The ‘best of Washington wine’, Bookwalter Winery cleverly pairs wine enthusiasm with love of literature. Jerrold Bookwalter, who manages Conner-Lee vineyard, began his vintner journey in 1983 when he created his own wines including Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Riesling. A year later he would expand into creating a few red varietals. His experience in agriculture, managing expansive plantings, and wine fruit brokering allowed him to establish a family-run winery business in Richland, Washington.
Without a vineyard of their own, they source their fruit from some of the top vineyards in Washington, including the infamous Conner-Lee vineyard. This provides the winery the opportunity to work with local growers and select the best fruit for their wines.
Jerrold and Jean Bookwalters’ son John now runs the winery. He consults help from wine industry leaders Zelma Long and Claude Gros. John employs a team to assist in the daily running of the winery tasting rooms, winemaking, and retail. Together, they have brought Bookwalter Winery major successes and accolades from numerous wine publications and a large following of wine enthusiast fans.
In their success, they have expanded into two locations. Their newer Woodinville tasting studio offers comfortable seating on leather couches and rich yet relaxed surroundings. Tasters can select unique pairings to enjoy with their wine, including a s’mores platter. Next door to two other choice winery tasting rooms, it offers visitors a chance to sample different wines in the beautifully landscaped tasting compound.
Visitors to their Richland tasting room can enjoy a meal at Fiction, their in-house restaurant. The menu can be accessed from their website and includes delectable first class dishes including salads, honey lavender duck, burgers, ravioli, risotto, select steaks and fine crafted desserts. They hold regular events including open houses and themed dinners such as an Easter Bunny brunch and an annual egg-hunt for families. They have large patios with comfortable seating at both locations for guests to enjoy on warm days but their grounds are beautiful enough to want to explore. They have lovely landscaping, picnic tables, bocce court, and ample parking.
Their prestigiously heralded wine club consists of several personalized options: Writer’s Edition, Editor’s Edition, Publisher’s Edition and Friends of Bookwalter. The Seattle Times called their Club one of the most celebrated in the state. Each tier provides members with the ability to purchase discounted bottles and cases specific to their desires.
Bookwalter Winery has a wide range of wines, each telling a story. They have seven red vintages, all named after literary devices. They also have seven white vintages both named for literary devices and their personally created character “Scarlet Hexflame.” Inspiring creativity and imagination, this winery is a bibliophile’s dreams come to life. Curl up with a good book and a glass of “Novella” or one of their “Foreshadow” reds.