As one of the first women winemakers in the Washington wine industry, former University of Washington graduate, Joy Anderson, has a longstanding history in the wine industry and is hitting her sweet spot at Snoqualmie. Her recent releases were awesome value selections and I wanted to touch base with her and talk about her wines. She was a delight to speak with, as she talked about her new ECO tier of wines, as well as some of her favorite wine selections. I think you will really enjoy hearing more about her. Here is my interview with Joy Anderson, head winemaker of Snoqualmie Vineyards
WWB: You have an extensive history in the wine industry, with previous stops at Chateau St. Michelleand Columbia Crest. How did you decide to come to Snoqualmie?
JA: When Ste. Michelle Wine Estates acquired Snoqualmie in 1990, I was offered the opportunity to take the winemaking reins and eagerly accepted.
WWB: Can you talk about the sustainability and organic winemaking practices that Snoqualmie utilizes?
JA: Snoqualmie is committed to organic and sustainable winemaking practices beginning in the vineyard and carrying through to the winery and our packaging. Our intent is to capture the pure expression of the fruit that Mother Nature intended.
Our ECO tier of wines are certified organically grown by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. These wines adhere to the regulations required under the National Organic Program with only naturally occurring inputs allowed. Our Columbia Valley tier of wines are grown and made using sustainable practices. Practices such as: cover crops to reduce soil erosion and promote beneficial insects; expansion of registered virus-free mother block; use of weather and soil moisture data to guide water use and eliminate water waste; use of eco-friendly energy options to reduce energy consumption; winery water use practices like wash and rinse reusing gray water and water conserving nozzles and wash equipment; use of light weight glass; 100% post-consumer label materials; corks and labels certified by the Forest Stewardship Council guaranteeing sustainable practices at the source of origin; corks also certified by the Rainforest Alliance conserving biodiversity.
WWB: I was hugely impressed with your new release 2014 Snoqualmie Cabernet (WWB, 90), a wine that showed dense black fruit flavors and a lovely mouthfeel. Can you talk about this awesome new release wine?
JA: A very warn growing season allowed for beautifully ripened grapes. After a gentle pressing, the fresh juice was inoculated with organic yeast to initiate fermentation. The grapes were fermented on the skins for six days with gentle, twice daily spray-overs to achieve additional extraction of color, tannin, and flavors. Malolactic fermentation was induced and the wine aged 12 months in 5% new American oak barrels. The wine displays black fruit with smoky undertones on the nose that carries through on the palate mingling with herbal tones and an ample soft texture.
WWB: What are some of your favorite Washington wines, other than Snoqualmie wines, as well as favorite wines of the world?
JA: I have been drinking and enjoying the INTRINSIC Cabernet Sauvignon lately from winemaker (and colleague) Juan Munoz-Oca.