Wine Clubs have been around for a long time. Even the Fidelitas Wine Club has been going strong for almost 15 years. For a lot of wineries out there, there haven’t been a lot of changes other than upgrading from desktop computers to iPads in the tasting room. Most wineries are still following a recipe for their wines, deciding what they think will appeal to the masses, and pre-selecting your Club shipment for you.
As the Fidelitas Wine Club has grown over the years, we’ve always known that what is most important is to give you, the customer, access to our best wines sourced from the most sought after vineyards on Red Mountain, and personalize your experience along the way by giving you what you really want.
A couple years ago, we had to change the way things ran around here because we were finding that we couldn’t make enough of a certain wine to fulfill the whole Wine Club. 96 cases of Ciel du Cheval Petit Verdot isn’t going to go very far when we have a club that needs over 200 cases of a particular wine to give every member just 1 bottle, and these small lot wines are just too good to produce in this way. So, we changed the club from what was once the traditional “we pick for you” model to a more customized club experience. This gave Charlie the freedom to continue to produce vineyard designated (and sometimes Clonal specific) wines and still make our members happy…win win!
How the Club works:
There is a catch…
Our wines are first come, first served. This meaning that if you don’t secure your allocation then you might miss out on our most limited wines. Take the wines we are releasing this fall from Ciel du Cheval Vineyard for example. Members who customize their allocation by October 31 are able to choose from the following wines:
2016 Ciel du Cheval Cabernet Franc – 142 cases produced – SOLD OUT
2016 Ciel du Cheval Merlot – 142 cases produced – 40 left
2016 Ciel du Cheval Red Wine – 288 cases produced – 20 left
2016 Ciel du Cheval Cabernet Sauvignon – 386 cases produced – 19 left
Plus you can add on:
2016 Ciel du Cheval Petit Verdot – 96 cases produced – 13 left
Cabernet Franc, a fan favorite, sold out in a matter of weeks once we opened the Club selection window and Petit Verdot and Red Wine aren’t far behind it. This means that if you have certain wines you know you want, get in there and reserve them as soon as the selection window opens. We like to think our release window opening is just as exciting as tickets going on sale for your favorite concert…and to be honest, our members have broken the internet before with excitement!
Keep an eye on your email for news regarding the wines to come in the new year. They are our most anticipated yet!
Our annual summertime club event was a hit! This year we moved the party the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, trucked over our famous tacos from Red Mountain, and had our great friends, Dean and Doug Backholm, playing the party hits. Thank you to our amazing members who had the chance to party with us!
We like you a lot and would love to invite you to join us as a member of the Fidelitas Wine Club.
All Club members receive our most exclusive releases and the option to personally select their allocations, along with special pricing and incomparable service.
for members in the PNW
for members shipping across the country
Fidelitas Club members have exclusive access to our most sought after releases, including:
2016 Old Vines Merlot (142 cases) │ 2016 Fidelitas Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (232 cases) │ 2016 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Cabernet Franc (140 cases) │ 2016 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (384 cases)
Join today for invitations to our summer Preview Tastings and annual Seattle Club party.
Every year we are met with the same signs that summer is here. At Fidelitas it’s a once brown and bare vineyard turned to lush green, the release of our Semillon for patio season, and our dreadfully quiet tasting rooms once again filled with friends and new faces. One less obvious indicator that summer has arrived is bottling week at Wine Boss. There’s nothing like watching the bottling truck pull up knowing that soon the wine that been waiting in barrel for the last 2 years is finally going to make its way into bottle, and eventually out into the world.
Bill Hamlin of Custom Mobile Bottling spent much of his early career bottling and packaging fruit juices and wine at Ocean Spray then Chateau Ste. Michelle which is where he and Charlie met back in the ’90s. At that time, Charlie encouraged Bill to branch out on his own and what do you know, he just as well did it, and he’s arguably the best in the biz.
His mobile bottling truck doesn’t look like more than a semi-truck from the outside, but on the inside is state of the art bottling machinery. Most small to medium-sized wineries, like us, choose to use mobile bottling as it’s more cost effective than investing in a $50,000 bottling line that only gets used a few times per year. Instead, we call in the expert who does this every day. He and his truck are an invaluable part of the final process before wines get introduced into the world.
In addition, Bill uses a cross-flow filtration system for filtering wine before bottling. Yeasts that escape the filtering or fining process, for example, can result in refermentation in the bottle and can alter the flavor. His equipment is the best for filtering out all the leftover junk and leaves nothing but the purest juice. You can actually see and taste the difference between the wine before and after cross-flow filtration, the latter being less murky and much softer on your pallet.
His truck has a bottom-feed volumetric filler, designed to minimize splashing as the wine is transported into bottles. After the bottles are vacuum-sparged, wine pumped from tanks into the filler is measured into the bottles, and then automatically leveled to a consistent volume. Then bottles are sealed with a cork and pushed off the line and placed in boxes. From there the wines are palletized, 56 cases per pallet to be exact, and sent to Vintners Logistics until they are ready to be released.
This week we are bottling the 2017 vintage red wines for Fidelitas, roughly 7500 cases or 90,000 bottles. These wines will be released in 2020.
