In 2010, Josh and Amy Stottlemeyer and a family friend founded Stottle Winery. Today they have two Washington locations, a winery and tasting room in Lacey and a tasting room in Hoodsport.
While most people have at least toyed with making wine before they begin, Josh and Amy never had, but that changed after Josh took a two-year winemaking program at the Northwest Wine Academy in Seattle.
Stottle Winery produces what they call “handcrafted wine.” Josh explains it is because the labor is intensively hands-on.
“Nothing is automated in our production,” he said. “We touch every barrel, every bottle.”
The winery likes to use very old vines.
“The older the vines, the deeper the roots, the more complex the wine, and the more consistent it is year to year,” Josh says. “Elderding Canyon, for instance, has the second oldest Viognier vines in Washington; 6 Prong has many varieties that are among the oldest of their type in Washington; and Marcela’s Merlot is old vine.”
He explains that the average vine in Washington is only 6 years old, but many of the vines Stottle Winery uses are 25 to 35 years old.
Stottle Winery currently produces 17 wines from 11 varieties of grapes. According to Josh, sometimes the determination of what to make is whatever has the highest demand. Sometimes it is traditional.
“In Europe,” Josh explains, “different regions have specific styles. For us, the varieties that go into a blend stay consistent. Just the percentage of each grape may vary.”
The casual observer can look around the room and see dozens of awards. Some of the more recent are the Seattle Wine awards, which is the largest wine competition in the Northwest. Stottle’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Hombre, Tempranillo and Big Eddie have all won Double Gold, which means all 12 judges had to agree, not just a few.
And their Tempranillo won Best of the Best. Their 2016 Roussanne won the Gold and Best of Class at the Cascadia International Wine Competition. Several of their other wines have won Gold at the Seattle Wine Awards.
Josh and Amy began a wine club to give their customers a little something extra. “We choose a wine for them each quarter, and that includes some exclusive wines,” Josh says. “They get complimentary tasting and club-only events. People who are interested can just sign up online.”
“In both our Lacey and Hoodsport locations, we try to make everybody feel welcome regardless of their experience,” Josh says.