The Woodinville Winers visit Bartholomew Winery

  • Written by Mike McClure and Terry Morse

It was a cloudy Seattle day and while in the Georgetown area (where believe it or not there are numerous hidden gems of wine tasting rooms) it seemed like a perfect day to do another wine tasting.

The old Rainier Brewery (a Seattle icon) is now home to several types of small businesses. One of those happens to be the Bartholomew Winery.

The first thing we noticed before walking into the tasting room was the cool metal sign just outside the door of this quirky building.

Bart and Chona Fawbush are husband and wife owners of this unique tasting room. Chona, who seemed to be enjoying the crowd as she was pouring to a busy room, told her story on how their tasting room was really a mess before they converted it into a warm and unique place.

The bright yellow walls and the painted-over red brick are great touches that give this place a lot of charm.

They have a room adjacent to the main tasting room where they have hosted- wine tastings with a master sommelier, in addition to offering the room for private parties and events. They even once had a comedy show in there.

Bartholomew Winery started in 2007 after Bart and Chona spent many years immersing themselves in the industry, which included a lot of wine tasting and education with many of the Woodinville wineries where they developed a huge appreciation for the wine business.

At the same time, Bart consulted and volunteered with other wine makers where he honed his skills in winemaking.

In fact, Bart was a mortgage broker by trade. After the economy started deteriorating in late 2007, both Bart and Chona took their passion and plunged into the wine business.

They realized you don’t need a large chateau or winery to get into the business; you just need great wines.

Their wines are made in Grandview, Wash., where they lease production space.

On the day we tasted, they had 10 different wines available to taste.

Their 2008 Viognier had hints of citrus and melon which was delightful.

Their 2008 Cabernet Franc (which is 100 percent cab franc) and their 2008 Jaxon (which is a varietal) were both notable reds.

In addition to their wines, they were offering a chocolate pairing with a new up-and-coming chocolate company out of Vashon Island called Tease Chocolates.

Julie and Topher Farrell are both escapees from the corporate world and became founders of this new venture in chocolate.

They were offering handcrafted artisan chocolates which included filled truffles and solid bars  –  one with hints of cinnamon and pepper to excite the pallet and one with hints of salt and toffee crunch. They made for delightful pairings with the variety of wine that was being offered at Bartholomew.

Bartholomew Winery is located in the Old Rainier Brewery Building at 3100 Airport Way South in Seattle. Their tasting hours are from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

There is no charge for the tasting and their wines are reasonably priced between $10 and $32.

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