Recently we discovered Virtue Cellars, a small batch, family-owned winery located in the Richmond Beach neighborhood of Shoreline, Washington. I am a sucker for bottled tasting kits, so when I heard about Virtue Cellars new release, I knew I had to try it. I ordered online and set off to pick it up.
At first, I thought I missed Virtue Cellars. Well, to be quite honest, at first I did miss Virtue Cellars! I drove right by. I double checked my Map, and it assured me I was in the correct spot. When I say Virtue Cellars is family-owned, I truly mean it, as the production happens right in the home of owners/winemakers Kevin and Kathryn Mueller! They produce 1,000 cases of Bordeaux and Rhone style wines each year in a beautiful production facility – at their house. As I pulled up, Kevin greeted me and told me about the winery; I even got to tour their production area and cold room, complete with an expansion that’s under construction! After a quick chat, I took my tasting kit (and some rose), and headed home.
On to the tasting! The kits contain six different wines in small bottles, each beautifully labeled with the same labels as the normal bottles. We love the names on each of the varietals such as the “Authenticity” Merlot and the “Vitality” Malbec, complete with definitions on the back. If forced to pick a favorite, we say the “Unity” GSM Blend and the “Sincerity” Syrah. The Grenache in the GSM blend adds a flavorful minerality. Sean guessed the varietal of the Syrah and enjoyed the spices and tobacco on the palate.
It turns out our palates didn’t steer us wrong, as the GSM and Syrah both won “Best in Class” at the 2020 Washington Wine Awards, with nine wines submitted, and nine awards coming home! Even better, their pricing is incredibly approachable. Virtue does the tasting kits about once a month, so be sure to follow their social media or join their mailing list to see when they are available! You can also buy bottles any time, and we promise you won’t be disappointed!
At Vino Hawks, we feel strongly about supporting small wineries, especially during these current challenging times. The COVID restrictions disproportionally affect the small business who rely on wine walk events, pop-up type events for sales, or have small tasting rooms. Virtue Cellars does not have a tasting room (yet??), and came up with these tasting kits to continue to share their wine. We admire what Virtue calls, “Inside the Box” thinking and continue to be impressed with the ingenuity of the Washington wineries.
Coronavirus requirements change frequently for the wineries. At the time of this writing, only outdoor tastings are allowed. If you can, please support small wineries. Check social media or call ahead to check current status. If you’re not comfortable doing a tasting, curbside pickup and delivery continue to be great options.
Thanks to Chelsey from Wino On a Budget for telling us about Virtue; be sure to follow her on social media. And finally, please follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to keep up on all of our adventures!