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Fidelitas Wines


 

Jess Zander
 
January 11, 2021 | Jess Zander

Here Come the 2018 Reds!

A New Year brings a whole new set of Fidelitas wines, including a few brand new additions. Watch Charlie and Will discuss the 2018 vintage, then give video tasting notes on each of the Spring Releases.

Watch the full set of TASTING NOTES and check out all NEW RELEASES.

Charlie Hoppes
 
December 29, 2020 | Charlie Hoppes

2020 - One for the Record Books

Dear Friends of Fidelitas:

2020 has been unique and challenging to say the least. For nearly everyone, this year has been the first time we have faced an event that has altered how we do business so significantly. With that being said, I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for stepping up and making the effort to support us during these very challenging times. We have had to be flexible in the past year and appreciate everyone who has adapted with us…and enjoyed some good wine along the way.

The 2020 vintage is the 21st vintage for Fidelitas and my 23rd vintage as a Washington winemaker. As many of you know we started with one wine. The 2000 Meritage (Optu Red Wine) was a product that we sourced from around the Columbia Valley. As the Washington wine industry has grown up, so has Fidelitas, and we now have expanded to well over 20 different wines all from the impressive Red Mountain AVA.

In 2021, we will release our red wines from the 2018 vintage. 2018 is another in a long line of great vintages on Red Mountain. We will have a few new wines to offer to our Wine Club members. The first release of the year will feature two new wines from Heart of the Hill Vineyard: Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Heart of the Hill is owned and farmed by the Williams family who own Kiona Winery on Red Mountain. This family has been growing grapes on Red Mountain since the mid-seventies and we feel very fortunate to be able to buy grapes and make wine from these sites. Heart of the Hill is a newer planting that shows great promise, and we are excited to have everyone try these wines this winter.

Our Estate Vineyard on Red Mountain will increasingly be a focus of the wines that we will make in the future. As I have mentioned, before we have just over 12 acres planted with mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, but with Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc as well. As this Vineyard matures you will see more wines being released from the Estate as unique products. The 2018 vintage will see us release our first ever varietal Malbec and a red wine from the Estate Vineyard. The red blend is unique in that it is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon with Petit Verdot at 25%, which give it a bit more power and concentration than our other red blends. The new Estate wines will launch in the fall along with our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon to give those wines a little more bottle age before release.

We continue to do everything possible to continue to improve the wines that we are making by using techniques in the cellar to emphasize continuous improvement. Those techniques involve the size and shape of the fermenters we are using along with fine tuning our barrel aging programs. I am very happy with strides we have made to get better with each vintage, and at the same time look forward to the wines we will make in the future. The fruit we have access to on Red Mountain is not only some of the best fruit in the Pacific Northwest but is truly world class and I think our wines reflect that.

Our Fidelitas team has been so very resilient this year and I cannot thank them enough for their continued efforts every day. These people are telling the Fidelitas story to you, our customers, and their efforts are appreciated.

Again, thank you for the continued support of Fidelitas. I look forward to seeing many of you in the very near future.

Cheers!

Charlie Hoppes, Fidelitas Owner + Winemaker

Skye Dissette
 
July 29, 2020 | Skye Dissette

August 2014 | Summer in the City

Summer in the City was my first event I worked at Fidelitas, and it quickly became my favorite event to host. Each year we explored different parts of Seattle (although Fremont Foundry took the cake a few times), ate yummy food, danced to music, listened to Kathleen sing a tune, and toasted to a summer with friends.

Let’s rewind to that day in August 2014:

I showed up at The Fremont Foundry with balloons in my hand, eager to see how Fidelitas really liked to party. I had just moved back to the west coast and had my first real taste of what it was like to park in Seattle. Spoiler alert – not great. I met some Red Mountain team members (now they are just frequent visitors), had my first bite of Eric’s famous tacos, and chatted with members under the twinkle lights. I knew right away I was going to fit in just fine. But what really made that night special wasn’t just the tacos and twinkle lights, it was the wine. Charlie’s handcrafted amazing vino.


