Dark Fabrics and Uncommon Varietals with Winemaker Andrew Latta
If you’re a winemaker, there’s logic behind wearing a uniform of mostly black. If you’re a winemaker like Seattle’s Andrew Latta—who is more interested in having a hand in every step of the process than running a high-volume production winery—this is especially true. The nuts and bolts of making wine are often messy and unglamorous, and red wine pairs better with dark fabrics.
“I like insurmountable tasks,” explains Latta about why this line of work appeals to him. “I wanted to do something where I could never clock out. I like the idea that the job is done when it’s done.”
South of downtown Seattle, Latta is one of a handful of artisans making really good wine in a tucked-away business park. Looking at the neat row of bottles on his bar, the young winemaker points to the Grenache as his favorite from the lineup. It tastes like smashed cherries on their way to becoming jam, with a bright mineral finish.
“I like growing uncommon varietals, and this was the first one I released,” he says. If you’re not deep in the wine game, this means Latta likes making wine from a single kind of grape that’s grown from a single vineyard.
If you visit the tasting room on a Saturday, you will likely find Andrew Latta behind his bar wearing a black cotton shirt rolled up to the elbows. After he pours you a glass, don’t be surprised if the winemaker slips away to siphon aging grapes into a beaker for some viticultural chemistry test, or strategically moves crates with a forklift. The task of making wine is continually in progress.
Images by Matthew Sumi
Model: Andrew Latta