All-Star Winemaking Team Lifts Matthews to New Heights

Matthews, a family-owned and operated winery focused on expressing the purity of Washington state’s Columbia Valley, has released its first wines under its all-star winemaking team that joined the Woodinville-based winery in the spring of 2021. The winemaking team today is Head Winemaker Alex Stewart and Winemaker Hal Iverson, two of the most recognized and acclaimed winemakers in Washington state.

Their first Matthews releases include the 2021 Columbia Valley Cuvée, Claret, Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2022 Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc. The resulting wines are unlike anything Matthews has ever released. “We are so proud of the wines from the 2021 vintage,” said Stewart. “They have great richness and textural depth and are quite different than any wines Matthews has previously produced.”

Hal Iverson and Alex Stewart conduct a barrel tasting

Since 1992, Matthews has crafted red blends from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, and white wines exclusively from Sauvignon Blanc. In the spring of 2021, the Matthews team set out to dramatically elevate its current vineyard holdings and add additional diversity to the vineyard portfolio as well as enhance its winemaking techniques. Proprietors, the Otis family,  put every aspect of the operation under review, from the vineyards to farming to winemaking.

“My family has a relentless obsession to showcase the pure expression of the Columbia Valley,” said Bryan Otis. “We are from Washington, born and raised, and know there is a level of greatness that can be unlocked in the Columbia Valley. We are determined to realize its full potential. The 2021 vintage marks a new beginning for Matthews toward this goal. The new release wines are the result of our uncompromising focus.”

Hal Iverson, Alex Stewart, and Bryan Otis. Photo by Fran Miller

“We were given the opportunity to completely re-imagine the winemaking at Matthews,” added Stewart. “We tightened up the vineyard sourcing and farming practices and dramatically changed how the wines are being made. The stars aligned for the 2021 vintage, as well as the stellar 2022 and 2023 that we are working on now. We hope these releases represent a new benchmark for the Columbia Valley.”

The new release wines include:

  • Matthews Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 – $50
  • Matthews Columbia Valley Cuvée 2021 – $55
  • Matthews Columbia Valley Claret 2021 – $55
  • Matthews Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2022 – $39
Matthews’ newest releases are unlike any wines the Washington winery has previously made

Matthews began releasing its 2021 Columbia Valley Reserve red wines in February, which will be available in key markets across the U.S. for the first time. In previous years, these wines have only been available from the tasting room and wine club. The Reserve tier prices range from $75 to $195.

“The work we have done as a team to overhaul our winemaking process has given my family a renewed sense of wonder for what is possible with our wines and vineyards across the Columbia Valley,” said Otis. “While just one of the enhancements we’ve made would result in notably more compelling wines, we feel the sum of the changes, beginning with the 2021 vintage, has created a completely new flavor profile and experience for every Matthews wine.”

Sample Matthews wines at their welcoming tasting room located on an eight-acre property in Woodinville, about a 20 minute drive from downtown Seattle. In addition to a tasting room, the winery grounds include a fully organic farm with an outdoor kitchen and multiple lawns and patios. For information, visit

Matthews is part of the Otis family’s Avallé portfoilo that also includes the labels Tenor, Jaine, Blackboard, and Single Barrel. Matthews wines are distributed nationally and are available through Winebow or Republic National Distributing Company.

Photos courtesy of Matthews, unless otherwise noted.

Fran Miller

Fran Endicott Miller is an experienced travel, wine, and general feature writer for a variety of luxury lifestyle publications and websites. Prior to her journalism career she established and managed the Golden State Warriors' first official community relations department and efforts. Principled and genuine, she’s known for thoughtfully eloquent writing. When not traveling, she can be found walking her Northern California neighborhood with her beloved golden retriever Nate.