Tim and Kelly Hightower founded Hightower Cellars in 1997 in Woodinville, Washington with this simple philosophy. With their grape supply primarily coming from Red Mountain, the husband and wife co-winemaking team set out to make high quality wine, beginning with their first vintage: 221 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Inspired by the raw beauty and exceptional terroir that defines Red Mountain, Tim and Kelly purchased 15 acres at the top of the mountain in 2002 and began lovingly restoring the barn into a winemaking facility. They finished planting their Estate Vineyard in 2005, and expanded and remodeled their winemaking facility to include a tasting room in 2008.
Today Tim and Kelly grow 10 acres of Bordeaux varietals, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. They also farm 2 acres of Syrah, Viognier, and Grenache at Jackie Hightower’s (Tim’s Mom) vineyard on Red Mountain.
Hightower Cellars sources fruit from a variety of carefully chosen, skillfully managed vineyards in the Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, and Walla Walla Valley appellations. The combination of warm and moderate climates of the respective sites lend to the elegant complexity of Hightower wines. The Hightowers farm the vineyard sustainably, using a mechanical cultivator for weed control and minimal amounts of spray – and then only with materials approved by the Salmon-Safe list. Finally, the vineyard is drip irrigated, which does not produce runoff or erode soils.
Tim and Kelly are involved in every step of the winemaking process, from supervising the vineyard to harvesting, from fermentation to bottling, in addition to managing the tasting room and sales distribution of the wine.
Tim and Kelly aim to make wine that lets the powerful, concentrated fruit from Red Mountain speak for itself, producing wine with great character, that’s naturally beautiful and free from pretense. The result is a collection of well-balanced, nuanced wines that reveal something new and interesting each time you open a bottle. We like to think they’re wines with character through and through — in how they were made, how they taste, and in the connections they inspire.