Betz Family Winery Release Weekend

Betz Family Winery Spring Release Update:  Betz Family Winery in Woodinville holds two releases a year, and the Spring Release this past weekend was a roaring success by any standard. Not only does Bob Betz make fabulous red wines, about 1300 customers visited the winery for their first chance to taste what they’ve bought, learn more about the wines and Bob’s philosophy, mix and mingle with other customers, and enjoy an afternoon of talking (and tasting) wine. Customers tasted the lightest red wine first, the Petite Rousse, then went on to the Clos de Betz, finishing up with the Pere de Famille. And we noticed that some customers were on a mission — hardly being able to wait to get to the much-anticipated PDF, which is why I’ve listed it first, below.

 In the photo to the left — I listen carefully as Bill extols the virtues of the 2007 Pere de Famille. Bill is a longtime volunteer who, (along with Nick), has taken me under his wing and is teaching me the finer points of pouring Bob’s wine for the many customers we meet during release weekends.

In the photo to the right, winery volunteers Robin and Jeff listen carefully to last minute instructions from winemaker/winery owner Bob Betz. 

Featuring — 2007 Pere de Famille: This spring’s release featured the ‘much talked about’ 2007 Pere de Famille, a Cabernet Sauvignon blend, that may just be the best wine Bob has ever made. Most Washington state red wines can be laid down for 5-10 years. This one can be cellared for up to 20 years according to the experts, based on the balance and structure of this wine. It features 85% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, mainly from Red Mountain, including the Klipsun, Kiona and Ciel du Cheval vineyards, plus about 7% Petit Verdot grapes.  It tastes divine, and my goal is to actually keep it in our cellar for up to 5 years. (20 years would be a stretch at our home). As I mentioned in an earlier post, this wine garnered scores of 95 points from both the Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, and I was told this past weekend, that Steven Tanzer mentioned to Bob that it was the best of 600 Washington wines that Tanzer recently tasted.  

2007 Clos de Betz:  This wine is primarily Merlot grapes (62% compared to 47%), with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot adding their subtle complexity.  Bob says, “The result is a big volume Clos, from its glass-coating appearance to its length on the finish.  Deep black cherry, plum and exotic spice aromas lead to a rich, ripe and lush mouthfeel.  But this is no fruit salad; it’s an integrated, well-knit wine, filled with deep red notes and added depth coming from an increased quantity of remarkable Red Mountain grapes.  Fruit from our Horse Heaven and Yakima Valley vineyards added hints of cola, chocolate and minerals enhancing the final blend.”

2009 Petite Rousse, a light, drinkable red perfect for summer.  Bob made about 55 cases of the 2009 Petite Rousse — a light, chillable red that we love during the warm summer nights.  Bob says, “This year’s version is slightly deeper and richer than the 2008 version because of more Syrah in the blend, just over 50%. The rest is made up of Grenache and a little Mourvedre to complete this Southern Rhone-style quaffer.”
What we love about Release Weekends: The Betz family (Bob, Cathy and daughter Carmen) truly believe each of their customers is special, and as volunteers, it’s our job to share this philosophy with the hundreds of people who come through the winery’s large wooden doors.  People are happy to come and taste their purchases, learn about the other wines Bob makes that maybe they didn’t buy this time around, and find out what sets apart this winery from the many others that have sprouted up across the state. (If it sounds like people are buying on faith, they are. That faith is certainly justified by the Betz Family Winery’s reputation for quality and Bob’s consistency in producing fine red wines year after year). I love talking to people about wine, and many customers are very knowledgeable, and ask a lot of questions. We’re happy to track down answers if we don’t know. My husband and I also enjoy getting to know the other winery volunteers. They are a group of hardworking people, devoted to doing their best for the winery, and having fun! Many of them help out in all production phases of the winery, not just release weekends, and know what they are doing when it comes to making great wine.  

In the photo on the left, the group of volunteers enjoys dinner after the doors closed, with a few select bottles of wine to be shared with all.

In the photo on the right, Cathy Betz (in the blue shirt and gray vest) recaps the days events with volunteers Bill, Jeff, Angie, Jay, and new assistant winemaker Tyson.

Please check out for more information about their wines. Of course, there are a growing number of wineries around Woodinville that have their own ‘release weekends’ just in case you missed this one. I’ll keep you posted on my next volunteering effort at Bob’s.

In the photo to the right, Greg Kruse, one of the volunteers, with Bob Betz checking out the ‘good stuff’ in the barrels.

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