Baer Winery Spring Release Wines

Our spring release wines have made their way to our current releases tab in our online shop and are waiting to find their new homes! Since we aren’t able to host you at the winery right now, we thought we’d introduce you to the newest members of the Baer Winery family and let you get to know them from the comfort of your home. Without further ado, meet the 2016 Cabernet Franc, 2019 Rosé of Cabernet Franc (both first vintages), 2016 Ursa, and 2016 Arctos. 

2016 Cabernet Franc

This Cabernet Franc is the first public release of this varietal. While we use Cabernet Franc as a blending grape frequently in our Ursa and Maia blends, the only time we’ve ever made a Cabernet Franc to stand alone was for our wine club. Let us tell you that it was worth the wait because this baby is ready to drink! With flavors of plum, mulberry, cigar box, and roasted herbs, the Baer 2016 Cabernet Franc is juicy, fresh, and waiting for you to uncork with your next meal. Wine Spectator’s Tim Fish gave it 90 points and dubbed it “Svelte and polished, with elegantly layered black cherry, lead pencil and violet notes that take on structure toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2026.” We’re proud of this first vintage and look forward to hearing what all of you at home think of this new kid on the block!

2019 Rosé of Cabernet Franc

Another exciting introduction for Baer Winery, our first-ever Rosé! We pride ourselves on making elegant red blends and a delicious Chardonnay but had never entered Rosé territory and we couldn’t be more excited. Our 2019 Rosé of Cabernet Franc was crafted in a very intentional way by Consulting Winemaker, Erica Orr. The fruit was harvested from the same block that the Baer Maia has traditionally been sourced from and was picked at the peak Rosé ripeness. This means lower potential alcohol and higher acidity when compared to red wine, and the result is a wine that is more delicate, lighter in color with brighter, fresher flavors. Our Rosé boasts a very beautiful translucent peach color, opening up with aromas of kumquat and blood orange with smarties candy and white gummy bears. On the palate, it is tangy, mouthwatering, and bright with a crisp finish. Open this gorgeous wine on a sunny day!

2016 Ursa

Next up is a Baer Winery classic, the 2016 Ursa. Made of equal parts Merlot and Cabernet Franc with Cabernet Sauvignon and a touch of Malbec, this vintage is a vision of harmony and seamlessness. Not as bold and opulent as the 2015 vintage, 2016 is a bit more subtle and refined, the hallmark of our style. With flavors of ripe plums and cherries along with a savoriness of roasted red bell peppers and bay leaf, this wine is another Baer staple that will be drinkable for years to come. 

2016 Arctos

Last of the spring release wines, but never least, is the 2016 Arctos. This blend is decadent and bold made of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Petit Verdot. The most savory of the spring releases, this wine has classic Cabernet Sauvignon aromas of black cherry, blackberry fruit, black olive, and herbs with plush tannins. The Petit Verdot adds complexity and nuance to the blend, as well as violet and a beautiful very dark purple color in the glass. If you’re a Cabernet fan, this wine will satisfy all of your big, bold cravings. 

All of these wines are now available for purchase and we can not wait for you to taste them and let us know what you think!. We love seeing all of you opening up Baer bottles for your virtual happy hours and are looking forward to seeing more photos that include these spring wines.

Three Wine Drinker’s Resolutions for 2020

The year 2020 has officially arrived and with it comes resolutions. However, a wine drinker’s resolutions may differ from the normal New Year resolutions. So, we’ve put together a list of three resolutions for all of the wine drinkers out there. Enjoy!

Resolution Number 1: Forget Dry January

Dry January always sounds great in theory, but the truth of the matter is it’s a lot of work all at once to go cold turkey – especially for the serious wine enthusiasts out there. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t put your health first to start the new year, but we are saying you can prioritize your health while keeping a glass of your favorite Baer wine in your routine. We’d like to suggest a balance so you still feel like you’re making gains toward a healthier lifestyle while exploring new wines and enjoying your longtime favorites.

Just cut your wine consumption in half! This will help you avoid the misery of a dry January and help you jumpstart the new year on a healthier note. Try planning a wine tasting night with friends where you all bring a bottle and blind taste, or trying a new bottle you might’ve thought was out of your price range before with an indulgent meal. After all, you’ll be consuming half as much less often, so you can still spend the same you were spending in 2019 on wine. May we recommend our newest releases, the 2015 Arctos and the 2016 Callisto?

