Join our the Dineen Family Wine Club for Access to Exclusive Wine, Events and Savings! Click for more information or to join!



For full article, click HERE

BY | MAR 27, 2024

As the wine industry grows increasingly diverse, we’re finally seeing and giving long-overdue credit to the folks who make it all happen. From Latinx vineyard workers to indigenous and AAPI vintners, the scene is shedding its white male status — or, at least nobly trying. A big part of that movement has come in the form of women winemakers, turning out some of the best and most sought-after wines in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

In the Yakima Valley in Washington, there are scores of great female winemakers. They do not make up a big enough slice of the estimated 90 labels in the expansive region, but that slice is growing every year. If you head out to the Yakima area, seek out these fantastic women-led producers.


Family-owned Dineen Vineyards is set in a picturesque plot in the lower Yakima Valley in Zillah. Surrounded by orchards and touting views of Mt. Adams, the estate is impressive, fit with a modern barn-inspired winery and indoor and outdoor tasting area, complete with a wood-fired pizza oven. Winemaker Samantha Mallery brings tons of experience to the table, along with a razor-sharp palate. The estate is set at 1,200 feet, with 90 planted acres and 14 grape varieties. The Sémillon is dry and grassy while the Merlot offers a nice kick of acid and generous dark chocolate notes. We’re excited to taste more of her work going forward (she’s only been the vintner there a couple of years) and love the way she talks about sustainability — not just in terms of environment, but socially, as in sharing equipment and data and collectively dealing with climate change. Fans of dry Riesling and standalone Bordeaux varietals must visit.
2980 Gilbert Road | Zillah


One of the newest labels to drop in Yakima, Adelia Wine Cellars is named after the grandmother of founder and vintner Alexis Sells. She just took over a cool spot downtown that is now her tasting room. On a recent visit, this writer was greeted by a tasting of three wines, matched with cured meats and cheese. The wines were superb, including a lively Pinot Grigio, a beautifully-colored Rosé (persimmon with flavors of stone fruit) and a balanced Syrah made from fruit grown in the Horse Heaven Hills. This is Sells’ first solo project and if the wines are any indication, it will only flourish. Pop by her tasting room for a glass or flight, great conversation and city views.
18 South First Street | Yakima


This label lacks a tasting room thus far but is very much worth sniffing out. Led by Jacki Evans, Sin Banderas features Yakima Valley fruit. Evans has worked 18 harvests all over the planet and landed in the valley in 2013 with Owen Roe. Her own label specializes in Riesling, Rhône wines and even a dessert offering. Look for bottles or pours at Yakima-area bottle shops and restaurants. Here you can find where Sin Banderas wine is sold or served.


Stephanie Roethke is the winemaker at J Bell Cellars, situated in Zillah. The 30-acre estate includes a beautiful lavender field and the garage where the winery initially started. Today, the label specializes in old world varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, GSM blends, Malbec, Marsanne, Sangiovese and Syrah. Look out for other deftly made whites such as Roussanne and Viognier, poured in an intimate tasting room. Check out their satellite pouring spot in Woodinville, too.
124 Purple Lane | Zillah


Set in Prosser down the river a ways from Yakima, WIT Cellars launched in 2016. Yakima Valley native Cat Warwick is the winemaker —sharing the role with Flint Nelson — having logged more than two decades in the industry and counting. She’s Yakima Valley Community College’s first Wine Tech grad and expertly crafts everything from cool climate varietals like Chardonnay and Riesling to iconic French ones, from Cabernet Sauvignon to Malbec. Fitting that the label’s acronym stands for “we’re in-it together,” as the feel in the tasting room is decidedly warm and communal.
505 Cabernet Court | Prosser


Sunnyside, Washington label Côte Bonneville leans on its acclaimed estate DuBrul Vineyard. Winemaker Kerry Shields engineers classically styled wines from this steep Yakima Valley site, like exceptional Chardonnay made per its native home of Burgundy and complex Bordeaux blends. Côte Bonneville is in a bonafide sweet spot, pulling from a wonderfully mature site planted in 1992 and making about 2,500 cases per year — plenty of wine to keep Shields busy but not so much that she can’t give each lot ample TLC. Look out for the occasional creative collaboration, like a wild ale featuring Riesling made with fellow Sunnyside producer Varietal Beer Co.
1413 E Edison Avenue | Sunnyside


Winemaker and co-owner Jessica Munnell worked a wine internship Down Under before domestic industry stints at Snoqualmie Wines, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Mercer Wine Estates and more. She teamed up with Tom Merkle in 2008, on a quest to showcase Cab from Wautoma Springs Vineyard and Malbec from Stone Tree Vineyard in the Wahluke Slope. Since, she’s earned a major following, not just for the above varietals, but elegant renditions of Albariño, Grenache Blanc and balanced reds. The Prosser tasting room, which opened in 2019, beckons with friendly pours, a tapas menu and even hard-to-find chocolates.
206 Port Avenue, Suite C | Prosser


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published