Longtime Woodinville winery Brian Carter Cellars announced this week that it will crowdsource funding for a new tasting room. The tasting room will be located in Woodin Creek Village, a new development two miles north of the tasting room’s current location.
Owner and winemaker Brian Carter says he previously planned to move into this spot, but the novel funding model makes it possible.
“I got kind of nervous and backed out a few months ago. Now I’m back in again,” Carter says. “With this new funding idea, I feel confident.”
The winery will be looking to raise $400,000 by offering what it calls Tasting Room Foundation memberships, which will cost $1,000 each. Members will receive $1,200 worth of gift cards, a plaque on the wall, and a wine glass stenciled with their name that will reside at the facility for their use.
Carter says the idea to crowdsource funding was inspired by local restaurateur Thierry Rautureau, who once funded his restaurant Luc in part by selling gift certificates.
“I called up Thierry, and he was very open about what the pluses and minuses were,” Carter says. “But they were almost all pretty positive.”
Carter’s new 2,500-square foot space is expected to open in September of 2021. Notably, the facility will have a full kitchen.
“It’s so important, in my opinion, to have food with wine,” Carter says. “The food makes the wine taste better. The wine makes the food taste better. It’s just an overall better experience.”
When Woodin Creek Village is complete, there will be a half dozen tasting rooms as well as several restaurants. Zeek’s Pizza is already open in the space, that also houses an apartment complex.
Founded in 2004, Brian Carter Cellars has been located in the Hollywood Schoolhouse area since 2006. At that time, the closest wineries were Chateau Ste Michelle and DeLille, both a half mile away. Today there are dozens of tasting rooms within a quarter mile of Brian Carter Cellars, which has made its name over the years focusing on blends.
In the 24 hours since the announcement was made about the new tasting room, Carter says he’s already had 30 people sign up for memberships.
“It’s marching on,” he says. “We’re pretty excited.”
Image courtesy of Brian Carter Cellars.