Our story starts with our beloved, late Lance Baer. A man with an impeccable palate that understood wine, Lance started his career as a “cellar rat” and soon found himself as the assistant winemaker at a premium local winery, DeLille Cellars. Lance had a dream of going out on his own and the type of wine he would create, so he founded Baer Winery in 2000. He worked first out of an apartment with shared space in Woodinville and then eventually out of a converted garage for the first seven years of production. His initial creation was our signature wine, Ursa, first released in 2003. Once Baer Winery outgrew Lance’s garage, we moved to the Woodinville Warehouse District and have been here ever since 2007.
Lance passed at age 39, shortly before we moved to our current location. Baer Winery is his legacy and is now run by his father, Les Baer, his sister, Lisa Baer, along with our small but mighty production and tasting room team. Our winemaker, Erica Orr, evolved the wines that Lance first created while adding her own expertise and finesse.
Our original three wines produced were Ursa, Arctos, and Shard. We have since added Star, Callisto, and the ever-exclusive, Maia, to the Baer Winery lineup. We source all of the fruit for our wines from Stillwater Creek Vineyard in Washington’s Columbia Valley AVA. The seven varietals we harvest from Stillwater Creek are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, and Chardonnay. All are grown in a pristine environment protected by the Cascade Mountains that see just six to eight inches of rain per year.
Baer Winery’s signature wine is named Ursa for a reason, as it means “bear” in Latin. Ursa is a right-bank style Bordeaux blend primarily made from Merlot and Cabernet Franc. This well-rounded and complex blend is aged in French oak for 20 months before it’s released. It opens with aromas of black cherry, vanilla, wood smoke, roasted herbs, and sweet oak followed by hints of violet and spice black pepper. This bear pairs well with food or sips well on its own.
Arctos follows suit as it means “bear” in Greek. Our Arctos wine was first produced in 2002 and is a left-bank style Bordeaux wine made primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Aged in French oak, this rich blend has notes of blueberry, black currant, black cherry, and plum. It boasts savory flavors of black olive, bay leaf, roasted coffee, and sweet oak, tempered by fine-grained tannins that are persistent through the smooth finish.
Shard is the only white wine we make at Baer Winery. Made from 100% Chardonnay, this wine is made in stainless steel barrels rather than oak and does not undergo malolactic fermentation. This process results in a bright and beautifully balanced Chardonnay with aromas of white flowers, lemon rind, and lush tropical fruit. Light and crisp with just enough acidity, the Shard is still creamy on the palate and perfect to pair with a brunch dish.
Our story is forever evolving, and we look forward to sharing more with you. We could not be more proud to be the stars in your cellar. Visit us on weekends from 1-5 p.m. in Woodinville to try these wines and more for yourself. We would love to host you!