San Juan Vineyards is locally owned and operated by Yvonne Swanberg.
In 1996 the property was purchased, the vineyard planted with Madeleine Angevine and Siegerrebe. At the same time the old school house (ca 1895) was renovated for the tasting room and the winery building itself was constructed.
It has since become a destination winery, producing wines from the vines grown in the vineyard and grapes brought from the Yakima Valley and Horse Heaven Hills Appellations of Eastern Washington.
Our Estate grapes usually provide us with 20 to 30% of our total annual production. Since 2006, no herbicides or insecticides have been used in the estate vineyard.
Our Winemaker, Chris Primus
Chris J. Primus joined San Juan Vineyards as the Vineyard Manager and Winemaker in August, 2006. After receiving a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington, he took a barrel cellar job at Columbia Winery in Woodinville, Washington, where he maintained 6000 barrels.
In 2002, Chris moved to Portland, Oregon and worked for a summer at the Ponzi Wine Bar in Dundee. In the fall of 2002, he took a job with Jimi Brooks at Maysara & Brooks Wineries in McMinnville, Oregon. He introduced Maysara wines to the Portland market, and worked in the cellar as needed.
He spent one harvest with Adelsheim before becoming the Assistant Winemaker and Vineyard Guy at Holloran Vineyard Wines in West Linn, Oregon, in 2004. At Holloran, he worked under the direction of Jay Sommers (whose own label is J. Christopher Wines) for two years before coming to San Juan Island.
Chris has done a number of Wine Dinners at local and area restaurants, and special tastings in the area including our Portland, OR market. He leads the wine discussion at Wine Dinners where wines are specifically paired with the food. Some of these are Coho Restaurant, Adrift Restaurant, Front Street Grill in Coupeville, Beach Store Cafe on Lummi Island, and Truffle Cafe in Seattle. Chris shows his true passion for wine and food at these events, and a great time is enjoyed by all.
Competitions, Tastings and Fundraisers:
We endeavor to post on Facebook when we are at wine dinners and events. Yvonne attends events and pours wine at Fred Hutchison fundraisers, Gilda’s support organization, and other fundraising events as time and energy permits. Our wines are entered into various competitions – Seattle Wine Awards, Great Northwest Wine Competition, Washington State Wine Competition and Riverside International Wine Competition.
Anacortes Wine Festival: We have had a table at this event each April.
Bellingham Bay Grapes & Gourmet: A great fun one held early November each year.
Vintage Spokane: An annual summer event at Northern Quest Casino lawns in Spokane.
Yes, these are some of the things wineries do throughout the State of Washington to promote their wines and provide assistance to the many non-profits throughout the State. It’s part of the Win/Win with Wine!
Where’s the Vino: Our wines are sold locally in our tasting rooms — at the vineyard, our local grocery stores, island restaurants, and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Ask your favorite wine guy for San Juan Vineyards wines. And, be sure to tell them what you like!
Our wines are distributed throughout the State of Washington, Northern Idaho, and also Portland, OR. Noble Wines is our Washington Distributor.
Wine Club: The San Juan Vineyards Wine Club is known as “Outpourings”. Wines are shipped four times a year / 3 bottles each time. Check out the Wine Club section of our webpage for more information on “Outpourings”.
Vineyard: Our beautiful bumper crop of 2009 Siegerrebe with the pavilion and winery in the background.