September’s Featured Winery is Skylite Cellars from Walla Walla. After nearly a two year absence from Spokane we are excited to welcome this boutique and premium Walla Walla winery back for you to enjoy.
Tom Hodgins was living his dream in radio! Building towers, growing stations and increasing bandwidth left him with little time for nothing else…until he met Cheryl. Cheryl Hodgins grew up riding tractors and caring for livestock. He wore a suit and she preferred her straw farm hat. These differences in lifestyles and backgrounds made one ponder “what did they have in common?” The answer to that begins with their mutual fascination with world travel and a love of great wine!
Fast forward to the early 2000’s the Hodgins’ and others invested in Ash Hollow vineyards in Walla Walla and planted their own vineyards that would become Skylite Vineyards. Crafting distinct, quality wine representing Walla Walla began in 2005 with former wine maker Robert Smasne. A young cellar rat, Greg Matiko learned the craft and took over the reins of wine making in early 2010s’ – Greg is considered one of Walla Walla’s ‘Young Gun’ wine makers.
Greg took an interest in Tom and Cheryl’s Daughter, Ashley who ran the winery operations. After a few years of courting and dating Greg was finally lucky enough for Ashley to say YES. They married in 2016 and had baby Vera in 2017.
In 2009 Josh (Nectar’s Owner) started a wine blog called drinknectar in the hopes to open a wine related business some day. Through his blogging and twitter interactions he met Cheryl Hodgins and had the opportunity to enjoy some of the 2007 vintage. The 2007 Cabernet had just earned 91 points and was a stand out representation of Washington and Walla Walla. Skylite Cellars was the first winery that Josh reached out to when pitching the Nectar Tasting Room Co-op business model. Skylite was in and from January 2011 to December 2016 Skylite was the most popular (in sales) winery of the co-op.
Greg and Ashley will be on site for First Friday, September 7 to introduce 6 wines to Spokane. The line up includes the 2014 Cabernet that was not released to the public (wine club only) and a remarkable library wine, the 2010 Cabernet. On September 28 we will welcome Greg and Ashley back for a five course plated wine dinner.