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Spokane’s Market Place Wine Bar

Everyone needs to have a place where he or she belongs, with a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere and a clear sense of family.  It’s this enormous feeling of community, and great wine, that transformed Marketplace Wine Bar from an ambitious dream to a thriving reality in a very short time.  A seemingly little advertising approach was greatly surpassed with the bout of encouraging reactions from satisfied customers and positive word of mouth.

Nestled slightly east of downtown Spokane on the corner of 2nd and Browne, the tasting room is located inside the new Spokane Public Market.  According to Valerie and Melody, part owners of EMVY Cellars and Bridge Press Cellars, respectively, the location seemed to fit perfectly as the spot to exclusively pour their wines.  With a budding downtown scene and the ever-growing desire from consumers to support local, the appeal seemed irresistible. Maintaining a very friendly relationship with the other venders and utilizing as many products sold in the marketplace as possible, the entire building itself helps enforce the goal of fulfilling a community venture, more than a business opportunity.  The fundamental set-up is very convenient carrying on the tradition of a one-stop shop.  Anyone can buy their meat, purchase fresh vegetables, and taste some wine to buy on the way home for dinner.  For those who want to settle in, Marketplace Wine Bar openly welcomes outside food to be consumed in the space while serving their own hummus platters and high-quality cheese trays for a perfect marriage of wine and light foods.

EMVY gets its name from the pronunciation of the first letters of the owner’s names, Mark and Valerie Wilkerson, as “M” and “V”.  The owners of Bridge Press, Brian and Melody Padrta, met at the age of fifteen while caddying for players at a Bridge tournament in the now-dilapidated Ridpath Hotel, hence their name and label.  Both owners jokingly attribute their collective passion for winemaking as a “hobby gone wild”.  Casually meeting as motivated consumers tasting at The Wine Cellar, by 2005, the two labels teamed up with Grande Ronde and Mountain Dome to start their dreams of producing fine wines.  The two couples quickly gained experience with the help of mentors and knowledgeable friends within the local wine industry such as David Westfall, John Mueller, and Michael Manz to name a few.  As Valerie from EMVY states, “once we got going, it was all about drink and spit” until they got it right.

Sourcing a majority of their grapes from the Pepper Bridge and Seven Hills Vineyards within the Walla Walla Valley AVA, the wineries work together in the same production facility, but blend their own wines and take different approaches using varied aging lengths, blending percentages, yeasts, etc.  Both wineries use 100% French Oak.  Bridge Press Cellars’ premier wine, their Cabernet Sauvignon, is a blend of 85% Seven Hills Cab, 12% Pepper Bridge Merlot, and 3% Seven Hills Malbec.  They also carry a Merlot, Pinot Blanc, Rose, and 600 Red Blend for being the 600th winery in the state.  EMVY uses 58% Seven Hills Cab, 38% Seven Hills Merlot, and 6% Pepper Bridge Merlot grapes for their Bordeaux style blend aptly named “Devotion” considering Mark and Val met at the age of four.  You can also check out their other varietals, Veba Blanc, Veba Rouge, and Viognier.  All wines are available on site.

All in all, with a mantra of “make the wines you like to drink” and an attitude to create a neighborhood within the constraints of a city, Marketplace Wine Bar is a grand addition to Spokane and seems to be marking its spot as a unique, permanent downtown destination.

32 W. Second Ave


Thursday 12-6pm

Friday and Saturday 12-9pm

About The Author

Ben Hilzinger is a wine slinger at Nectar Tasting Room and at Arbor Crest Wine Cellars. During the day he masquerades as an aspiring drum teacher seeking to instill a sense of rhythm in wanna be rockers. In the evening Ben dons his rock star cape and travels the country with @weshotthemoon. Ben hopes to share the love of wine with his generation and has aspirations to be a wine maker. Follow Ben on Twitter @benhilzinger


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