- Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley, Washington, United States
Since day one, this has always been a working winery, with no fancy tasting rooms or emphasis on Disney-like public tours, just outstanding winemaking year in and year out, and a single-mindedness to produce superb, age-worthy wines from some of Washington’s finest vineyards sites. The two original vineyards that Chris started with all the way back in 1989: Ciel du Cheval Vineyard and Champoux Vineyard, are still two of his principal grape sources for his superb, claret-styled reds that must be ranked at the very summit of Washington state wines and amongst the very finest wines to be found from anywhere in America.”
—John Gilman, View From The Cellar #47
Over the nearly quarter-century during which manifestly talented and straight-talking Chris Camarda has been making wine under his Andrew Will label (on Vashon Island south of Seattle) his approach – which has always favored modest alcohol and elegance over flamboyance – has evolved significantly in method as well as in focusing increasingly on single-vineyard expression.”
–David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate
...All of Chris's 2011s and 2012s are rock solid and check in near the top of the hierarchy. These are beautiful, age-worthy wines that remain reasonably priced for their quality. "
—Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate June, 2014
(On the 2011 Champoux) Match veteran talent Chris Camarda with one of Washington’s oldest vineyards and the result, even in this cool vintage, is stunning."
—Jon Bonné, San Francisco Chronical Top 100 2014
Working out of a humble 60’ by 10’ winery, Chris Camarda launched Andrew Will Winery (named after his son Will and nephew Andrew) with the inaugural 1989 vintage, and he has spent the last three decades producing some of Washington’s most well-respected wines. In 2013, Chris was joined by Will who is now in charge of the winemaking, but the focus has not changed: structured, elegant, and age worthy, the wines reflect a singular voice that has never adjusted to chase scores or suit trends.
Although always a focus, Chris’ attention to terroir has only intensified over time. His initial releases were single variety wines, but since 2001 he has focused blends for the single vineyard cuvées, as he feels this expresses the vineyards more clearly than a one-variety bottling. Chris and Will source from four of the best sites in Washington State, all planted to Bordeaux varieties: Champoux Vineyard and Discovery Vineyard in Horse Heaven Hills AVA, Two Blondes in Yakima Valley AVA, and Ciel du Cheval on Red Mountain AVA. The best grapes (regardless of variety) from each of these vineyards are used for the single-vineyard blends, and the remaining gets used for the “Black Label” single-variety wines. The fruit is harvested all by hand and transported by truck and then ferry boat to Vashon Island, just off Seattle, where the winery and cellar are now located.
All of the wines are treated more or less the same in the cellar. All fruit is 100% destemmed, fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel tank, and aged in mostly neutral French oak with 25-35% new depending on the vintage and wine. Production is around 4500 cases/year.