A Unique Tasting Experience at Northwest Totem Cellars

If you’re trying to find a unique wine-tasting experience in the Seattle area, look no further. Simply find a Saturday to stop by the Woodinville/Redmond location of Northwest Totem Cellars, where winemaker Mike Sheridan and his wife/co-owner Kate pour some tasty wines in the beautiful kitchen of their absolutely amazing home.

Yes, that’s a lot of superlatives, but you have to see their home to believe it – big, bright and airy, high ceilings, lots of windows and cedar, plus fireplaces tucked into incredible stone walls. If you’re lucky, Kate will also be serving delicious pizza or brownies, making the kitchen even more inviting with its tempting aromas. 

And then there are the wines! As mentioned in my previous post, Mike won gold for ’06 NW Totem Cellars Elerding Syrah. Obviously, this is a good wine. But my palate prefers his unusual and bold Syrah-Tempranillo blend, 2006 Potlach. Here are Mike’s Potlach tasting notes:

A unique blend of all Elerding vineyard fruit comprised of Syrah (52%), Tempranillo (47%) and Petit Verdot (1%), the wine was aged for 18 months with 15% new French oak. This wine opens with bold aromas of blackberry, blueberry, vanilla and a hint of cherry that dominate the palate. Soft tannins with a lingering finish to allow you to enjoy this wine now.

Another big red is Northwest Totem Cellars Cabernet Franc – one of our favorites. We’ve been big fans of Cab Franc since 1999, and this one was right up there on our “best of” list.

And, not surprisingly to regular readers of this blog, we really enjoyed Low Man Red, a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet (70%), Merlot (21.3%), Cab Franc (4.7%) and Petit Verdot (4%).

I’m not fond of dessert wines, but my friend Shona at Woodinville Wine Update raves about Northwest Totem Cellars Late Harvest Viognier.

On our to-do list is their recently released Qo-né, which blends Cab Franc (64.4%), Cabernet Sauvignon (26.2%), Syrah (8.4%) and Petit Verdot (1%). We’re looking forward to tasting it too.

Last but not least, Mike and Kate are friendly and knowledgeable with interesting stories to share, including many about Native Americans and First Nations in Canada. So be sure to spend some time chatting with them at their tasting room – you can also read their story on their website.


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About Margot

Margot started writing about wine decades ago as a national journalist in Canada and the U.S. She and Dave created this website in 2007. Originally, the website introduced people to wines in Washington state, the second-largest wine region in the U.S. But over the years, the site expanded to feature other wine regions in the U.S., Canada, and in the world. If you like to read about standout wine and winery stories, then Write for Wine is for you.