Efeste Wines Review
Address: 19730 144th Ave. NE Woodinville,Washington 98072.
Phone Number: 425-398-7200
Tasting Hours: Thurs-Sun 12:00-5:00
Region: Puget Sound AVA, Woodinville, Woodinville Warehouse District, Washington
Reviewer: Denise Gangnes
Review Date: 3/10/2012
Reviewer: Denise Gangnes
If negotiating the Woodinville warehouse winery cluster has you over a barrel, Efeste Winery may be the perfect detour from the tourist-laden traffic jam at the north end of the wine tasting region.
The Place: Located in a small business cul-de-sac on a hillside overlooking the industrial district, Efeste has the advantage of a spacious parking lot and tasting room facility thats big enough to accommodate mid-size groups but intimate enough to feel at home. Aptly described as reflecting a New York Loft style design, the modern stainless steel and wood-infused space includes office, kitchen, and living room areas under a charcoal sky rise-height ceiling. Oversized sepia photographs high on the walls wrap around the entire great room to chronicle the familys history of winemaking. Large rectangular glass windows behind the tasting bar give a peek into the barrel room and warehouse operation, which doubles as a private event and club room space.
The Experience: Upon entering the winery, we were greeted by amiable founder Daniel Ferelli, who looked every bit his Italian heritage with a wide smile and warm welcome. Daniel took a spot behind the bar while explaining the history of the winery. The origins of the name Efeste, which is created from the names of the winerys founders, Ferrelli, Patrick Smith, and Kevin Taylor, is literally pronounced F-S-T. The subtle nuances of the pronunciation can be tricky to master, but Daniel is forgiving. What began decades ago as a family hobby quickly evolved into a passion to turn garage winemaking into a money-making venture. The wine tasting room opened 5 years ago.
The Wines: Efestes reputation as an award-winning winery is widespread. Bragging rights include numerous 90+ scores on Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator. A framed chart on the tasting bar proudly displays each wine and its respective awards. The list is impressive. True to Italian tradition, many wines are named after family and friends, including the Lola Chardonnay, named for Daniels granddaughter, and the Ceidleigh Syrah (pronounced kay-Lee) which literally means Celebration in Gaelic. Theres little doubt that the Big Papa Cabernet is a nod to the man behind the counter. At the time of our tasting, many of the vintages were sold out, but new ones were scheduled for release parties in the spring. Bottle prices start at $16 for a delicious dry Riesling to $50 or more for the full-bodied cabs.
Insiders Tip: Efeste offers membership in two wine clubs: The immensely popular Inner Circle Club, which offers far more pre-release opportunities, private party invitations and discounts on event rentals, is currently full and is accepting applications from a waiting list of members belonging to the Club Coterie category. This popularity is a tip that the winery perhaps has more followers than it can handle, and the tasting room is rumored to often be packed. If possible, visit the winery early in the afternoon on a Friday as we did, when the facility was practically empty, to avoid the legendary crowds of the warehouse district. Private tastings are also available by appointment.