Whether you’re an amateur sommelier or a budding wine lover, you definitely want to add to your things to do list a visit to Andrew Will Winery. Found close by on Bank Road, this local business operates much like the residents of Vashon Island, with a sense of gratefulness and surprise at what art emerges.
The nearby winery brings fruit to the plant from Washington vineyards, takes the flavors, and tannins from those grapes and turns it into 4500 cases of wine annually. The wine in those cases are blends of Bordeaux, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, among others, so you won’t get the usual liquor store offerings. The wines that come from Andrew Will Winery are as unique as the residents on the island.
Even the vineyards that supply the grapes are special. They are Ciel du Cheval on Red Mountain, Two Blondes in Yakima Valley, and Discovery Vineyard in Horse Heave Hills. All are farmed with sustainable methods and use irrigation. Abundant sunshine and low precipitation help create grapes that turn out wines with smooth, strong flavors.
While this family operation is not big, the wine they produce is notable among wine experts. They sell their wines in 40 states and 5 countries and have been lauded by wine notables across the spectrum. Greatnorthwestwine.com calls Andrew Will Winery “one of Washington’s oldest and most important wine makers.” Wine Advocate says it produces “age worth wines” that are “rock solid and check in near the top of the hierarchy.”
Of course, if you are not lucky enough to live on the island, you can still sip on these unique wines by ordering through their online store. To really enjoy all aspects of this place, you may want to join one of two wine clubs hosted by the winery. Will’s Wine Club is the more traditional wine club, offering members discounts and first access to new wines. WWC members get a mixed sample case twice a year. The second club, BTG or Blind Tasting Group, works on a subscription basis and sends wines made exclusively for the club out four times a year. Both groups also get invitations to events at the winery, include an open house.
In addition to barrels full of amazing wines, the5-acre property also boasts owner Chris Camarada’s robust modern art collection in his home. The winery’s website highlights other ways Camarada expresses his creative side with an appreciation for music both live and played on an LP, locally sourced food, specially roasted coffees, and even specialty clothing.
This combination of excellence in wine, art, food, and coffee is reflective of the traditions and personality of Vashon Island, making Andrew Will Winery a perfect fit for island life.