Ste. Michelle’s Soaring 14 Hands Brand To Get Its Own WineryFebruary 4, 2013
Fast-growing Washington wine brand 14 Hands will get its own winery this fall, according to its owner, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. The new facility will help to meet skyrocketing demand for 14 Hands, whose volume has quadrupled since 2009. Last year the brand rose by 35% to just over 1 million cases, according to Impact Databank.
The new 14 Hands winery will be located in Prosser, Washington, roughly 200 miles southeast of Ste. Michelle’s Woodinville, Washington headquarters. It’s the former site of the Ste. Michelle-owned Snoqualmie winery, whose production will move to Paterson, Washington. The Prosser site will undergo “extensive renovations to transform the facility into an important destination along the town’s wine tourism corridor,” Ste. Michelle said. Remodeling will begin in the first quarter, with completion targeted for the fall.
“14 Hands’ ascent has been unbelievable,” Ste. Michelle president and CEO Ted Baseler recently told Shanken News Daily. “This is a wine we had primarily in restaurants for many years, and it did well there. But we knew there was a lot of demand for it off-premise as well, so we created the Hot to Trot red and white blends, and those just exploded far beyond our expectations.”
In addition to its varietal wines and the Hot to Trot blends, which sell around the $12 mark, last year 14 Hands introduced a Reserve tier sourced from Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills appellation. The debut vintage of 14 Hands Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a 2009 retailing at $30, has already garnered critical accolades, receiving a 93-point rating from Wine Spectator.