2001 Meritage

2013 Klipsun Vineyard Semillon

2011 Columbia Valley Malbec

2012 4040 Red Wine

2010 Champoux Vineyard Merlot

2011 Boushey Red Wine

2011 Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

2010 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

2010 Ciel du Cheval Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Klipsun Vineyard Late Harvest Semillon


This year has brought us some challenges and as someone who plans most of the events, I find myself going down memory lane longing for the day when we can come together again.

We may not be together for a summer night in the city on August 9th like we had thought, but I hope you’ll open something special and think back to your first with Fidelitas. For me, I’ll be popping open a 2010 Champoux Vineyard Merlot.

Cheers!

Summer in the City 2015 | Palisade | Magnolia

Summer in the City 2017 | Fremont Foundry | Fremont

Summer in the City 2018 | Fremont Foundry | Fremont

Summer in the City 2019 | Block 41 | Belltown

 

Bryce Appleby
 
July 10, 2020 | Bryce Appleby

The New Normal on Red Mountain

Hello to all of you amazing, Fidelitas wine loving folk out there! My name is Bryce and I have been a part of the Red Mountain Management team for over a year now. Which means that if you have been to the tasting room here in Benton City, that we have likely crossed paths, I've told you jokes, poured you wine and likely shook your hand or given you a hug. Nothing brings me more joy than to share these amazing wines with new friends. These past few months have been interesting to say the least. We closed our doors to the public due to a pandemic, despite this and due to the continued support from our amazing guests, we were able to keep the thumb twiddling to a minimum. We shipped out so much wine to you folks that I personally went down a pant size! (ok not really but it was a ton of wine) 

After about 4 months of packing boxes, typing on computers and making phone calls, we have been given the opportunity to move to phase 1.5 which means that we are now able to host small groups on our patio! TASTINGS! YAY! I can honestly say that I haven't been this excited about anything for a long time! Sunshine, tunes, patio hangs, amazing views and even better wines are definitely in our near future! With that being said, we take the safety of our Team and Guests very seriously and will be following very strict guidelines to ensure that everyone stays healthy. You know, so we can drink more wine together! 

HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Reservations required.

We are able to host groups of 5 or less and will be staggering reservations to meet social distancing requirements. In our current phase, we are able to welcome guests on the patio. Reservations are for one hour and there is no indoor seating or bar service. Book online or call 509.588.3469.

We are wearing masks…and ask that you do too.

Per Washington State guidelines, guests are asked to wear a mask any time that they are not seated at their designated table. Fidelitas Team Members will be wearing masks at all times.

Social Distancing is in effect.

Tables have been laid out to ensure 6’ distancing between parties. Please limit movement on the property.

Select wines are available.

During the early reopening phases, we are offering a 3-wine flight that is complimentary for Club or $15 for guests, along with glass pours and bottle sales. Curbside pick-up remains available and you can book in advance HERE.

Sanitize, clean, sanitize, repeat.

Please sanitize your hands upon entry. Fidelitas has adopted increased cleaning and sanitization practices between all visitors.

Please leave food and pets at home.

At this time, we are unable to accommodate outside food and picnicking.

 

Honestly, the hardest part about the stay at home order was not chatting with all of my Fidelitas friends! I am so excited to spend some time and share these amazing wines and views with you! 

See you soon,

Bryce Appleby

Jess Zander
 
July 1, 2020 | Jess Zander

Summer Virtual Tastings

While are starting to be able to host some visitors in Woodinville – and perhaps Red Mountain in the near future – we have found that our virtual tastings are such a fun way to connect with Fidelitas fans, near and far. None of us are going on any big trips anytime soon, so we thought it’d be fun to bring Red Mountain to you! See below for details on upcoming virtual tastings, excursions, and videos from Team Fidelitas.

July 9: Virtual Tasting Room with Bryce. We all miss tasting on Red Mountain and Bryce misses you. Let him host you for a virtual wine tasting on the Red Mountain patio, complete with a trip through the vines. On Instagram Live at 5pm.

July 16: Red Mountain vs. Napa. It's one of Charlie's favorite places to visit. We're putting Napa Cabs against Fidelitas Red Mountain Cabs to find out where they are different...and the same. To be hosted via Zoom webinar at 5pm. To register, EMAIL US.

