Charles Sleicher, the last surviving member of the 10 original founders of Associated Vintners (AV), passed away January 23rd. He was 99 years old.
Sleicher was at AV when the winery purchased the land that would become Harrison Hill Vineyard in Yakima Valley in 1962. He drove cases of the winery’s inaugural releases to QFC in Seattle in 1969. Sleicher later worked alongside renowned AV winemaker David Lake. (Lake passed away in 2009.)
At the time Sleicher joined AV, he was a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Washington. He subsequently became chair of chemical engineering and then professor emeritus. Sleicher retired in 1991.
Associated Vintners was one of Washington’s founding wineries. The winery was subsequently renamed Columbia Winery.
Sleicher was an avid photographer, mostly focusing on wildlife. He retained a lifelong interest in wine, regularly participating in a tasting group that took place at his retirement community in Seattle.
Our condolences to Charles Sleicher’s family and friends. He left an indelible imprint on the Washington wine industry.
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