Quilceda Creek Vinters
Classy winery puts up a new building to match

The reigning and undisputed champion for wine in Snohomish County and a top contender globally, Quilceda Creek Winery, has undergone an inspiring metamorphosis over the last year.

Quilceda Creek Winery near Snohomish has a new look. A great hall doubles as working space and a tasting room for the winery's special events.
Construction of their new state-of-the-art winery, adjacent to the original winery on its wooded hillside property outside Snohomish, has been completed, and it really is something.

The Golitzin family's stunning contribution to their neighborhood is quite fitting, given that they are right at the entrance to "Emerald Forest," and this architectural masterpiece is truly a precious gem.

It was designed by Michael George, a local architect who married form and function flawlessly on this project. "Michael George was an absolute pleasure to work with, and we couldn't be any happier with the results," Alex Golitzin said.

The soaring ceiling of the great hall with the wall of windows, dazzling chandelier and detailed accents mask the functionality of the space. Two huge 24-foot-tall doors can be rolled open to expose the heart of the winemaking facility with its pristine fermentation tanks, crush pad and barrel storage.

This allows the grand hall to be transformed from a grandiose tasting parlor to a working part of the winery where forklifts can buzz around racking barrels, making efficient use of the space.

"We wanted to create a facility that can meet all of our needs now and into the foreseeable future so we can continue to produce the very best wine we possibly can," said Paul Golitzin, winemaker and son to Alex and Jeannette Golitzin.

The amazing success of Quilceda Creek Winery over the past 25 years allowed very little expense to be spared in the construction of this shrine to wine, and the attention to detail is evident around every corner.

The entire exterior of the structure was designed with the wooded location in mind, and materials were selected to minimize maintenance. Limestone, resistant to mold and moss, was used extensively around the perimeter and for the towering fireplace. The concrete tile roof and ammoniated stucco walls also meld durability with elegance. The "copper top" dome highlight of the roofline is actually painted metal that won't tarnish to a green patina.

Given the fact that the winery is, in effect, a manufacturing facility at the entrance to an upscale single-family residential neighborhood, it seemed prudent to get an opinion of one of the Golitzin's Emerald Forest neighbors.

"We all think the world of the Golitzin family, and having their beautiful chalet to drive by every day is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood," said Mark Mantei, resident of Emerald Forest and head of the architectural committee for the neighborhood. "It's very classy and makes a great conversation piece, and to have a winery with the global stature of Quilceda Creek right here at our doorstep is a real source of pride."

The new winery will be pressed into action for the first time in a couple of months with the crush of 2004. Last year's crush used part of the uncompleted structure, but you can bet that Alex, Paul, Marv, John and the rest of the family are really excited to ply their craft in this brand new playground.

Jeff Wicklund, wine consultant and writer, is the proprietor of Colby Hospitality in Everett. He can be reached at 425-317-9858, or wick@colbyhospitality.com.

Published: Sunday, July 25, 2004