Walla Walla Valley AVA
A love of Rhône wines inspired this very focused and successful winery
Since 2007, Sean Boyd has had a singular goal: to make the best possible traditional Rhône blends from the finest grapes in Washington State. Using old world winemaking techniques, Sean sources fruit from some of the best and oldest vineyards in the state to craft a small, focused portfolio of wines that are elegant, terroir-driven, and classically “Rhône” in style. The name of the winery is a nod to the Côte-Rôtie appellation in the Northern Rhône Valley of France, where Syrah and Viognier are often blended together to achieve deep, complex wines with unmistakable character – much like the 2013 Northern Blend selected for this feature.
Originally from Tacoma, Washington, Sean Boyd has taken an intriguing path to Rôtie Cellars. Previously, Sean worked as a geologist in oil and gas exploration – and his expertise in soil and mineralogy has certainly been paying off, lending him a unique insight into Washington state terroir and the fruit that loves growing there. With a work schedule that allowed him several months off during the year, Sean enjoyed traveling in his free time and these trips were usually centered around food and wine. When the time came to start a family, Sean looked to the winegrowing region of Walla Walla Valley as the perfect place to settle down and try a career in the wine industry.
Sean worked his first harvest at Waters Winery in 2004, and immediately fell in love with winemaking. His love of Rhône wines and insight into Walla Walla’s terroir and soil composition eventually led to the founding of Rôtie Cellars – a very focused and successfully thought out wine project that has garnered press from industry heavy hitters such as Wine Enthusiast, Robert Parker, and Wine Spectator. Sean’s limited portfolio includes just four wines – a Northern and Southern red blend, and a Northern and Southern white blend, each crafted with fruit from top local vineyards. Starting with the 2016 vintage, Sean will be introducing fruit from his new estate vineyard in The Rocks District of Milton Freewater, one of Washington’s newest and most distinctive AVA’s.
We hope you enjoy this selection from Rôtie Cellars, a Washington state winery that should definitely be on your radar. Cheers!