A Walla Walla winery is winding down the year with preparations for closure.
Operators of Nicholas Cole Cellars say the downtown tasting room will likely still be running into January as the library of wines is sold.
The tasting room has been open by appointment only, said General Manager Jeanie Inglis-Chowanietz.
The closure of the winery was announced a little more than two weeks ago on Nicholas Cole’s website by owner and winemaker Mike Neuffer.
Neuffer has been in Seattle since last summer, when his former wife and the mother of his two children died after a seven-year battle with cancer. In the months since he’s been caring for his children, Nicholas and Michele Cole, for whom the winery was named, Neuffer has been re-evaluating responsibilities.
“In choosing to refocus my energies on raising my children, I am placing an indefinite hiatus on winemaking and future vintages of Nicholas Cole & GraEagle wines,” he wrote through the website. “I will miss walking the vineyard, sampling grapes, the excitement of harvest, long exhausting days of crush and even the tedium of barrel management and bottling. Most of all, I will miss the great friends, loyal customers and the many fantastic people I have met and worked with in an industry I truly love. Than you for all of your support.”
Nicholas Cole Cellars debuted here in 2001 with a 376-case production of a Bourdeaux-style blend. Neuffer sold his initial facility and 42-acre vineyard to Corliss Estates owner Michael Corliss before opening his remodeled tasting room in the wedge-shaped building at the five-way intersection of Palouse, Main and Boyer streets in 2008, according to reports.