The Matthews (Not-So-Secret) Formula
At Matthews, our formula has always been pretty simple: Food + Wine + People = Community.
It was with this formula in mind three years ago that we set out to re-imagine our Woodinville wine tasting experience.
Visiting Matthews is very different than other Woodinville wine experiences. We have over 8 acres of land to manage, complete with a two-story house, large tasting room, several acres of woods, a spring-fed creek, and many types of wild animals who interact with the property on a daily basis. Woodinville has a rich farming tradition that dates back well before the wine industry arrived. We chose to honor this farming heritage by beginning to grow our own food + flowers, in hopes to partner them with our wines in several unique ways. Further, we added walking paths through our property so our fans could easily stroll through the farm when they visit. This work began in 2015, and was finally completed earlier this summer.
The positive feedback regarding the integrated farm + tasting room experience has been overwhelming. We have seen a 60% increase in the amount of visitors this year compared to last year. The Matthews farm now covers almost one acre on our property, and discussions have started on how to extend it even further.
Our farm has led us to pay close attention to being a good steward of our land and the local environment. We want to make sure we are being transparent in our efforts so our local community can see how we are living our values. Here are 4 quick updates on our farm and its local impact:
#1: Everything is farmed using beyond organic methods.
Taking care of the environment is at the center of what we do. This year, to further our organic farming methods and take care of our land, we hired a top farming company in the Sammamish Valley named Ecolibrium Farms to lead our farming efforts. In order to strengthen our commitment to the environment and local ecosystem, we have chosen to use “beyond organic” methods to farm our estate property in Woodinville. This involves supporting biodiversity through selective weeding, organic composting and absolutely no use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
Traditional monoculture farming takes 2 acres to produce food for 1 person. By farming ecologically, our Matthews farm can produce food for 20 people in just 1 acre. This is FORTY TIMES the improvement over traditional farming methods. Even better, by farming in this manner the nutritional density of our soil actually grows each year making it easier in the long run to grow food full of vitamins, minerals, and flavor. We encourage all of our fans to support farms who are growing food in this manner.
#2 The Matthews CSA grew 30% this year.
As seen in the Seattle Times, our farm offers a unique CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) system. Each week, our farming team selects the freshest produce and flowers from our Matthews farm, and sources other local in-season food items to add to our CSA box. The weekly box also includes a bottle of Matthews wine. We started this last year, and are happy to announce membership grew over 30% this year. It has been wonderful to hear the stories from our members on what they are making at home.
For more information on how to sign up for next year, check out: http://www.matthewswinery.com/farmshare
#3: Matthews showcases Woodinville farming to 1000s of people each month.
Matthews hosts farm tours every weekend where guests are given a guided tour through our farm. During the tour, our guests learn how our farming practices utilize Woodinville's nutritionally dense soil, see which crops thrive in our microclimate, and sample seasonal produce about to be harvested. Guests are able to see, hear, and taste what our farm can produce... all while enjoying a glass of wine.
This summer over 3000 people toured, tasted, dined, or strolled through our farm...making it one of the most popular farm destinations in Woodinville. Additionally, each Friday night we host a local farm stand where our Tasting Room guests can purchase produce directly from Ecolibrium Farms, all of which is harvested earlier in the day from either our farm or another location in the Sammamish Valley.
#4: 100% of our farm-to-table dinners feature food from within 10 miles of Woodinville.
We host farm-to-table dinners each month. At these dinners, guests are invited to enjoy an expertly prepared meal from a chef who has cooked in several 3-star Michelin restaurants and at Gramercy Tavern, which is oftentimes sited as one of the top restaurants in the US. During the meal, guests connect with other passionate food + wine + farming fans while dining on food sourced from within 10 miles of our location, all of which comes directly from local farms in the area (including our own). This is a commitment that many of our region's top restaurants would shy away from. We love the challenge, and revel in the joy our guests experience from such a local commitment.
Want to join us for a dinner? Click HERE to get tickets for them this fall... while they last.
The magical formula
Matthews has always been known for producing Bordeaux-inspired wines from many of Washington's top vineyards. We made the extremely hard choice, as detailed here, to move our winemaking operations to Walla Walla and convert our 8 acre property into a Tasting Room + Farm (detailed here).
As any farmer knows, running a farm isn’t easy and takes an incredible amount of passion and work to cultivate. At Matthews, we take joy in all of this, knowing that we are in a unique position to showcase our farm to scores of potential new farming fans. Instead of shying away from this mantle, we have embraced it. We hope others follow our lead in Woodinville, because as Napa and other great food + wine regions of the world have shown, a very special (almost magical) thing can happen when people join together over local food + wine: real community is formed.
We are open daily for wine tastings (12-5:30pm) and host farm tours each weekend, starting at 12pm, 1:30pm, 3pm and 4:30pm. Stop by to enjoy our wines, alongside local charcuterie, in a serene farm setting. For venue rental information, email email@example.com or click here for information regarding our spaces: http://www.matthewswinery.com/venue-rentals