Many times we will feature a winery in our wine club and then a few months later feature their sister winery. A few people have emailed us on what we mean by a sister winery.
Simply put sister wineries are wineries that share ownership, either fully or partially, but target different markets or a different kind of wine consumer. The main benefit of starting a sister winery is that a winery owner or winemaker can reach new customers without changing the core values of the original winery. By doing so the sister wineries can branch out with new varietals, vineyards, labels, and even winemakers to keep up with what’s trending new in the wine market or push the envelope and experiment without harm to the original brand.
One of my favorite Washington State wineries is Corliss Estates, located in Walla Walla, Washington. They produce iconic Washington Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Bordeaux Blends. Whenever I can taste these wines, I jump at the opportunity and I highly recommend you do too. The problem with Corliss is that they are very exclusive and often sell out before I have chance to purchase them. Furthermore their prices can be considered cost prohibitive (special occasion budget). Luckily Corliss started a sister winery called Tranche Cellars a few years ago. Same owners, same winemaker and technology, but a different temperament so to speak. While Corliss focuses on traditional and timeless wine personalities, Tranche is more innovative and visionary. Both produce expressive, aromatic, and stunning wines, from estate-grown grapes but Tranche chooses to do it using less expensive techniques and materials leading to prices that won’t break the budget.
So if there is a winery you like and you discover they have a sister winery, it’s a great bet they will also have wines that you like and may be even be a better fit for your palate or budget.
Learn More About Tranche Cellars.
Learn More About Corliss Estates.
“A taste of Tranche is a slice of life… the life of the place, the vines, the people who make the wines, and most of all, you who drink them. We have given our lives over to making every bottle worthy of your attention.” – Michael and Lauri Corliss
In straight translation, tranche is a French term meaning slice. To Tranche, it means that and much more.
“The Tranche wines are a further expression of our abiding curiosity about wine. Its several “slices” explore a growing range of Rhône-inspired, Mediterranean varieties and estate-grown single varietal classic wines.”
The Tranche winery is adjacent to Blue Mountain Vineyard which plays an essential role in Tranche’s wine portfolio. They work with carefully-selected varietals matched to a specific, unique, weather-blessed location. In terms of altitude, aspect, rainfall, and all the other factors that enter into the taste of a place – often referred to as terroir – the Blue Mountain Estate Vineyard is truly one of a kind. Here, they cultivate a diverse collection of some of the world’s most interesting grape varietals, with more being planted as we learn and explore. Tranche practices only sustainable viticulture, hand-farming each block, in order to harvest very low yields of intensely-flavored fruit.
By design Tranche is cutting edge and exploratory. There is no compromising on quality, just a different path to achieving it. At Tranche we can produce expressive, aromatic, beautifully-defined varietal wines and blends at prices that don’t require a special occasion budget.
Learn More About Tranche Cellars.
Learn More About Tranche’s Sister Winery: Corliss Estates.
Over 20 years ago, Connie Poten and Andy Sponseller worked with friends, family and volunteers to turn a rocky patch of 4 and a half acres into the lovely Missoula, Montana vineyard and winery it is today. Located in the upper Rattlesnake Valley, north of Missoula, many people wonder how a vineyard and winery can operate in such northerly conditions. Despite Montana’s short growing season, the long daylight hours of the north allow them to successfully cultivate primarily French-American varietals: Frontenac, St. Pepin, LaCrosse, Marechal Foch, Leon Millot, St. Croix and Swenson Red.
Ten Spoon is also dedicated to preserving the environment and supporting small farms. The land was originally purchased to save it from development. Since then, the rocky slope has been transformed into a healthy open space for wildlife and the vineyard irrigation system is solar-powered. The fruit and grapes not grown on-site are all purchased from family farms in Montana, Oregon, Washington and California. And right along Ten Spoon’s driveway, there’s a small lavender farm called Rocky Mountain Lavender, which they actively promote on their website. Throughout Ten Spoon’s 20 years of growth, Connie and Andy have continued to spread their core message: Saving habitat and enjoying good wine go together in Missoula, Montana.
Learn More About Ten Spoon Vineyard & Winery.
Broken Earth Winery is comprised of a consumer orientated team proudly representing Paso Robles & committed to continuing to bolster the high-quality reputation of California’s Paso Robles AVA. Broken Earth produces unique wines that are estate grown, harvested, and bottled in Paso Robles. Rancho Tierra Rejada, Spanish for “land of worked earth,” is the original name of the 2,500 acre ranch that is now home to the vineyards that produce all of their wines. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, grain and cattle were the primary commodities there. It was a land of pioneer families, vaqueros, banditos, and cattle barons such as the Miller & Lux Cattle Company. Paso Robles defined the real and true west before 1900. That pioneer spirit lives on today at Broken Earth Winery. Their unique wines reflect winemaker Chris Cameron’s committed & passionate approach to all aspects of winemaking. Chris’s career has spanned over 30 vintages and includes both international and domestic wineries. His wine vision is clear: structure & balance are most critical, along with being committed to sustainable ideals, and to continuing to bolster the high-quality reputation of Paso Robles wines. Chris’s interpretation of the vineyards and varieties is heralding a new era for the Broken Earth Winery
Learn More About Broken Earth Winery.
First and foremost, owners and operators Kyra and Bruce Baerlocher are wine grape growers. They started making small private lots of wine to help them grow the highest quality grapes in their vineyards. Although their vineyards are on the Wahluke Slope, their home has been in Moses Lake, Washington for over 25 years and this is where they began their winery operation. Today they produce about 2000 cases per year with wines from their own vineyards as well as those they contract from others. Kyra is the Winemaker and handles all the winery operations while Bruce oversees the vineyard operation in addition to his day job as the Chief Financial Officer of a large farm. Together they team up to form a true boutique winery focusing on food friendly varietals.
Learn More About Kyra Wines.