2008 Seattle Wine Awards: Judged by a panel of Seattle’s most prominent wine professionals, the panel uses a 20-point scoring system including Color, Aroma, Flavor & Palate, Balance, Finish and Overall Impression.  The wines must achieve a minimum scoring consensus in order to win an award. Those wines awarded a gold, silver or bronze are classified in the grand awards of excellence categories for their respective price and varietal. Northwest Totem Cellars recieved honarable acclaim for our first releases at this year’s awards:

Dessert Style Late Harvest
2006 Ethos Late Harvest ~ White Riesling
SILVER2006 Northwest Totem Cellars Late Harvest ~ Viognier
2006 Bainbridge Island Vineyards ~ Late Harvest Siegerrebe

Red Proprietary Blends
GOLD 2005 Walla Walla Vintners ~ “Cuvee”
SILVER 2006 Merry Cellars ~ “Crimson”
BRONZE 2005 Northwest Totem Cellars ~ “Lowman Red”

Our 2005 Syrah also received an “Outstanding Syrah” award



 Wine Press Northwest Magazine March 2008 Edition

2005 Syrah; Outstanding! – “Mike Sharadin’s commitment to quality shows before you open the bottle with his use of the Vino-Lok glass cork. And this Syrah off Sagemoor starts with aromas of Bing and Montmorency cherries, sun-dried tomatoes, oregano and thyme. One the palate, it’s a conversation piece of smooth and juicy black cherries and brambleberries.”

2005 Cab Franc; Outstanding! – “The Bacchus block at Sagemoor produced this outpouring that’s high on Dr Pepper and more than 21 other descriptors. Also amid the aromas are blackberries, cinnamon and cloves. Juicy blackberries, canned plums and delicious piquant acidity with terrific balance are hallmarks of this red.”

2005 Low Man Red; Excellent – “There’s a new kid on the block in the growing neighborhood of Woodinville, Wash., and Mike Sharadin shows he’s serious with this Bordeaux blend of Cab Sauv (57%), Merlot (29%) and Cab Franc by storing it in 65% new French oak. Black cherries and black licorice aromas include lemongrass tea, apple mint jelly and a hint of patchouli. Opulent and smooth only begin to describe the palate, which features enormous cherry and brambleberry fruit.”

2005 Qo-né; Excellent“This new Woodinville, Wash., winery quickly went through this blend based on Cabernet Franc (80%) and fleshed out with Cab Sauv (10%) and Syrah. Sweet pie cherries and root beer notes add to the juicy, jammy dark fruit structure of this balanced wine.”

2005 Cab Sauv; Recommended“The Cab came from Elerding Vineyard, and there’s a dose of Merlot (5%) from Chandler Reach, too. Combined, they help produce a sturdy release that’s big on purple fruit, Belgian chocolate, vanilla, leather and black tea.”


March 4, 2008 From Wine Press Northwest Blog by Andy Perdue:


Woodinville winery switches to glass ‘corks’

“Northwest Totem Cellars in Woodinville, Wash., has switched all of its red wine closures to the glass Vino-Seal. A handful of Northwest wineries, including Sineann, Syncline, Solena and Barking Frog, have begun to use the Alcoa product, an elegant alternative to corks and screwcaps.

Alcoa actually makes two versions of this stopper, in glass and acrylic. The latter is quite a bit less expensive. The entire package creates a perfect seal and is protected by foil or metal.

Best of all, no cork taint and no need for a special tool to get to the wine.

Mike Sharadin is the owner/winemaker of Northwest Totem Cellars, a fairly new producer whose first releases have been well received. ” ~Andy Perdue-Wine Press Northwest


Wine Enthusiast Magazine – March 2008:


2005 Syrah – “Soft and sappy, this appealing Syrah brings bright, snappy boysenberry pie flavors to the table, right down to a hint of pie crust in the back of the mouth. It’s not a huge wine, but it shows the clean and sharp character of Washington fruit, puts a nice spicy note in the bouquet, and keeps the 14% alcohol in check.” ~ Paul Gregutt 

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon – “This unblended Cabernet Sauvignon cuts through with sharp fruit flavors of raspberry, and Bing cherry, elevated by a whiff of volatility, but then plunged back into some pillowy tannins. It’s an appealing wine, not too heavy, but with enough varietal character and modulated flavor to keep it interesting.” ~ Paul Gregutt

2005 Low Man Red – “A Bordeaux blend, this chewy red shows good structure and a core of black fruits. Plenty of black olive, forest floor and earth flavors are mixed in and the wine feels substantial but not heavy or unbalanced. The flavors linger into a pleasing, soft, lightly herbal finish.” ~ Paul Gregutt


January 2nd, 2008: The Los Angeles Times featured a story on Woodinville Wine Country and Northwest Totem Cellars.  You can read the storyhere.


November, 2007: Our 2006 Late Harvest Viognier got top billing in the November issue of Sunset Magazine highlighting dessert wines for the holidays.  You can read the article here.

September 28th, 2007: Northwest Totem Cellars was one of 10 Washington wineries chosen to participate in James Beard’s TASTE AMERICA.

Check back with us as we build this section of our site to host in-the-news and other noteworthy items featuring our winery.