Colter’s Creek Winery – A Sterling Reputation From Inception
Mike Pearson and Melissa Sandborn, owners of Colter’s Creek Winery, were awarded the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Palouse Award in the Established Business category at this year’s Palouse Pitch. Their wines have gained a sterling reputation since their inception in 2007, garnering many accolades from regional, national, and international competitions and publications. Melissa studied wine chemistry and sensory science in graduate school at Washington State University, while Mike is a graduate of University of Idaho and a self-described ‘engineering nerd’, Melissa and Mike were particularly honored to receive recognition for their hard work and service to the community.
Moscow’s Impeccably Appointed Tasting Room
The Lewis-Clark Valley’s vineyards were destroyed during prohibition, and as such it is a relatively young and lesser-known winegrowing region. In order to increase the visibility for their own wines and the Lewis-Clark Valley as a whole, Melissa and Mike recently opened an impeccably appointed tasting room in the historic Hattabaugh Building in Downtown Moscow. The tasting room maintains the original Douglas fir flooring and brick walls from the original 1890s construction, while adding modern accents designed in partnership with an architect from WSU. The end result is gorgeous space to enjoy and learn about Colter’s Creek diverse and delicious selection of wines replete with a spacious conference room, outdoor courtyard, and wines on tap. They see the tasting room as a way to connect Moscow residents and tourists alike to the grape-growing and winemaking in the Lewis-Clark Valley.
Great Wines From Great Vinicultural Innovations
Colter’s Creek Vineyard in Julietta encompasses about 30 acres of grapes, which are cultivated through sustainable and responsible farming and manufacturing methods. They’ve implemented solar pumping methods to help with irrigation, as well as using low-pressure drip lines to distribute water directly to the vine’s roots in order to reduce evaporation and overall volume of water needed. Colter’s Creek also composts all of their wine trimmings and other chaff from the winemaking process, which reduces their need for outside fertilizer, and even reuse wastewater created during winemaking for reuse in their irrigation system. All of these and further vinicultural innovations combine to create excellent wines with the absolute minimum of environmental impact.
Active Members of Moscow’s Economy
In addition, Mike and Melissa are active members of the vibrant Moscow community and dedicated supporters of the Art Walk and Downtown Block Party. Their estate winery and original tasting room in Julietta are a boon to town’s economy, and an exemplary enterprise in value-added agriculture. As their wines continue to rake in the awards and starred reviews, that can only mean good things for not only themselves, but also other Lewis-Clark Valley winemakers and the regional economy as a whole.
We are thrilled for this year’s EOTP Business award to go to such a deserving pair of people. You can learn more about them, purchase their wines, and become part of their wine club at https://colterscreek.com/, or swing by either of their beautiful tasting rooms.
EOTP Business of the Year Presentation Video – https://youtu.be/e4H9Njo8Zqw