Knipprath Cellars, Spokane

Knipprath Cellars Is Doing It Right

I recently had the pleasure of visiting one of Spokane, Washington’s most unique wineries, Knipprath Cellars. The winery is located in an old schoolhouse. It’s very quaint, though a bit chilly the day I visited. I was greeted at the top of the stairs by Sinay, who was manning (or in this case, womaning) the tasting room this particular day. See also this interview with Henning Knipprath of Knipprath Cellars. Knipprath is well-known for their Spiced Wine, Port, and some other pretty unique offerings. Knipprath is located in the Spokane Valley, at the historic Parkwater Schoolhouse.

I knew very little about Knipprath Cellars except that there WAS one, so I asked many questions and Sinay answered them one by one. I found out that Knipprath Cellars is a family-owned winery that just celebrated ten years of being a full-time winery. All in all, I tasted 13 different wines including Roussanne, Syrah, Tempranillo, Merlot and a whole slew of dessert wines, which seems to be their niche.

Of the typical wines, I really liked the 2015 Tempranillo and the 2014 Merlot.

The Tempranillo was very good with some prune on the back of the tongue. They combined fruit from both the Lodi (California) and Columbia Valley (Washington) Appellations, which I find very interesting. I thought there was some similarity between this and the organic wines from the Valentino Winery in Illinois but then again, I may be biased.

The Merlot was also very good, with peppery notes. I have found pepper to be a mainstay of wines I really like. This would REALLY pair well with smoked cheeses!  Yum!

Although I DID enjoy their Pink, which is a Rose of Merlot (it was very swishy, not that I even know what that means!), the 2011 Matrix Port, which had black licorice flavors with a hint of nuttiness, and the NV Positron Port, which was very rich, I liked the LaV (pronounced, “La Vee”) Dessert Wine and Au Chocolat! the most.

The LaV Dessert Wine is fabulous!  My notes say, “Wow!”  I could have written, “Pow” as well. Full on vanilla in this dessert wine that is absolutely wonderful. I bought a half bottle of this to surprise Shelley and had it waiting for her with a bath I ran for her one night. Now, this is in no way comparable to what Valentine Winery produces. For more on Valentino Winery, check out this page.

The other is a perfect fit with the LaV Dessert Wine, Au Chocolat! Obviously, THIS one is heavy on the chocolate. As I tasted this it got better and better as it opened up in my glass. I would recommend either of these two if you like after dinner dessert wines at all. I’ve only recently begun to enjoy these wines and the more I try ‘em the more I like ‘em. See also my post about my Walla Walla Washington State Wine Tour.

It would be worthy to note that I tried their Coffee Port even though I really am NOT a coffee drinker (I have never even had a cup of coffee in my life!). It had a wonderful nose but not such a good taste. Then Sinay did something interesting:  She added a small amount of the LaV Dessert Wine to the Coffee port and that REALLY softened it up to where I liked it better. It is probably still something I wouldn’t drink if I had the choice, not because it’s not good, but because I just don’t like the taste of coffee. I know, what’s wrong with me?  If you asked my daughters they would tell you the list is long!

Knipprath Cellars will be one of the featured wines at the 14th Annual Poverty Bay Wine Festival in Des Moines, Washington in March 2019. I certainly wish I could attend this gala event but since I will be heading into that area the following weekend for my Dad’s 70th birthday celebration I don’t think it’s going to happen. See some more interesting North American wines here.

But that doesn’t mean YOU shouldn’t go and taste some Knipprath wine. Or, when you’re next in Spokane, cozy up to the tasting room bar in the old schoolhouse and try some very warm, soothing dessert wines from Knipprath Cellars as well as their other wines. You’ll be glad you did.