July 24: Fireside Chat with Charlie and Will. Gather (distantly) around the Fidelitas firepit to hear Charlie chat about how Fidelitas came to be on Red Mountain and what may lie ahead in the future. On Instagram and Facebook at 5pm. Send us your questions in advance!

July 30: Red Mountain and Bordeaux-style Wine with Karen MacNeil. Auction of Washington Wines Honorary Chair and The Wine Bible Author, Karen MacNeil, is hosting a series of Virtual Tastings across the Washington Wine Industry. On July 30, join Charlie, along with Darel Allwine (Col Solare) and Chris Sparkman (Sparkman Cellars) to chat with Karen about Red Mountain and its coveted Bordeaux-style wines. Hosted at 4pm. Learn more and register on the Auction of Washington Wines site.

August 6: The Canyons Vineyard Malbec. This is perhaps one of our most coveted releases each year and is limited to just 98 cases, so doesn’t last long. Hear from Charlie on why he continues to be drawn to this unique block of Malbec on Red Mountain and how it stands apart from our other Red Mountain Malbecs. Don’t forget to grab a bottle (or a case!) in advance. The 2017 Canyons Vineyard Malbec goes on sales July 29. Hosted at 5pm on Instagram Live.

We look forward to connecting with you soon!

Jess Zander
 
June 11, 2020 | Jess Zander

OPEN in Woodinville!

 

 

We're open! But things are a little different. Here is what you need to know prior to visiting:

Reservations required.

We are able to host groups of 5 or less and will be staggering reservations to meet social distancing requirements. In our current phase, we can host a total of 10 guests indoors and 4 guests on the patio in Woodinville, and appointments are for 1 hour. Book online or call 425.558.9001

We are wearing masks…and ask that you do too.

Per Washington State guidelines, guests are asked to wear a mask any time that they are not seated at their designated table. Fidelitas Team Members will be wearing masks at all times.

Social Distancing is in effect.

Tables have been laid out to ensure 6’ distancing between parties. Please limit movement throughout the building.

Select wines are available.

During the early reopening phases, we are offering a 3-wine flight that is complimentary for Club or $15 for guests, along with glass pours and bottle sales. Curbside pick-up remains available and you can book in advance HERE.

Sanitize, clean, sanitize, repeat.

Please sanitize your hands upon entry. Fidelitas has adopted increased cleaning and sanitization practices between all visitors.

Please leave food and pets at home.

At this time, we are unable to accommodate outside food and picnicking.


Fidelitas Woodinville - 11am to 5pm, daily

14467 Woodinville Redmond Road NE | Woodinville, WA | 98072

425.558.9001 | woodinville@fidelitaswines.com

Jess Zander
 
May 5, 2020 | Jess Zander

Fidelitas is OPEN...just not as usual

Fidelitas is OPEN…just not as usual.

At Fidelitas, we are faithful, loyal, and true, and this means prioritizing the health and safety of our Team, our fans, and our greater communities on both sides of the state. In the era of “Stay Home, Stay Safe”, wineries have been lucky enough to be deemed an essential business, with several safety precautions taken. And while we are so fortunate as a small business to keep our doors open in a modified fashion, to keep many staff members employed, and to be able to continue sharing wine (because, we all need a glass right about now!), we are doing so with safety as a top priority.

In addition to increasing our established cleaning regimen, and limiting contact between staff and customers, we are asking that all team members self-certify their own health before coming to work. All Team Fidelitas members have confirmed that they are healthy (no fever or symptoms of any type of illness), they have not had contact with anyone who is ill, and they have not traveled to areas deemed high-risk. We are asking that all visitors do the same.

With these precautions in place, we pleased to offer contactless delivery in both locations. We may place an order ONLINE for tasting room pick up or just give us a call.

RED MOUNTAIN: 11am to 5pm, daily

  • Please call ahead (509.588.3469) to arrange your pick-up date and time. We’ll confirm any outstanding Club allocations and add-on orders at that time.
  • Once you arrive, call us (509.588.3469) to let us know you are in the parking lot. No need to come in! We’ll grab your wines with freshly cleaned hands and bring them directly to your car.

