1930’s SW Washington Wine connection featured at Total Wine

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Rudolph Weibel, a winemaker from Switzerland, manufactured his sparkling wine formula in Vancouver, Washington in 1936. Photo courtesy of Fred Weibel, Jr. A well-stocked shelf at Vancouver, Washington’s Total Wine & More features bottles that might not be there were it not for a little winery that operated in Clark County 80 years ago.

In 1935, orchard and dairy farmer, Henry Anderegg, opened Columbia Wineries, Inc. in Hazel Dell—along with his business partner and brother-in-law, Henry Naegeli—and ran it until his death in 1968. Still fondly known by longtime residents as the Old Winery, it was the 26th bonded winery in Washington State.

Prior to establishing Weibel Family Vineyards & Winery in California, Rudolph Weibel manufactured his sparkling wine formula at Columbia Wineries in Vancouver, Washington. Photo courtesy of Fred Weibel, Jr.

Although Columbia Wineries made fruit wine only, one of the first two original winemakers experimented with sparkling wine. Rudolph Weibel of Switzerland enjoyed success as a winemaker in Europe and, in 1914, his Surfine Champus was awarded the highest honor at the National Exhibition in Berne. Consequently, he manufactured this exact same formula—a sparkling wine—under the Columbia Wineries label.

When I spoke with Rudolph’s grandson, Fred Weibel, Jr., this past spring he said, “Rudolph worked in Clark County three to four years before moving to San Francisco where he made sparkling wine in the basement of the William Tell Hotel.”

Rudolph went on to establish Weibel Family Vineyards & Winery in California which is now located just outside Lodi and operated by Fred, Jr.

In addition to Weibel Grand Cuvee NV, Total Wine also carries all four of Weibel’s flavored sparklings. Viki Eierdam

In addition to Weibel Grand Cuvee NV, Total Wine also carries Weibel’s flavored sparklings including Sparkling Almond, Sparkling Peach, Sparkling Pomegranate and Sparkling Raspberry—fun, affordable selections that are wonderful for brunch or as cocktail mixers.

Pick up a bottle and toast the future with a link to the past.

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