Resolution Number 2: Expand your Palate with Older Vintages

We are all about expanding your mindset here at Baer Winery and love when we get to talk about older vintages of our wines with patrons. If you’re a novice taster, or never thought of trying older wines, 2020 is your chance to branch out and learn about the past. Library wines are a fantastic place to start! If you’re looking for a 2020 anniversary gift or birthday present, a library wine is always a thoughtful and delicious gift for the wine lover in your life. Older vintages are also fun to take to gatherings with friends and family.

Make it an engaging night by going around the table and ask everyone what they were doing the year the wine was made. For example, if you opened our 2001 Ursa, everyone would share an impactful moment from that year! Older wines bring us together, and not only can you learn more about wine by diving into this new pool, but also become closer to your friends and family.

Resolution Number 3: Plan a Wine Trip!

Make 2020 about living and learning with a wine trip! Even the most knowledgeable wine lovers can always learn something new, and there’s no better way to do that than immersing yourself in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar wines! Whether you plan a trip to Tuscany, Bordeaux, the Napa Valley, or visit us in Woodinville, you’ll gain new experiences, meet new people, and expand your knowledge about wine! 
We hope this list of resolutions helps you jumpstart 2020 in the best way! Our 20th anniversary is this year and we look forward to celebrating 20 years of Baer Winery with the best crew in the coming months. Onward and upward in 2020!

We hope this list of resolutions helps you jumpstart 2020 in the best way! Our 20th anniversary is this year and we look forward to celebrating 20 years of Baer Winery with the best crew in the coming months. Onward and upward in 2020!

Winemaker Spotlight: Erica Orr

Erica Orr has been with us for 13 years, joining us following our founding winemaker Lance Baer’s passing. She was tasked with assisting us in carrying on Lance’s legacy through Baer wines. Erica has done an impeccable job of taking the reins in the vineyards and production facilities. In this month’s blog, we asked her to share a bit about her day-to-day and her journey to Woodinville. Learn more about Erica and how she came to be one of the best winemakers in the state of Washington!

Where are you from and where did you attend school?

I’m from California’s San Francisco Bay Area and have a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in enology from UC Davis.

What originally got you interested in winemaking?

I am interested in science, specifically chemistry and biology, but I also love cooking, restaurants, and traveling. Back in 1998, I was living in San Francisco and working in the Blackburn Lab at UCSF. While out at a bar, my friend and I randomly sat next to the winemaker, Aaron Pott. He told us all about his life working at wineries in Bordeaux and the Napa Valley. He said he had gone through the wine program at UC Davis and told me to work at a winery before applying to the UC Davis enology program. That was super valuable advice. I took all my vacation from my job at the lab to work a couple of weeks of harvest with Cathy Corison in the Napa Valley. That was my first harvest, 1998.

How long have you been with Baer Winery and what’s your favorite part about working there?

The Baer family hired me to keep the label going after Lance Baer passed away in 2007. So, 2019 was my 13th harvest at Baer. I feel like my role is clearly defined. My job is to continue to craft the Baer wines in the style that Lance originated. That includes responding to what the growing season gives us and, at the same time, striving to make the wines better every vintage. I like having those parameters spelled out.

Describe Baer wines in three words.

Honoring Lance Baer.

What is your winemaking philosophy?

I feel like I know what is delicious; I try and really pay attention when I am tasting something delicious. I’m searching for the most delicious wine on the table during my blending sessions.

What are some of the challenges for Washington winemakers right now?

Columbia Valley vineyards that were planted in the 2000s are maturing into their sweet spot. I feel like technically the Washington winemaking community is becoming more knowledgeable and capable each vintage. The grapes are improving and the winemaking is improving so, naturally, the quality of wine we are producing is increasing, which is great! The challenge is that there are more brands out in the market now so the competition is fierce. The world of wine criticism is different from 20 years ago, nice scores certainly help but they don’t make or break a brand in the way that scores used to. I feel like the biggest challenge is staying relevant while staying true to the style Lance Baer established.

Is there a Baer wine you’re most proud of? If so, what is it and why? 

I think the 2012 Ursa was really stunning and it felt great that several critics recognized this as well. The new 2016 Star Merlot that we just released is 100% Merlot for the first time ever for the winery (typically there is some Cab Franc and sometimes Cab Sauv blended in). I am learning how to craft Merlot in a way where I feel it is a complete wine, delicious on its own. It’s a lot of learning by doing.

There you have it – a look behind the scenes of Baer Winery with the person at the helm of creating Baer wines. Do you have more questions for Erica? Pay us a visit in the near future and you may be lucky enough to catch Erica in her lab, or if you’re a club member you will find her at the next club event to talk about all things wine and food!

Baer Winery: Our Story & Our Wines

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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!