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Overbluff Cellars

Spokane continues to move ahead on its journey to becoming a wine destination for the state of Washington. Some may think it crazy to start a new business (especially a winery) in today’s economic conditions, but the American entrepreneur is the hero of economic recovery. It’s also important to note that a winery with a 2010 launch date started the journey at least 3 years ago with crushing, fermenting and barreling grapes.

Overbluff Cellars is the passionate pursuit of John and Lynelle Caudill and Jerry and Penny Gibson. Each grew up around wine, John in Lodi next to Mondavi Vineyards and Jerry in Marin County, CA. John and Jerry pursued their passions independently as amateur wine makers until a chance meeting brought them together. It was a wine tasting trip to Napa that inspired the proverbial “leap” into the Overbluff adventure.

“It’s more about passion than anything. When the fun is gone, I’m through,” says Jerry. The first Overbluff Cellars release consists of 290 cases including three 2007 Cabernet from various vineyards and one 2009 Viognier. Additional wines, Syrah and Semillon have since been added to the lineup. John and Jerry’s philosophy to wine making brings a Napa influence to Walla Walla fruit. They’re striving for big wines that showcase the character and quality that Washington fruit has to offer. The fruit they currently have in barrels and tanks will bring their 2009 vintage to about 1500 cases.

John and Jerry are particular about quality and consistency. Not wanting to leave a bad taste in people’s mouths with the potential for cork taint, each bottle is enclosed with glass enclosures. John emphasizes, “This still gives people the romance of popping the cork, with less potential for ruined wine.” The duo is also working with new oxygen permeable flex tanks and oak staves to gain more control of the flavor without making wines that end up over oaked.

John has left his full time job as the body shop manager for a local auto company to see his dreams come to reality. Overbluff has renovated the old Cobblestone Bakery at 620 N Washington. The tasting room is tucked behind the Victorian building and provides a nice rustic place to enjoy the wine. When the weather cooperates, be sure to enjoy a glass in the garden next to the tasting room.

Location: 620 S. Washington

Hours: Friday 2-6pm; Saturday Noon-5pm

Phone: 509.991.4781

Website: www.overbluffcellars.com

Twitter: @overbluffcellar

Facebook: Facebook.com/OverbluffCellar

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

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