school for business, philosophy and chemistry. After school I worked at a winery in Santa Barbara just to earn some money and got hooked on winemaking. After winemaking jobs in California and France, I decided that the art of fermentation was something that I not only enjoyed, but had a passion for. I moved back up to Washington state from Sonoma in 2005 and in 2006 started working as assistant winemaker. In 2015 I became head winemaker. I also manage the estate gardens and bake the rustic sourdough bread served here at the winery.

2. How long have you been making wine in Washington state?
Since 2006

3. What is your favorite part of being a part of the Washington state wine community?
Washington state is one of the friendliest wine regions I have worked in. Everyone shares knowledge and we are all trying to support Washington state as a whole instead of our individual wineries. If Washington state does well, then we all do well. I also enjoy the sense of adventure here. A lot of growers and winemakers enjoy pushing the boundaries with different wines and winemaking styles. It really feels like we still have a pioneering spirit here and there is so much passion and drive to truly capture the Washington state terroir in the bottle.

4. What do you think the future holds for Washington state wine. Where are we headed or what trends are you seeing?
I see the trend going back to more old school style wines. Less alcohol, less overblown, and more terroir-driven and food-friendly. I am also seeing more people interested in biodynamic and organic agriculture and winemaking. We have been certified since 2011 and are really trying to push more people in this direction for the sake or our planets’ health. I also see more tourism, more focus on direct to consumer experiences in the vineyards and at tasting rooms. People want to be more connected to where their wine comes from and wineries are really embracing this, it’s great to see!

5. What is your favorite wine and food pairing?
Tough question! I like to keep things simple when it comes to food and wine. Fresh, local, organic and simply prepared. I love a good dry Rosé, a fresh slice of bread with maybe some local butter or cheese, meat and fresh garden veggies. As in wine, the best ingredients don’t need much manipulation and they are often more satisfying than a heavily prepared meal.


Good Fruit Grower

Vineyard Manager – James Bukovinsky

1. What is your/your family’s story around wine grape growing?
I am a first generation wine grape grower. I grew up in Woodinville,WA. After graduating from the University of Idaho, I attended Walla Walla Community College Enology and Viticulture program. After a few months of the schooling, I headed to Napa Valley California and worked for a season with a consulting company. Once that was done, I headed back to Washington and as the saying goes…the rest is history.

2. How long have you been growing grapes in Washington state?
I started in 2008 as a viticulture tech at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and then subsequent companies as viticulturist. In August 2017 I became the Vineyard Manager for Hedges Family Estate.

3. What is your favorite part of being a part of the Washington state wine community?
My favorite part of being part of the Washington state community is how friendly and open everyone is with each other. It is a small community and everyone is supportive of each other.

4. What do you think the future holds for Washington state wine. Where are we headed or what trends are you seeing?
The future is bright for Washington state wine with a lot of growing potential. A major trend I am seeing is the importance of sustainability. Now more than ever consumers are showing an interest in how grapes are grown and produced. I believe that Washington state has the potential to be the forefront of sustainability and use it as marketable selling point.

5. What is your favorite wine and food pairing?
Hedges La Haute Cuvee 2018 and a T-bone steak


Assistant Vineyard Manager – Kayla Emineth

1. What is your background, how did you come to work at the vineyard?
I grew up around agriculture in Tri-Cities, WA. In high school, I was involved in one of the local FFA chapters and fell in love with horticulture and leadership. After college, I worked for a nonprofit organization dealing with food rescue and land sustainability. I did an internship with Ciel du Cheval Vineyard and was immediately captivated by viticulture. Now, as Assistant Vineyard Manager at Hedges, I am continuing to learn about the complexities and challenges of year-to-year grape growing and why biodynamic/organic farming is so important.

2. How long have you been working in this capacity?
This will be my third season.

3. What is your favorite part of being a part of the Washington state wine community?
In the WA state wine community, there’s a beautiful combination of people with a wealth of hands-on experience and knowledge of winemaking and grape growing. It’s the perfect atmosphere for people who want to learn and make a career within viticulture or winemaking.

4. What do you think the future holds for Washington state wine. Where are we headed or what trends are you seeing?
There is a huge interest for organic/biodynamic farming and winemaking. Consumers want to know where their wine is coming from and its ingredients. On the farming side of Washington wine, I see a push for not only sustainable agriculture, but regenerative agriculture. This idea of cultivating land with a proactive farming approach and intention so that in turn, the land will continue to give back to us for years to come.

5. What fact can you share about your job that wine-drinkers might not know?
The joys of each growing season are unmatched. From spraying biodynamic preps, corralling chickens, mowing down cover crop, to celebrating with our vineyard crew post-harvest – that bottle of wine is so much more than just what you see on the shelf.

AUCTION OF WASHINGTON WINES

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Seattle, WA 98121
(206) 741-0212
aww@aoww.org

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