Chatter Creek winery was founded in 1996 by Gordon Rawson whose vision was to make world class wines that showcase the unique and varied terrior of Washington State.
Gordon started making wine as a hobbyist over twenty years ago while he was working for a fine wine distributor in the Seattle area. In 1987, he parlayed his enthusiasm for winemaking into a position at Columbia Winery where he had the opportunity to work with Master of Wine, David Lake. David’s style of management was to have his staff involved in all aspects of the winemaking process which allowed Gordon to both observe and participate in the artistic side of winemaking.
After working for Columbia Winery as Cellarmaster for nearly a decade, Gordon opened Chatter Creek producing top-quality sparkling wines. In 1998, he broadened the focus of Chatter Creek to include still wines. Early in 2000, he departed Columbia Winery to focus solely on Chatter Creek.
Chatter Creek winery specializes in handcrafted varietal wines that emphasize the diverse terroir of Washington State, and are stylized after classic European wines. Production is focused on the Rhone and Bordeaux varietals. Annual production is approximately 2000 cases: 1500 cases of single-vineyard red varietals, and 500 cases of white wine.
Along with being a winemaker, Gordon is also extremely aware and involved in vineyard terrior. Washington has many unique viticultural areas, including well-known appellations such as Yakima Valley, Walla Walla, or Columbia Valley. Many other areas are just emerging, such as Horse Heaven Hills, Red Mountain, Columbia Gorge, Chelan and Wahluke Slope. Larger wineries purchase their grapes from vineyards in all of these areas and blend them together, making good wines that reflect Washington State as a whole, but ignoring the distinctiveness of the various sub-appellations. “The reason why I make wine is to celebrate the uniqueness of the different terroir of Washington” says Rawson.
Chatter Creek red wines are small lot productions from vineyards where Gordon works hand-in-hand with the growers to obtain the best possible fruit. The fruit is gently handled, and fermented in small one-ton fermenters. Chatter Creek wines are aged in seasoned barrels so as to not overwhelm the subtle nuances of the terroir. Gentle technique in the cellar produces elegant wines that are balanced, with classic “old world” style, and containing “new world” fruit and finesse.
Gordon Rawson: “Winemaking is my passion, and every bottle of Chatter Creek wine reflects that passion.”