Leading wine company in the US state of Washington, with headquarters in Woodinville (King County). There is an extensive vineyard and vineyard property in the three US states California
, The origin of the company is after Prohibition in 1934, when the predecessor of today's "Château Ste Michelle" was founded under the name "National Wine Company". In 1954, a merger with the "Pomerelle Wine Company" and renamed "American Wine Growers". Mainly fortified sweet wines were produced. From 1967 was the famous oenologist André Tchelistcheff
(1901-1994) worked as a consultant. He introduced European varieties and created the premium wine line "Ste Michelle", which then gave the winery and company the later name. The company, renamed "Ste Michelle Vintners" in 1970, was sold to an investor group in 1973 and taken over by UST (US Smokeless Tobacco Company) in 1974. This year was also the first cut of the spice for the headquarters in Woodinville in the style of a French Château. There is an amphitheater on the grounds where open-air concerts are held with renowned artists such as Gypsy Kings, Tony Bennett or BB King.
Washington's largest and oldest winery, Château Ste Michelle is also the flagship of the Ste Michelle Wine Estates. The vineyards in Washington total 1,400 hectares. Of these, the Canoe Ridge and Cold Creek vineyards in the Columbia Valley make up about 500 hectares. Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Syrah, Touriga and Viognier are mainly processed into variety varieties (varietal wines). The wide range of wines is marketed in the groups Tiers, Vineyards and Varietals. In addition, Late Harvest (late harvest) and Icewines (ice wines) are pressed. The new Columbia Crest winery near Paterson on the Columbia River was commissioned in 1983.
All wineries and wineries were then merged in 1984 under the umbrella company "Stimson Lane Vineyards and Estates". As a result, wineries were acquired in Napa Valley, California and the portfolio expanded to its present size. 14 Hands, Col Solare (2005), Columbia Crest (1983), Château Ste Michelle for Wines, Domaine Ste Michelle for Sparkling Wine (1996), Red Diamond (2005), Snoqualmie (2002), Northstar (2002) and Spring Valley (2005) in Washington, Erath
(2006) in Oregon, as well as Big Ranch Vineyard, Conn Creek (1986), Hawk Crest, Herrick Vineyard, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars
(2007) and Villa Mt. Eden (1986) in Napa Valley
in California. There are also several partnerships.
In 1995, a partnership was formed with the Italian winemaker Marchese Piero Antinori
and created the red wine cuvée "Col Solare" (dt "Luminous Mountain"). Since 2005, the wine is produced on its own eponymous winery. On 30 hectares of vineyards in the vineyard Heaven Hills the varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Syrah are grown. Exclusive US distribution rights are available for the Antinori Antica Napa Valley (California), Haras (Chile), La Braccesca (Tuscany), Montenisa (Lombardy), Santa Cristina (Tuscany) and Tormaresca (Puglia) wineries. In 1999, in a joint venture with the famous German winemaker Ernst Loosen from the Mosel-Weingut Dr. Loosen
created the Riesling "Eroica", which is one of the most awarded Rieslings in the USA.
In 2004, the company was renamed to its present name "Ste Michelle Wine Estates" (SMWE), to give a clear historical background and corporate philosophy. It is still a wholly owned subsidiary of UST (US Smokeless Tobacco Company). This was taken over early 2009 by the giant US tobacco multi "Altria Group", formerly "Philip Morris Companies" (with leading brand "Marlboro"). See also below largest wine companies in the world