News

WILLIS HALL WINEMAKER, JOHN BELL, HONORED
WILLIS HALL winemaker, John Bell, was honored by Seattle Magazine in their inaugural Washington Wine Awards. John was named Best New Winemaker in Washington. Check out the April 2006 issue of the magazine for details.

JOHN BELL HONORED AGAIN
In the March 7-13, 2007, issue of Seattle Weekly, Roger Downey wrote, ‘It’s no surprise when John Bell fields half a dozen knockout reds from his 2003 Willis Hall collection; Bell is a master winemaker who’s mentored a whole generation of Washington producers.’ Thanks, Roger. You do Willis Hall and John Bell honor.

WILLIS HALL IN THE NEWS
Many thanks to Braiden Rex-Johnson for her article in the November 9, 2008, issue of Pacific NW, The Seattle Times Sunday Magazine, “Six Savvy Young Wineries to Watch,” in which Willis Hall is profiled.

GREGUTT LIKES OUR WINES, TOO!!
In the April 11, 2007, issue of The Seattle Times, wine writer, Paul Gregutt, wrote a very complimentary column on Willis Hall and winemaker John Bell. Paul also reviewed several of our wines and wrote very favorable comments on them. Thanks, Paul!

JOHN BELL ON ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Read what John Bell has to say about entrepreneurship in Pat Sisneros’ excellent column in the December 7, 2009, issue of The Everett Herald. Thanks, Pat.

GREAT MENTION FOR JOHN BELL
Willis Hall winemaker, John Bell, was named one of 10 Washington Winemakers to Watch by Winefoot.com blogger, Duane Pemberton, one of the most followed and honest wine bloggers in the Pacific Northwest, and Sarah Bagdon, whose appreciation of wines of depth and character is unparalleled.  Many thanks for the recognition, Duane and Sarah.

What’s Happening

THE LATEST…  (Updated May 2, 2018)

The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of many things…  and so we shall.  John has decided that it’s time, after all, to pull the plug on Willis Hall as a significant production facility.  This decision was not taken lightly and derived from three major things – the crippling effects of the Great Recession, the crippling effects of the unwarranted attack on Willis Hall by the Snohomish County Planning and Development (Dis)Services organization, and John’s creeping physical limitations imposed by his advancing age.  Taken together, it became obvious to John that, no matter how much in terms of energy and resources he plowed into Willis Hall, continuing to struggle to recover “business as usual” was not a reasonable expectation.  Thus, John’s decision to pull the plug on wine production in any significant quantities.

John has decided to continue Willis Hall’s business as a viable winery for the duration of time required to sell through his stock of finished case goods, at which point Willis Hall will cease to be a viable, on-going enterprise.  The volume of such case goods, and the current rate of sales, mean that that duration of time will be approximately a couple of years, concluding by approximately mid-year 2020.  Because the winery’s primary wine stock is its much-awarded 2005 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and because John wants to have a balanced (though much reduced) portfolio of wines for sale, Viognier and Razz-ma-Tazz will continue to be made in small quantities over the next couple of years.  If you’re interested in a beautifully-aged wine that’s just waiting to appear on your table, better order a few cases of the Cabernet Sauvignon before the well runs dry!

In addition to sales via the internet, Willis Hall wines are being sold at the Wines of Washington Tasting Room at 1924 Post Alley near the Pike Place Market in Seattle, open daily from noon.  Stop by for friendly service and great wines in a very welcoming environment.  And be sure to frequently visit the EVENTS section below for updates on exciting wine events where John and/or Willis Hall wines will be featured.

Events

ENUMCLAW WINE & CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL
Willis Hall will again be pouring wine at this highly yummy, two-day, annual festival.  We’ll be pouring our highly awarded Cabernet Sauvignon as well as the latest version of our raspberry dessert wine, Razz-ma-Tazz (talk about a great pairing with chocolate!).  Earnings from wine sales and tasting tickets support the efforts of Family Wineries of Washington State in modernizing antiquated wine laws in Washington.  Free the grapes!
Enumclaw Expo Center
-  Friday, Feb. 1 (4:00-10:00)
-  Saturday, Feb. 2 (2:00-10:00)
-  (360)226-3493

WASHINGTON WINE CLASS
You say you want to learn about Washington wines?  Look no further!  Here’s a three-Tuesday, after-hours series, taught by certified wine educator Dieter Schafer, that will provide you with a thorough understanding of this premium winemaking region and the superb wines made therein.  John has been invited to teach the middle class in this series, so you’ll get his unique perspective of winemaking as well as a taste of a number of his award-winning wines.
South Seattle College Jerry Brockey Student Center
-  Tuesdays – Feb. 26, Mar. 5, and Mar. 12 – (6:00-9:00)
-  (206)934-5339