Touring the Columbia Crest Winery in Washington

There are few things I love more than touring a winery. Getting a behind the scenes look at what goes into my favorite bottle of wine makes drinking it that much sweeter. This is especially true when it’s a bottle that I helped create.

Enter Crowdsourced Cabernet from Columbia Crest. Last year the award winning wine brand set out on an ambitious project to be the first winery to produce a crowdsourced wine. I was just one of the many fans that joined the winemaking journey and helped vote on what the next steps would be: from what time of day to pick the grapes to how long should the wine age in the barrel.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Columbia Crest winery in Washington for the first time last month. There our small group was treated to a private tour of the vineyard with Juan Muñoz-Oca (Head Winemaker at Columbia Crest), a tour of the winery, and a very special wine blending experience.

Columbia Crest Vineyard

Crowdsourced Cabernet Grapes

Crowdsourced Cabernet Grapes

Juan Muñoz-Oca Showcasing the Crowdsourced Cabernet Grapes

Columbia Crest

It was quite an experience to taste the Crowdsourced Cabernet grapes right off the vine. A surreal experience I never thought I would do. But there I was, tasting grapes before harvest with the head winemaker himself. The man is full of knowledge, and was more than happy to answer any questions we had.

Grape Sorting Machine at Columbia Crest

Grape Pressing at Columbia Crest

What’s exciting about touring a winery is being able to see each step in the production. I feel as though I walked away with a greater understanding of wine and an appreciation for what goes into producing just one bottle.

Wine Containers at Columbia Crest

Wine Tasting with Juan Muñoz-Oca

Wine Tasting with Juan Muñoz-Oca

The theme for this trip was tasting! Juan treated us to various tastings at different stages of the process. Above we were tasting Columbia Crest Chardonnay in its early stages. The flavor was vastly different than what you would expect from a chardonnay. This specific tasting was from one of the large steel drums, before it gets transferred to a barrel for aging.


Columbia Crest Wine Barrels

The hose you see above filling the barrels is attached to one of the large steel drums I previously mentioned. If this was Crowdsourced Cabernet, the wine would sit aging in the barrels for as long as it was voted on. Currently you can vote for the 2015 Vintage to be in barrels aging for either 12 or 18-months.

Bottling at Columbia Crest

If you’re interested in learning more about Columbia Crest and their Crowdsourced Cabernet wine, visit Currently, you can contribute by voting on the 2015 Vintage and what you think they should do next.

This is a sponsored placement by Columbia Crest. While it is paid, you can rest assure I only accept sponsored campaigns with companies or products I would naturally write about.

Joe Miragliotta is a caffeine addict, social media freak and a tech junkie. When first creating the concept was small; Post diary-like content to share with the world of all things he was into. Now it's grown to be much more than that. You'll find travel, food & drink, design, tech, entertainment and more!

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