DiStefano: A Pioneer Winery in Woodinville



By Kori ~ April 11th, 2011.

Mark Newton founded DiStefano Winery in 1983, making it one of the first 5 wineries in Woodinville, Washington. Today, Woodinville is home to over 90 wineries and tasting rooms. Originally a sparkling wine producer under the label Newton & Newton and then Whittlesey Mark, DiStefano Winery changed its name in 1990. Along with renaming the winery for his wife Donna DiStefano, Newton also changed focus from sparkling wines to red and white Bordeaux-style wines in 1990. Today, Newton shares winemaking responsibilities with associate winemaker Tracey LaPierre, who replaced Hillary Sjolund earlier this year when she left to focus on her own winery.

We recently had the opportunity to taste several wines from DiStefano in a blind samples tasting, the 2006 Meritage, 2006 Domenica Red Wine, 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, and 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. DiStefano sources the fruit for their wines from a number of Washington State vineyards including Willard and Roza Hills in the Yakima Valley, Bacchus and Dionysus in the Columbia Valley, Rosebud and Weinbau on Wahluke Slope, and Alder Ridge in the Horse Heaven Hills.

Located in a small industrial park, DiStefano’s tasting room is warm and inviting. A nice cellar room that offers a view into the barrel room is adjacent to the tasting room and can be reserved for special events or private tastings.

2006 DiStefano Meritage (Columbia Valley, Washington): 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 14% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and 4% Malbec. Deep, dark red. Nice nose with red fruit, spice, and floral aromas. More red fruits and spice come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity and medium to high, drying tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $27.99; Available elsewhere, $19 to $20

2006 DiStefano Domenica Red Wine (Columbia Valley, Washington): Blend of Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Deep, dark red. Nice nose with red and black fruit as well as floral aromas. Flavors of blackberry, black cherry, spice, and a hint of cola. Medium to full-bodied and crisp with medium to high, drying tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $27.99; Available elsewhere, $20 to $30

2009 DiStefano Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley, Washington): Very pale, straw yellow in color. Aromatic with citrus fruits, especially lime and grapefruit, on the nose. Fresh cut grass and more citrus fruits come through on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied with tart acidity and a long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $18.99; Available elsewhere, $15 to $17

2006 DiStefano Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, Washington): 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. Deep, dark red in color. Moderately aromatic with black fruits, especially black cherry, on both the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied and lively with medium to high tannins and a long, slightly thin, finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $32; Available elsewhere, $20


Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

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