COR Cellars was started in 2005 by Luke Bradford. After working in the Val D'Orcia in southern Tuscany for Tenuta di Trinoro and then on Mt Etna in Sicily for Passopisciaro from 2000-2002, Luke returned to Washington and went to work as assistant winemaker for Wind River Cellars and then Syncline Wine Cellars in the Columbia River Gorge.
Seeing the enormous potential in Washington fruit, Luke embarked on his own and planted vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec/Petit Verdot) in the Horse Heaven Hills, and the Columbia Gorge (Riesling) while setting up contracts to buy fruit from growers who he had worked with for these years at Syncline (Cabernet Sauvignon/ Merlot/ Malbec from Horse Heaven Hills, Sauvignon Blanc from the Wahluke Slope, and Pinot Gris/Gewurztraminer/Riesling from the Columbia Gorge.)
Moving into a renovated facility in Lyle, WA in 2006, COR Cellars now makes five wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Momentum (Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Malbec), Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Alba Cor (Pinot Gris/Gewurztraminer.)
The goal of COR Cellars is to produce approachable wines of great character and distinction from Washington State’s finest vineyards. As a young winemaker, Luke was exposed to the great wines of Bordeaux and the Mosel and fell in love with the idea that in Washington he could make both!
Our initial effort went into site selection and the process of matching varietals to sites around the state that matched the idea of distinctive wines which accurately reflect the state. As we grew we incorporated more and more sites and at present we work with 8 growers and over 10 vineyard sites.