Spokane’s Caterina Winery Reborn
Historic building. Check. Central location. Check. Fantastic outdoor space. Check. Rich heritage. Check. Respected winemaker who is dedicated to quality product. CHECK! Caterina Winery has risen from the brink of extinction poised to reclaim its place as a premier Spokane winery.
Caterina’s roots date back to 1993 with winemaker Mike Scott (formerly of Lone Canary). As a pioneer of the Spokane wine scene, Caterina is proudly located in the historic Broadview Dairy Building at 905 N Washington. As time progressed it seemed that Caterina lost its way with a split personality of winery, bar, and music venue. In 2009, the winery was in danger of closing its doors forever.
Enter, Don Towshend. Don is the winemaker and owner of Spokane’s Townshend Cellars. Widely respected for quality wine-making, Townshend “cut his teeth” on wine at Caterina Winery. Picking up winemaking skills from Mike Scott, Preston Winery and others, Don’s connection to Caterina is strong. In March 2009, the ownership of Caterina approached Don with an offer to buy their assets. Hating to see Spokane lose such a treasure and seeing the potential for Caterina, Don stepped in to take over ownership.
While Townshend and Caterina are made in the same facility, Don is committed to crafting the wines in differing styles. Caterina’s line up is made in a very main stream, new world style with less time in oak and a very fruit forward approachable style. “Everything in the line-up is less than $20 and very approachable,” says Don. Current production is at 2500 cases with plans to expand as customers return to the quality.
While talking with Don and tasting room manager, eyes light up when discussing the building space and location. While renovations and changes will continue, visitors will notice a huge change in space layout. “We opened up the space. It was broken up and felt tight.” The renovations have created a space that is conducive to corporate events, parties, weddings, etc. Don and Steve are excited to participate in Spokane’s First Friday Art Walk events and look forward to utilizing the indoor and outdoor space for events and live music.
As a Spokane wine lover, I just want to say a personal “thank you” to Don and team for his commitment and passion to Spokane and Spokane wine. I look forward to seeing the resurrection and re-birth of Caterina!
GRAND OPENING WEEKEND (March 11-14) Noon – 6pm
Tasting Room Hours:
Wed – Sun Noon – 6pm
905 N. Washington
Tags: Caterina Winery, Spokane Winery
9 comments on “Spokane’s Caterina Winery Reborn”
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I Love all the great information.. thank you so much!
Rebecca – great to meet you the other day. Glad you could stop by and comment.
Well, as an author with over 200-published books (about 70 listed presently on bn.com), and who’s in Spokane, writing BACK OF THE BOAT GOURMET COOKING with my cousin, Bonnie Clark, a local gal, I have to admit to having been on the look-out for local wines to accompany the recipes in our new book when we went to the recent tasting for the “Grand Opening” of “Caterina Winery under new management”, and we came away less than impressed — http://williammaltese.livejournal.com/
That said, as someone whose university marketing thesis was about he wine-making industry, and who has visited the vineyards of Europe, Australia, and South Africa, I look forward to looking into what the Pacific Northwest area has to offer wine-wise in the very new future (I’ve heard good things about Barrister), and I look forward to participating in your upcoming virtual WA-Merlot tasting (if I can get my butt unglued from the computer (and the proofing of yet another book) long enough to pick up a local bottle of the product.
Your blog, by the way, has been a big help, in helping me sort out the Washington wine industry, even if it does, at times (understandably so), come across as a bit biased in favor of the local industry, and the local product.
Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you’ll be participating in the event! The new book sounds like an interesting one. There are several great wineries in Spokane. I’m sure you’ll have no trouble finding good wine to pair with the recipes.
The blog may have bias toward the promotion of the local region as a whole, but I am completely honest about my review of the wine, regardless of where it comes from.
Cheers and best wishes on your new book!
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that guy (william) is just a little opinionated
I’ve been to the the Caterina Wine tasting room and it is wonderful and the wines (although I didn’t Love every wine) are very good. that guy is kind of biased and maybe a bit of a snob.
Planning on coming out to ‘wine taste’ this coming Sunday
Thanks Teres Nelson
THIS REVIEW IS VERY INACCURATE IN THE FACTS IT HAS LISTED.
THE HIGHEST QUALITY WINES EVER PRODUCED AT CATERINA WERE CRAFTED BY MONICA MEGLASSON, THE FORMER WINEMAKER WHO LEFT THE WINERY WHEN DON TOWNSHEND CAME IN AS A PARTNER. MEGLASSON REFUSED TO ASSOCIATE HERSELF WITH THE SUB-STANDARD WINES OF TOWNSHEND.
CURRENTLY THE WINES ARE NEITHER PRODUCED NOR BOTTLED AT THE SPOKANE WINERY, JUST LABELED SO. THEY ARE MASS PRODUCED AT PRESTON WINERY IN TRI-CITIES.
Thank you for your comment, however there is not a single fact in this write up that is incorrect. You say, “the highest quality…” in your comment, quality is subjective. I don’t think Don claims that Caterina wines are the best wines you’ll ever drink, I think the goal is to produce a quality product that people can afford and enjoy. I also don’t think that Mr. Townshend hides the fact that the wines are produced at the Preston facility. That business model is completely valid, and while it may not be a fully integrated model, it does help keep costs lower. Additionally, Don (and his winemaker) are very hands on in the process.