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Barili Cellars

Thank goodness for scheduling snafus. Without a simple calendar conflict, Barili Cellars may have never come to be. For more than a decade each, Russ Feist and Steve Trabun had been home wine makers. They independently honed their craft in small barrel productions using beautiful Columbia Valley fruit. In the fall of 2005, Russ’ schedule kept him from being able to pick up grapes from his source in Prosser. Steve, who sourced grapes from the same place, agreed to take Russ’ grapes to him. In addition to the grape connection, Steve and Russ work for the same northwest company. The Barili relationship began.

In 2007, Steve and Russ took steps to open Barili Cellars by sourcing grapes that would become their first release. Steve’s wife, Dana completed WSU’s Enology program in 2009. She, along with Russ’ wife, Marlene, help in every step of the process. Initially, they began their work in a bonded production facility, but the search was on for a retail site.  After connecting with local businessman, Steve Salvatori, they moved into an entrepreneur center that acts as an incubator for start ups. Mr. Salvatori helped transform their space into a beautiful tasting room and winery production facility. In the Spring of 2009, Barili opened, and their production of 150 cases nearly instantly sold out.

Having fully moved production to their downtown space on Second Avenue, Steve and Russ have ramped production up to 350+ cases for 2010 with the Barrelin’ Red Blend (1/3 each of Merlot, Cab and Syrah), Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Viognier. The red wines spent 16 months in American / Hungarian oak and the Chardonnay spent just 30 days in the barrel during primary fermentation. If you want to get your hands on Barili wine, stop by their tasting room on most First Friday events or pick it up at a handful of local retail establishments. If 2009 and 2010 are any indication, you won’t want to delay if you want to drink some Barili Cellars’ wine.

Currently, Barili, (Italian for barrels) is sourcing grapes from vineyards in Red Mountain, Rattlesnake Hills and Prosser. When talking about the future, Steve and Russ are excited to continue refining their process and will most likely look to increase production to about 500 cases. They’re looking to lock down their grape sources, move to tighter grained oak, and continue to make great, fruit-forward wine that people love.

Location: 608 W. 2nd Ave

Hours: First Friday events, special events and by appointment

Phone: 509.995.4077


Twitter: @barilicellars

Facebook: Facebook.com/BariliCellars

This article was published in the November 2010 issue of Spokane Wine Magazine


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