Joel Klein's academic training was in chemical engineering. While working in the commercial flavors and perfume industry, he encountered the warm and exciting people of the CA wine industry. He then went to University of California, Davis to study Enology and viticulture. While there he met his wife Karen Berg.
One of his notable projects in the early seventies was the design of the production facility at Geyser Peak Winery in Geyserville, CA. Karen's father Harold (a winemaker) advised Joel to look into the fledgling WA state wine industry, and he landed the job of designing the new production facility for Chateau Ste. Michelle (CSM) in 1974. He held the position of chief winemaker at CSM until leaving in 1983 to start his own winery, Snoqualmie Winery.
It was initially owned by Snoqualmie Falls Holding Company. In 1988(?) Joel left, and Mike Januik took over as winemaker. The winery was having troubles, and was bought by Stimpson Lane (the holding company of CSM, a subsidiary of U.S. Tobacco) in 1991. The same year they bought the Saddle Mountain Winery in Mattawa.
CSM did not use the facility as a winery, merely as storage, another satellite tasting room, and as a lovely summer event facility. The wines are made at the Columbia Crest facility.
In Sep-1997 CSM closed the facility entirely. CSM continues marketing wines under the Snoqulamie label, made since 1992 by Joy Andersen who shares her time as assistant white winemaker at Columbia Crest Winery.
The building was sold (leased?) in (early 1998?) and was available for catered events, like weddings and meetings.
In the (early-1990's?) they began a concert series on the lawn during
the summers. In the mid-late-1990's this had grown to be a serious
stage setup bringing in national acts. The building burned down in
Feb-1999, I don't believe the facility has been used again since.
They produced a full line of the standard varietals, including Johannisberg Riesling, Gwewurztraminer, Chenin Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Joel Klein 1983-1988(?)
Mike Januik 1988(?)-1992(?)
Joy Andersen ?-present
Of special note:
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