Thought those Betz Family wines were a little hard to find? They are about to get a little harder.

Betz has closed their mailing list. From now on, only mailing list members will have access to the order page on their website. Others will have to look for their wines in local stores or will have to get on the waiting list.

This change should not come as much of a surprise. While Betz decreased their production slightly in 2005, their wines have become increasingly scarce over the last few years as the winery has continued to grow in prominence. And for good reason. Winemaker Bob Betz not only makes some of the best wines in Washington state, he has also been a tireless champion for Washington wine, dating back to his days at Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Betz makes three Bordeaux blends – Clos de Betz, Pierre de Famille, and Le Parrain (added in 2005) and four Rhone blends – La Serenne, La Cote Rousse, Chapitre 3 (recently added), and Besoleil. All of the wines are meticulously made and are consistently exceptional.

So what do these changes mean to you? First, if you appreciate Betz’ wines, it is worth getting on the waiting list. As I mentioned in a recent post, wineries make much more money when they sell wines directly from the winery. Secondly, it means that if you see their wines in stores – they typically provide a good amount of wine to distributors – think about picking it up. The prices, as is generally the case for Washington wine, keep going up, but like the price of gasoline, it is not going to go back down and today’s prices will seem like a bargain tomorrow.