Honorable mention to our team of bottlers who put loads of manual labor on bottling day. Thank you for waking up with the sun and lasting through the long, hot, hours in the truck.
Ideas and facts for this post came from https://www.goodfruit.com/bottling-on-wheels/. Thank you for the great publication.
We prepped the days before getting everything ready for lots and lots of packing and formatted our email late in to the night Tuesday until it was just right. We fiddled with our UPS strategies making sure the promotion was set up correctly and you’d receive free shipping just like we promised. Team Fidélitas was in place ready to field calls and emails and tell you all about the amazing wines that we could send your way.
When we sat at the computer early Wednesday morning and tried to send the email, unfortunately, we ran into technical difficulties. Of course, this happens on Free Ship Day! The posts were already out on social media so we thought that would be good enough and we worked all day with the amazing support team at WineDirect to get our emails back on track and try the email again Thursday. It turns out that the Facebook and Instagram algorithm didn’t like our posts because it included text on the image. We got only 20 likes (shout out to you 20 people!).
Yesterday, technology was not on our side. The cool thing about it was the amazing people who worked together to resolve the issues and get us back on track today. Did you know that our small team sees every single order that comes in and, quite literally, does a little happy dance every time? Free Ship Day is more than a promotion to us. It’s a day when we get to send a little piece of Red Mountain out to all of our friends. We pack each box in house, by hand, with care obsessing over every detail.
Some days these are the tales of being a small business. We are so excited that today is (finally) Free Ship Day. We hope we get to send a piece of Red Mountain to you.
The Feast of St Fidelis is our longest running annual event dating back to when we first opened our tasting room on Red Mountain in May 2007. While this is only my 6th time attending, I must say the Feast is my favorite way to ring in warm Spring days on the patio while celebrating our wonderful members and the anniversary of making our home on Red Mountain.
Five Reasons You Should Attend the Feast This Year:
Members can purchase tickets here. See you in the taco line!
With our first releases of the year coming up in a matter of days, I need to take a moment to publicly recognize and honor a wine that is absolutely as good as one of our Cabernets and can stand up to our Bordeaux style blends with the best of them. I’m talking about our Red Mountain Merlot. “It’s just Merlot,” you say? This isn’t your classic Merlot that movies like Sideways put down back in the day.
Did you know that Charlie says Merlot is actually his favorite grape to make wine out of and fun fact: it’s also the most planted variety in France? Merlot is what put Washington on the map. When Charlie works on creating his various Merlots, he fondly remembers his early days as a winemaker, working with Merlot in the early 90s and wowing fellow producers from neighboring regions with the quality of Washington wine.
Most of the Merlots that we will release this year will be club only and highly limited including vineyard-designated Merlots from Quintessence and Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, plus the super sought after Old Vines Merlot. But first, in February, will come our 2016 Red Mountain Merlot which we intentionally make enough of to have in stock for most of the year. It's so good, we don't want to run out. Red Mountain Merlot is a wine we can relax with, enjoying bruit red fruit tones, and a bit of a spicy, dusty quality that we expect from Red Mountain wines.
This isn’t just Merlot, this is the Merlot that you can have in your cellar all year and never get sick of. To be released on Friday, February 8th. Click here to reserve yours.
Estate Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
clones 2, 6, 8, 412, 33, 169
picked on September 26 + 27, October 10
fermenting in Oak Uprights, Oak Tanks, Roller Fermenters
Estate Vineyard Merlot
picked on September 18
fermenting in Oak Uprights, Oak Tanks, Roller Fermenters
Estate Vineyard Petit Verdot
picked on October 10
fermenting in Boutes Oak
Estate Vineyard Malbec
picked on September 26
fermenting in Stainless Steel
Estate Vineyard Cabernet Franc
picked on October 10
fermenting in Oak Uprights
Harvest 2018 is here! This year we stepped up our game and brought new elements of modern craft winemaking to our whites. This means you get more, delicious, Bordeaux style whites from us and our crew gets to have some fun with their new toys in the cellar…win, win!
Fidelitas kicked off harvest last week with the Klipsun Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc and a little bit of Semillon. The cellar crew is fresh and full of energy, ready to get this harvest undertow!
You may remember this spring when we introduced “Edith” our concrete egg. This will be her first official harvest. The egg shape increases lees contact because of the wider base and natural convection motion of fermentation. It also offers a unique minerality which will add more depth to white blends. Isn’t she a beauty??
What makes it even more special is that this is the first time ever that we are co-fermenting our Optu White blend! This means that both the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are aged together inside the concrete egg instead of being blended as separate wines. We also have lots of Optu White fermenting in barrels like previous years, but we’re excited to experiment with concrete co-fermentation.
Yesterday we brought in our highly sought-after Quintessence Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc. Just take a moment to take in those plump and juicy green grapes.
More good news…this vintage we have not one but two Ovium barrels for this wine. The Ovium barrel is one of a kind in the U.S., made specifically for Sauvignon Blanc. This means we are taking our 50 case production of Quintessence Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc to 88 cases to be released Spring 2019. (Get your name on the list now.)
Today we're picking our first red, Merlot from Quintessence Vineyard, and expect our first Cabernet to come in next week. Stay up to date with Harvest 2018 updates by following us on Instagram + Facebook or check back in on our blog weekly.