Drink.  Learn.  Laugh.  Repeat.

Welcome Back!Sign in here:

Not Registered?Become one of our thirsty clan 303,888 strong:

Register Today!

Guardian Cellars

Guardian Cellars

Guardian Cellars
19501 144th Ave. NE #E600
Woodinville, Washington
USA 98073
Phone: (206) 661-6733

Contact: Jerry Reiner
Email: jerry@guardiancellars.com

It all started in 2003 with just two barrels of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Well let me back up...

I was driving a boring stretch of a two-lane highway in the late 1990s when I saw something strange, and, of course, things that are peculiar make me stop and ask a lot of questions. I walked into what I would soon learn was a winery, but the grapes, the smell of fermentation and rows of toasty French oak barrels were of no concern, at least from the start.

I was stopped in my tracks by the big shiny equipment and, most importantly, the forklift.

I grew up spending summers on my uncle's wheat farms in the Midwest so agricultural machinery always left me full of questions and wanting desperately to turn a key, press a button and hit a gas pedal.

Seeing that he had an eager volunteer on his hands, longtime Woodinville winemaker Matt Loso put me to work. I was soon volunteering 40 hours a week, learning the intricacies of harvest, fermentation, racking and cleaning lots and lots of tanks. I put my University of Washington chemistry degree to use and worked on the scientific components of winemaking. My annual payment was permission to make a barrel of my own wine inside the winery.

Soon I started making the rounds at other Woodinville wineries, doing everything from helping make wine to assisting winemakers with their construction projects.

In 2001, I met Mark Ryan McNeilly and before I knew it we were expanding his winery from warehouse to warehouse and into the well-regarded business it is today. In 2003, I had no intention to venture out on my own, when I made two barrels of Cabernet inside Mark Ryan Winery.

But, when 2004 rolled around, Mark wanted to give something back for the years I spent helping him. After several conversations over beer and garlic fries, he encouraged me to start my own winery and offered me his contract at Conner Lee Vineyard - the fruit source for his Gun Metal blend. He even let me take the wine name as well, a name perfect for me - a cop-turned winemaker.

Mark and I continued working together on both projects until the fall of 2007 when Guardian Cellars opened its doors for the first time. Our first release party was truly memorable, packed with help from longtime friends and fellow winemakers.

In the summer of 2009, me and my girlfriend, Jennifer Sullivan, moved the winery out of our original tasting room next to Mark Ryan Winery into a larger space in the same warehouse complex. With the jump from 2,200 to 5,500 square-feet, we had plenty of space to grow. In 2009, we produced seven different wines, about 2,700 cases in total.

For the 2010 harvest our focus remains centered on maintaining what we started last year. We plan to keep our production size the same and will continue pulling the bulk of our fruit from spectacular sites in Red Mountain, as well as from Stillwater Creek Vineyard and Conner Lee Vineyard.

In the meantime, I'm still working fulltime as a police officer and Jennifer still works as a journalist. Come on out to the tasting room sometime, between our day jobs and the winery we have lots of stories to share.

- Jerry Riener and Jennifer Sullivan

Winemaker: Jerry Riener

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Guardian-Cellars/105822852752?ref=search&sid=583276238.3621311863..1

Update Winery information  Submit new wines to be posted  Wineries of America


Although there aren't any wines associated with this winery, Natalie may have reviewed brands that this winery produces and she just didn't know to designate this winery in her tasting note. You can search here for specific brands.




Join me in a free online video class to learn the secrets to perfect pairings.

Wine of the Week

As featured on  

CTV Wine of the Week!

Mer Soleil White Wine
Chardonnay 2019,
Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County, California ...

Natalie MacLean

Canada's Most Quoted Wine Writer

Natalie MacLean is editor of Canada's largest wine review web site, publishing hundreds of wine reviews every week for more than 303,888 members.

She was named the World's Best Drinks Writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia.

Natalie has published two books with Random House, the second was named one of Amazon's Best Books of the Year. Get access to all of her reviews today by becoming a member of her site.



Know the wines you want before you even get to the store with my wine reviews. Join now. It's free.

Red, White & Drunk All Over

  Best Books of the Year

Red, White & Drunk all over by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean writes about wine with a sensuous obsession... and often laugh-out-loud funny... Terrific.

Rex Pickett, Sideways

Ms. MacLean is the disarming Everywoman. She loves wine, loves drinking ... ultimately, it's a winning formula.

Eric Asimov, The New York Times


Access my reviews on mobile with the bar code scanner.


Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search

  Best Books of the Year

Unquenchable by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean is a new force in the wine writing world ‐ a feisty North American answer to Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. She can write beautifully about wine.

The Financial Times of London

There are very few people in the wine world who "get it" and Natalie is one of those who brings more fun to a buttoned-up and stodgy game.

Gary Vaynerchuck, Wine Library TV

Starting a Wine Cellar?

Expert advice for all budgets

Insider tips on starting a wine cellar
From wine racks to underground caves, insider tips on size and space, number of bottles, ideal conditions and reputable resources.   learn more  




Winner World's Best Drink Writer
WFour-Time Winner James Beard Foundation
Five-Time Winner Association of Food Journalists
Six-Time Winner Bert Greene Award
Best Wine Literature Book Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
Online Writer of the Year Louis Roederer International Wine Writing Award