Andrew Will Winery was started in 1989 and is owned by Chris Camarda. The winery was launched out of a love for wine that Chris had developed while working in the restaurant trade for almost 20 years. Named after the Camarda's son Will and nephew Andrew, Andrew Will has been a major contributor to the success and notoriety in recent years of Washington State wines.
Initially, the winery consisted of 900 square feet of rented industrial space in Seattle. In the early days, everything was done by hand from shovelling grapes into crushers, to labelling and delivering the wine. In 1994, the Camardas moved to Vashon Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle, where they built the present winery. They now have two buildings which allow them to make about 4300 cases of wine a year. They have also purchased land in Eastern Washington and planted 36 acres in grapes.
Andrew Will makes Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese. As Chris Camarda has developed his style of winemaking over the years, he has focused on the primacy of the vineyard over variety. It is now the driving force behind Andrew Will. While the idea of terroir has become almost a hollow marketing tool, it has great attraction for Chris in its purest form. "I believe that an individual piece of property can form a signature - an identity - and it is that face that is the focus of my winemaking, " he said. "We are trying to let the vineyards reveal themselves. I believe that if Washington is ever to be considered a great wine region we need to establish the characteristics of our geographical areas and the characteristics of each vineyard in those areas," he added.
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