WOODINVILLE: 11am to 5pm, daily

  • Please call ahead (425.558.9001) to arrange your pick-up date and time. We’ll confirm any outstanding Club allocations and add-on orders at that time.
  • Once you arrive, come to the roll-up door or main door. Your wines will be packed and labeled with your name for you to pick-up. If you’d rather not come to the door, just give us a call.

       

 

We so value your support as Fidelitas fans. As a small business who relies on visitors coming through the doors - especially during the spring and summer - we appreciate all of you who are supporting us during the months of closures.

Jess Zander
 
April 21, 2020 | Jess Zander

Virtual Tasting Series

As the spring of 2020 wears on, we seem to be getting into a bit of a routine: wake up, drink coffee, do some work, drink some wine, go to bed. The added bonus is that on Thursdays, we get to do virtual tastings, which are really just a good excuse to learn something will drinking wine.

So many kudos to Will for really spearheading these tastings. We’ve been learning and making adjustments and trying new things along the way. In all honesty, none of us know when we won’t be at home, searching for fun activities to pass the days. But what we do know is that these tastings are a great way to connect with Fidelitas fans all over the country, and we’re having a lot of fun hosting them. So, here is a summary of our next 4 Thursdays:

Thursday, April 23: a discussion of barrel selection and aging with Charlie and Mitch. This is a great opportunity to open a special wine from the cellar. Maybe go for a big Cabernet and see if you can get any of the oak treatment notes that they’ll be talking about. I think I’ll try to find a Red Mountain Cabernet from either 2009 or 2012 and pair it with pasta puttanesca, since I have all of that stuff in the cupboards, and no intention of going to the store this week. On Fidelitas Facebook and Instagram at 5pm.

Thursday, April 30: Will is chatting about unusual BBQ wine pairings, featuring the Optu White Wine, Red Mountain Merlot, and Ciel du Cheval Merlot. If you have a trip to the store planned, do it this week and see if you can grab some extra fun groceries. Call it a splurge away from rice and beans. Here is what I’m thinking of:

  • Optu White Wine with Grilled Herb Shrimp. This Barefoot Contessa recipe is such an oldie but a goodie. I make it at least once per summer. With the mango salsa, it honestly might be a perfect pairing for the Optu White.
  • Red Mountain Merlot with Grilled Sausages and Veggies. In my house, these ingredients are pantry staples. The Red Mountain Merlot is fairly bright, making it a great companion to those zesty veggies.
  • Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Merlot with Grilled Portobello Mushrooms. In contrast to the Red Mountain Merlot, Ciel du Cheval gives us lovely soft and earthy tones, complimented by the earthy mushrooms and rosemary. Use the mushroom in place of a burger, on top of a burger, on top of polenta, or by itself.

This event is happening on the Red Mountain AVA’s Facebook Live at 5pm.

Thursday, May 7: Charlie and Will chat varietal and vineyard blending with Optu Red Mountain and 4040 Red Wine. I’m not going to lie, you can definitely pick whatever vintage you have of either of these wines for the tasting. It’s all about blending, so vintage won’t matter. However, the 2017 vintage of Optu Red Mountain is close to one of the best I’ve ever had. I’m thinking that Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri is going to be awesome to enjoy with the rest of that bottle after the tasting is done. Fidelitas Instagram Live at 5pm.

Thursday, May 14: We're focusing on single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Ciel du Cheval Vineyard. Again – and I might be biased – I feel like this 2017 vintage is just amazing. Talking blends is fun, but there is something so intriguing and focused about single vineyard and single varietal wines. It might be a good excuse to try Charlie’s favorite: Ribeye Steaks and Broccolini. Fidelitas Instagram Live at 5pm.

 

Stay safe, everyone! We cannot wait to see you at one of these tastings in the near future, and in person not long after.

 

Jess Zander
 
April 8, 2020 | Jess Zander

#SipGlocal: Taking a Moment to Reflect

It’s been a bit since we last posted. Sometimes it’s hard to know the right words to say. However, our friends in the Washington Wine Industry kickstarted “SipGlocal”, which encourages us all to sit down and spend some time reflecting and writing with a bottle of wine. Once the letter is done, roll it up, place it in the bottle, and save it for another day.

