Thursday, February 05, 2015

Saying Goodbye: Mannina Cellars

Time rolls along and before we know it, we look at a landmark and it is ten years later. Indeed. When I think of the time Mannina Cellars was first getting their start, so was this wine blog - ten years ago.

Don and Jason 
It's with a sad heart that I read last night Don and Nicole Redman have chosen to close Mannina Cellars after ten years of operation. It's bittersweet news, but I am very happy for them. They are free of the liabilities, the rigorous responsibilities, and hard work that goes along with owning a winery and vineyards. As they can tell you first hand, that owning a winery is not at all like the critics will lead themselves to believe, that winery owners sit in their chateau every evening overlooking their land and the sunset while sipping on a vintage wine. Even if an active owner of a winery does have a chateau, he or she is probably working his or her butt off in the cellar or working long hours during out of town events. And quite too often, winemakers usually wear more grapes than they drink. A winery like Mannina Cellars is no different than any mom and pop business. Don and Nicole have a young family and now have more time to watch their daughters and son grow and be a part of those monumental times of their children's lives.

A young friend from Wyoming, Jason Baggett, was looking to extend his education and go the winemaking route. We encouraged him to come to the Institute for Enology and Viticulture at Walla Walla instead of  the U.C. Davis winemaking program. Jason was looking for an internship before he would land in Walla Walla and start school. He called me one day and asked what I knew about Mannina Cellars and the guy that owned it. I told him it was a perfect fit and to take the job. I remember calling Don and telling him that Jason would be the perfect fit - - and they were. To this day, even though Jason has moved back to Wyoming, Jason and the Redman family have a lifelong friendship. I love living in a small world.

Don had a unique story that I felt was an important one to share as in my book, Wines of the Walla Walla Valley: A Deep-Rooted History. He was one of the young winemakers who I featured as "Go West Young Man  ..." on page 95. Now a winemaker story that has come to an end ... and hopefully a happy ending.

Through the years when I had an opportunity to go out during the wine tasting event weekends, Mannina Cellars was usually the first on my list - - and I even did some bottling for them. Don and Nicole will be missed in the wine community and I wish them my very best on their next journey.


Jeanette said...

Yes, I love your tribute. They are mighty fine people. Working where I used to work I had the opportunity to meet him on a few occasions. There wine was great and I had heard by many it was a
favorite too!
Good Luck to them.

wild walla walla wine woman said...

Thank you Jeanette. Don and Nicole will be missed.

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