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Latah Creek Winery

Only a handful of wine makers in the state ofWashingtonhave as much experience as Mike Conway. When Mike opened Latah Creek and Hogue Cellars in 1982 (in a partnership with Mike Hogue), there were only 18 wineries in the state (now there are more than 700). After two years as the head wine maker at Hogue, Mike left to concentrate fully on Latah Creek.

Mike crafted his winemaking skills in the 70’s working for wine giants E&J Gallo, Franzia Brothers and Parducci. It was while at Parducci that he honed his skills for white wine and brought the slow cold fermentation process to Washington state (cold fermentation brings out a natural residual sweetness in white wines at a lower alcohol level of 8-10%). It is the white wine line-up that helped Latah Creek grow to a 17,000 case per year company.

100% of Latah Creek’s distribution is done in the Northwest. The annual release of their Spokane Blush, Maywine, and Huckleberry d’Latah are highly anticipated in the region. While 70% of their sales are comprised of white wines, Latah Creek’s future focus is the introduction of small lot reserve quality reds. With the recent introduction of Vinosity and Monarch Red, consumer demand may push Latah Creek to increase their production. In talking with Mike, his passion forWashingtonwine comes through. He wants to expose some of the great grapes that grow in this state (Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, Mourvedre, Malbec) to his customer base.

While Latah Creek has been a business of two people for 20+ years, in 2005 daughter Natalie joined the team. Mike and Ellena’s vision had always been for Natalie to carry on the business. In elementary school, while all the other children wanted to be firefighters, pro athletes and politicians, Natalie wanted to be a wine maker. Natalie graduated with honors from EWU with a bachelors in biology. Shortly after, she joined the team. Under her dad’s guidance, Natalie is already contributing to the wine offerings with Natalie’s Nectar dessert wine and the Vinosity red blend.

Latah Creek; Mike, Ellena and now Natalie, and their wines, areSpokaneinstitutions. “Spokaneis the reason we’re here,” Mike says. Besides the wine, Latah Creek’s gift back to the community is their support of the arts and many other charities. TheConway’s are particularly proud of their sponsorships of the Spokane Symphony and the Foster Parents Association. If you haven’t been to their tasting room, you’re missing out on one of the best winery gift shops around. TheConway’s know how to throw a party too so stay connected to their web site and Facebook page for updates on the next big event.

Location: 13030 E Indiana Ave

Hours: Daily 9am-5pm

Phone: 509.926.0164

Website: www.latahcreek.com

Twitter: @latahcreekwine

Facebook: Facebook.com/LatahCreekWinery

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

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One Response

  1. Thanks for the great article!

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