 

Wine is a different kind of industry. It’s not a ‘make today, sell tomorrow’ kind of product.

At Fidelitas, we are just starting to release our red wines from the 2017 vintage. Three years ago, in the spring of 2017, I was 6 months pregnant with my second child. Charlie and I were working together to determine which grapes he’d source later that year and he then worked with growers to secure blocks of the perfect fruit. By that fall, my daughter was a few months old, and Charlie was deep into harvest, bringing in fruit and working long, long days in the cellar. For weeks on end, he cared for these wines before nestling them in their perfectly matched barrels where they’d hang out for the next couple of years.

In the winter of 2018, my daughter was going from walking to running, and Charlie was starting to put the blends together for his 2017 reds. We carefully charted out the exact number of cases to make of each product, knowing that we got to share them with our members later on. The following months, I was ordering glass, working with screen printers, and sourcing our corks. In the summer of 2019, about the same time that Charlie was bottling, we were celebrating my daughter’s second birthday. Finally, this spring, just after she was settling in at preschool, we are ready to share the 2017 reds with our members – passing them from our house to yours.

For three years, we’ve been working towards the point of sharing these wines, but suddenly, we’re doing so at such an uncertain time. Do we all want the wine on days like this? Of course! But as an individual, a mom, and someone who runs a small business, I know everyone is thinking about their priorities right now.

In writing this, I’ve learned that it is an emotional exercise to ponder all that has happened in the past three years. Even more emotional, is pondering what is coming in the next three.

What I do know is that we are more than fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing base of fans and customers. Life may look pretty different for a while, and that is okay. It’s a great time to get to the bottom of our to do list and to open a few awesome bottles from the cellar. And when we are able to leave our houses, go back to the tasting rooms, share wine with friends, we get to shape those interactions to be intentional and meaningful. Who knew that being so distanced from one another would be the thing that actually connects us and brings us closer than ever?

Will Hoppes
 
March 3, 2020 | Will Hoppes

Gaining a Better Understanding for the Fidelitas Estate

Last week we met up with Dick Boushey to taste through samples of all the vineyard blocks in the Estate from Harvest 2019 to see how things are coming along.  Blocks 1-3A, our 2008 planting, were tasting just as good as ever and there were a few surprises from the newer plantings, blocks 3B-12.  A couple blocks in particular that stood out for their complexity and concentration were Cabernets from blocks 7 & 8 (clones 2 and 169).  Now that these 2015 plantings are more mature and we're able to conduct a better comparison to the 2008 plantings, it got me thinking that we talk about the subtle differences of different vineyard partners all the time but haven't looked more deeply into the differences of the blocks within our own Estate vineyard.

The very peak of Red Mountain is around 1,400 ft and slopes down to about 600 ft as the bottom of the AVA boundary approaches the Yakima River.  Our Estate, which is at the center of the AVA, sits at around 720 feet from the vantage point of our back patio (looking towards the SW at the Horse Heaven Hills):

Now onto the subtle differences - here's some elevation readings from different points around the Estate:

As you can see the Estate follows the gradual South-Western facing slope, with a slight dip in the middle at blocks 2 through 3B, similar to the main part of Red Mountain and is steeper on the Southern blocks, 7-12.

(http://www.everyvine.com/org/Fidelitas/vineyard/Fidelitas_Estate_Vineyard/

In fact in some areas the slope is more true Southern facing like we see in some of our favorite blocks on Red Mountain that go into our Quintessence Cabernet and offer some of the most concentration of flavor and color of any wines we make.

View from the middle of the vineyard looking back at the tasting room:

View from the Merlot block looking back at gentle SW slope towards the tasting room:

View from the back of Block 7 (Cab Sauv, Clone 2) looking South:

Looking South at Block 8 (Cab Sauv, Clone 169), note the gradual slope which gets steeper as you get further South.  Both blocks 7 & 8 stood out in our Estate tasting for their depth and concentration.  We're excited to see how these wines mature for blending later this year and the future harvests off these blocks!