Welcome. to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. We finish our interview with Wollersheim Winery. Phillip, you're just not a winery, are you? I started the Distilling Side in 2010, and then my son and Celine's husband, Tom Leonard is the distiller is managing that side of the business. I do all the tasting with them. We have about maybe twelve hundred barrels of aging right now of bourbon, brandy, rye, apple. And I love tasting, so I'm always involved in the tasting. I can't run it all. My son is running the bistro. So Roman went to. So you did UW Madison in Food Science and then you went to France and he did. Bocuse Culinary School is one of the greatest culinary school of the world. So Roman studied at that school. And so now we can do we have not we're not calling it a restaurant. We have a bistro. So we're not opening in the evening for supper and fancy stuff like that. A sandwich, that bread. It looks fancy looking at the website and the menu. It looks Fancy. Yeah, it is fancy without the price tag. I'd like to find out where the passion lies. And I think asking what you're most proud of. We'll answer that. Proud of showcasing Wisconsin that it is not all Bordeaux and California, that we are a profitable and valuable, vibrant, beautiful business, that we are supporting 40 families. Yeah, we have 35 Full-Time Employee, 50 Part-Time. And we spread the wealth. You know, we have four weeks of paid vacation after ten years plus one week of sick days. We've done it a little bit the French way. So that's the pride of showcasing Wisconsin. And yes, it can be done successfully. You said at the winery, small was small and it's had gone through some changes and things. But looking at the website, it looks massive. How big is the property? It used to be small. I mean, the winery we used to make whining about where the eight foot ceiling and that bone is no longer there. So in nineteen ninety three we built a fermentation room and then we expanded our scenes just to give you a quick scale. And I will answer your question on the property. We we were doing eight thousand gallons in 1984. We doing two hundred sixty thousand gallons today. Wow. From the barn to just 260000 gallons now.So the property itself is about eighty acres and is 20 acres of vineyard on this property. And then we lease another 10 acres miles down the road. Yeah. Because you've got you've got three businesses kind of all packaged on to the property, you've got the winery, the distillery and then the bistro. Yeah. And it's looking, you know, just looking at the website, it's it's you know, very Wisconsin built a tough room for the elements. It's beautiful. Yeah, exactly. And, you know, it's interesting because, you know, in 1993 when we did our first expansion, we rented a car because we we didn't to have a car that could take us all the way around Lake Michigan. We rented a car and we drove all the way around Lake Michigan and we stopped at many wineries. Schottel, Grand Traverse, Leelanau Peninsula, all the way down to San Julian. And it for us, it was pointless to go to California to visit winery because we're dealing with two feet of snow and inches of ice and it's winter from December 1st to March 1st. So, yeah, it has to we have to think of where do we put the snow? Where do. You know, the truck insulation, so the pipes don't freeze and also everything is inside. Everything is insulated. So from the outside, you don't realize how big it is inside with. We have 40 tanks that are fifty eight hundred gallons, you know. Thank you for listening. I'm Forrest calling this episode of The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast was produced by I his if you like the show, please tell your friends and pets and subscribe until next time or the one and ponder your next adventure.
Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, GRAPE minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is: We head to my hometown. It's where I grew up and at 10 years of age, delivering the Lewiston Morning Tribune newspaper spent many of Saturday mornings canvassing the neighborhood looking for lawn mowing and car washing jobs so that I could head to Lewis-Clark State College play pinball all day long. I also learned to hunt and fish accumulated hundreds of miles in the Army Corps of Engineer levee system. I also began my radio career here as a senior in high school and started working full-time at KOZE FM and AM. We head to the panhandle of Idaho to the city of Lewiston.
My name is Coco Umiker and I am a winemaker and co-owner of Clearwater Canyon Cellars.
Ok, Coco, you've really built Clearwater Canyon Cellars into something impressive and we'll get to that later. But where did this begin?
Well, it really started with my love of science and strangely, it stretches all the way back to when I was a little kid. But I was 11 years old. I had cancer. And that ended up, you know, I being in hospitals a lot and around medical people. And so when I took off for college, I'm much better now. I'm good. Got through it in good shape. But when I went off to college, I thought, you know what? I'm going to be a pediatric oncologist and the undergrad premed program at the University of Idaho. They encourage students to do a double major in microbiology, molecular biology, and biochemistry. I got into it and I loved it.
Wow. That's very ambitious, microbiology, OK? I could see how that could dovetail into winemaking is Louis Pasteur. You're kind of originated that and then molecular biology, seeing how the biological activity in and between cells and then biochemistry, the processes with living organisms, I could see where that would be kind of all-consuming with your time and your thoughts and your studies. But I'm guessing that's not the course that you ended up taking
Partway through. I just realized that I wanted to do something more creative. I wanted to be outside. I wanted to be able to come back to my family farm in Lewiston and do something with that place. I never lived in Lewiston, I lived in Boise. I spent all my summers up in the Lewis and farm with my grandparents. And so I stayed in that degree and was just this hardcore science nerd. So University of Idaho and Washington State University are about eight miles apart in Washington State University is the leader in the northwest in terms of wine programs. And so it was very wonderful for me because I was able to actually cross some classes. And in the program over there, I was so sold. I mean, I just when I found and discovered fermentation and wine and all of that, I was like I knew that's what I wanted to do. I actually planted so my boyfriend at the time and I ended up becoming my husband he I second to last year of my undergrad. So I was two thousand three, asked my grandfather if we could plant a quarter acre of vines on the family farm down here, and he let us do it. And then in two thousand four, we started a winery in a garage.
So in two thousand four, you start the winery with your boyfriend at the time, Karl, who turns out to be your husband later to start the winery, because you've got all of these angel investors lined up and you've got all this money and you think it's a great idea. Let's start a winery. Right?
We had three other partners in the beginning of Clearwater Canyon because we were young and we had no money. At that point, Karl had paid off his student loans. You got a sweet deal. He actually grew up in Arkansas and his dad was a professor at the University of Arkansas in the music department. So he got a really great education for a little cheaper because he had a father that was faculty they gave, you know, children faculty a better deal. And so that was fantastic. So he was able to get a chemistry degree from the University of Arkansas and came out here to Idaho on a research assistantship to study soil science and earn his master's degree. And that's what I did at WSU. I was on a research assistantship. You're both able to kind of work on projects that in his case that the farming industry was really interested in. He did soils work and I was studying Brettanomyces, which was a hot topic in the wine world at the time.
In part two of our interview with Coco Umiker of Clearwater Canyon Cellars, we explore what she loves. Oh, my God. Yeah. I mean, I love.
Thank you for listening. I'm Forrest Kelly this episode of The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast was produced by IHYSM. If you like the show, please tell your friends and pets and subscribe until next time pour the wine, and ponder your next adventure.