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Zero One Vintners: A special blend in Kirkland
Recently opened Zero One Vintners is a hidden treasure in downtown Kirkland. It is tucked behind Lake Street in the vicinity of Anthony’s Home Port. It is well worth the search.
Owners Thomas and Kristin Vogele chose the Kirkland location for sentimental reasons. Though they are Redmond residents, they are graduates of Lake Washington High School. The couple met and dated while in high school.
Thomas has been in the wine business for 20 years. He is currently the sales manager for national accounts for Michael Mondavi’s Folio Fine Wine Partners.
In the past he worked in a sales capacity for E&J Gallo, Trinchero Family Estates and Robert Mondavi. Kristin has worked in the tech industry since college. She is currently on leave of absence from IBM. The winery reflects a blend of their professional backgrounds.
“By using a zero and one in our name, we are paying homage to the digital era that we live in,” Thomas said. “Our winery is where high-tech crosses roads with a very low-tech, thousand-year-old industry.”
Zero One Vintners was born out of the idea that Thomas and Kristin wanted a wine that suited their “European palate.” The winery has been in existence since 2006 and is currently selling its fourth vintage. Wine is produced at their Kirkland location and also at a custom-crush facility in Mattawa, in Central Washington.
Zero One was the first winery worldwide to use technology in attaching the Microsoft Tag to their labels, which allows smartphone scanning. Since then other wineries have followed suit.
Zero One is currently producing three types of wine: Wild Sky Cabernet ($30), Golden Delicious Riesling ($13) and Sauce (a merlot blend, $12). Wild Sky and Golden Delicious have consistently been rated in the 90s by Wine Spectator magazine, with Sauce capturing 88 points.
Because Zero One produces its wine in small vintages, the availability is limited. Beyond the tasting room, their wines can be purchased at Pete’s Wine Shop and Esquin Wine Merchants as well as some restaurants and grocery stores.
Wild Sky Cabernet is named after Washington’s Wild Sky Wilderness Area, which is over 100,000 acres of pristine wilderness in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Wild Sky Cabernet is donated to the nonprofit Leave No Trace, which educates the public about outdoor enjoyment with minimal impact.
Zero One’s choice of Leave No Trace reflects the lifestyle of a Washington resident, Thomas said: “They hike, ski, they are outdoor people.” Wild Sky Cabernet and Leave No Trace are both a nod to the activities that Washingtonians value in their spare time.
Zero One Vintners is releasing two new wines in May: a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc. A Syrah will be making its debut in a year.
Tasting room manager Derek Pergl said that typical visitors to Zero One right now “seem to be people centrally located in Kirkland out enjoying the weather, though we have had some out-of-town visitors.”
Yet Zero One is more than a tasting room.
“We are a bonded winery, which means we will be producing wine here this fall,” Thomas said. A benefit to making wine on the premises, he said, is that it provides “interactivity with our customers.”
Kristin added: “I love meeting new people and introducing them to our wines. We have received such a warm welcome from everyone who has come in. There is no question we made the right decision to open in downtown Kirkland.”
Zero One Vintners is open Thursday and Friday from 1–6 p.m., Saturday 12-6 p.m. and Sunday 12-5 p.m. with expanded hours in the summer. Tastings are $5 and include four wines.
Zero One Vintners: 131 Lake St. S., Kirkland; 425-242-0735. Visit www.zeroonevintners.com
ROSE MARIE GAI is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.