John and Margaret (Peggy) Bigelow have owned and operated JM Cellars for 19 years, and is a winery worth the visit. John, a software executive, unplugged in 1998 to pursue his life passion for wine and create something tangible that he could enjoy throughout his life.
Q. How did you get started?
A. In 1998 we converted the basement of our Laurelhurst home into a winery producing 100 cases for our own enjoyment. We were encouraged to create a second vintage of 350 cases known as Tre Fanciulli… JM Cellars was born.
Q. The winery setting is beautiful, what’s the story?
A. The winery sits on seven acres of beautifully landscaped property, known as Bramble Bump. It is part of the property that once included St. Michelle Winery and was a dairy farm. The previous owners had a passion for horticulture, so there are walking trails, a bocce ball field and places to sit while you enjoy our wines. It is a great setting for an event or wedding.
Q. Of all the wines you produce, do you have a favorite?
A. As a winemaker I don’t or shouldn’t have a favorite but that being said I do have one often referred to as our signature wine, “Tre,” originally “Tre Fanciulli,” which means three boys, named after our sons.
Q. Where do you source your grapes?
A. We source our grapes from nine different vineyards in the Eastern Washington Region as well as own 40 acres on the southern border of the Walla Walla Appellation known as “Margaret’s Vineyard.” Here we planted 12 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec.
Q. How is your wine aged?
A. We age blends in stainless steel and utilize French Oak barrels for the other varietals. We never use one barrel more than two times. This preserves the quality you get from using Oak. We then sell the barrels and purchase new ones. The larger fermenting barrels are used for eight cycles then replaced.
Q. What is the winery’s volume?
A. We produce 5,000 cases a year, featuring high-quality wines styled for balance, power, dimension and finesse.
14404 137th Place NE, Woodinville
Tasting Room Hours: Fri., Sat. & Sun.11-4 p.m.
Phone: 425.485.6508, Website: jmcellars.com