Many times we will feature a winery in our wine club and then a few months later feature their sister winery. A few people have emailed us on what we mean by a sister winery.
Simply put sister wineries are wineries that share ownership, either fully or partially, but target different markets or a different kind of wine consumer. The main benefit of starting a sister winery is that a winery owner or winemaker can reach new customers without changing the core values of the original winery. By doing so the sister wineries can branch out with new varietals, vineyards, labels, and even winemakers to keep up with what’s trending new in the wine market or push the envelope and experiment without harm to the original brand.
One of my favorite Washington State wineries is Corliss Estates, located in Walla Walla, Washington. They produce iconic Washington Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Bordeaux Blends. Whenever I can taste these wines, I jump at the opportunity and I highly recommend you do too. The problem with Corliss is that they are very exclusive and often sell out before I have chance to purchase them. Furthermore their prices can be considered cost prohibitive (special occasion budget). Luckily Corliss started a sister winery called Tranche Cellars a few years ago. Same owners, same winemaker and technology, but a different temperament so to speak. While Corliss focuses on traditional and timeless wine personalities, Tranche is more innovative and visionary. Both produce expressive, aromatic, and stunning wines, from estate-grown grapes but Tranche chooses to do it using less expensive techniques and materials leading to prices that won’t break the budget.
So if there is a winery you like and you discover they have a sister winery, it’s a great bet they will also have wines that you like and may be even be a better fit for your palate or budget.