Facelli Fascination

Our friends Sue and Robin were visiting recently from Vancouver, so of course I took them to Woodinville for some wine tasting. One of our stops was Facelli Winery, where we enjoyed a number of pours. My favorite was the 2003 Syrah Reserve while Sue and Robin purchased the 2007 Lemberger, which we opened at home later that evening.

As we were headed there, I told them about Lou Facelli, who began making wine in 1981 and garnered a cult following, not only because of his quality wines but also because of his unique personal style — he autographed wine bottles in crayon and entertained visitors by playing the accordion in his tasting room in an industrial/business park in Woodinville. He was one of the first winemakers we heard about when we moved to the Seattle area a decade ago.

Lou still autographs bottles (but with a Sharpie these days) and he still entertains visitors — with stories, if not with the accordion. But this time, we also enjoyed chatting with his wife Sandy, who proudly told us that Facelli’s was the third winery to open in Woodinville. There are now 35+ wineries!

Sandy also told us that when Facelli Winery opened its current tasting room in 1988, people told them that they were “nuts” for locating in a business/industrial park. Now 20 years later, most of Woodinville’s wineries are in industrial parks and/or warehouses. With a big chuckle, Sandy said, “These days, people call us visionaries! From nuts to visionaries in such a short time!”

If you’re looking for something fun to do on a summer weekend, stop by Facelli Winery!


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About Margot

Margot has been writing about wine since 1997 at KOIN-TV in Portland, Oregon; ten years later, she created this blog. Write for Wine focuses on the fine wines of Washington state, with occasional posts about other northwest wine regions (Oregon and B.C.), California, ANZ and Bordeaux. A former national journalist in Canada, Margot has been a Washington wine enthusiast since moving to Seattle in 1999. Her motto: “It’s wine o’clock somewhere.”