Skylite Cellars is a small winery in Walla Walla making BIG wines with the help of winemaker Robert Smasne. Cheryl, a small town girl, and Tom Hodgins, a big city radio guy, settled in Walla Walla and in 2000 invested in Ash Hollow Vineyards. Using fruit from their home vineyard, Ash Hollow, other Walla Walla vineyards, and beyond, Skylite Cellars is creating some top notch wines. Their 2007 Malbec Received double gold at the 2010 Seattle Wine Awards and Wine & Spirits Magazine recently recognized the 2007 Walla Walla Cab as a 91 point “best buy” and “Year’s Best American Cabernet Sauvignon’s.”
Meet Tom and Cheryl Hodgins
Tom was living his dream; radio! Building towers or stations, broadcasting, managing, and ownership all held his interest. Radio is a fast paced business which left Tom with little time for other ventures, until the day he met wife, Cheryl. Cheryl grew up driving tractors and caring for livestock. Her favorite days involved landscaping and everything in the out of doors. She dreamt of one day building a cabin in the Blue Mountains. He wore a suit and she preferred her straw farm hat. These differences in lifestyles and backgrounds made one ponder “what did they have in common?” The answer to that begins with their mutual fascination with world travel and a love of great wine!
The Wines at Nectar Tasting Room
2008 Sagiovese Rose $18 – Silver in the San Francisco and Tri Cities Wine Festivals. This 100% Sangiovese has strawberry – rhubarb flavors and is long lasting on the finish. All stainless steel fermentation gives this Rose a crisp clean profile.
2009 Viognier $19 – 100% beautifully crafted Snipes Mountain Viognier. This perfectly balanced Viognier is topical, floral, and full of lush fruit in the mouth.
2005 Estate Merlot $22 – 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet, this 100% estate vineyard fruit defines what Walla Walla is all about. Distinct and super concentrated this wine is enjoyable now but can be cellared for a few more years as well. Aged 2 years in 100% new American oak.
2006 Syrah $29- A split between Minnick Hill and Ash Hollow Vineyards this 100% Syrah won Gold at the Fingerlakes Wine Competition. Deep purple with a violet edge. Voluptuous black cherries with undertones of earth, oak and beets.
2008 Malbec $30 – 100% Verhey Vineyard Malbec (Yakima). A bold start with an elegant finish. Loads of blueberry fruit, dark berry and hints of cedar cigar box. Still young but showing well.
2007 Walla Walla Cabernet $30 – 100% Walla Walla Cabernet that showcases the big bold fruit that has come to define the area. Rated 91pts and selected as a ‘best buy’ and one of the best American Cabernets of 2009 by Wine & Spirits magazine.
2007 Reserve BDX Blend $49 – 51% Malbec, 33% Cabernet and 16% Carmenere. Double God in the 2010 Seattle Wine Awards. The marriage of fruit brings to the forefront chocolate covered cherries. The wine is complex, bold deep and rich with a dark cappuccino finish.