Interview with the Winemaker – Lisa Swei from Three of Cups Winery
Three of Cups Winery, from the Artisan Hill area of Woodinville, specializes in premium Washington State wines with an emphasis on Petite Syrah. Three of Cups is run by two winemakers – Lisa Swei and Mike Metheny – both with backgrounds in the Seattle-based tech industry who have been producing and selling artisanal wine since 2013.
After speaking with Swei, it is clear Three of Cups values the mantra that quality wine comes from exceptional fruit – buy only the grape, never the juice. Three of Cups also values the outcome of experimenting with the blending of grapes to produce varietals full of complex flavor. One of those experimentations began with Petite Syrah grapes.
Swei says, “Petite Syrah is a varietal that is an undervalued grape in Washington State. Even though we bought it as a blender, we liked this big wine so much we ended up producing a single varietal and selling out of it in the wine club.” Expect to see big bold reds like this one and the Chariot Red Blend (a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Syrah) and white wine blends during the Wine Walk.
When asked what wine means to Swei, she brought up human connection. “For me, it’s having people feel good and come together. You always want to share a glass of wine with someone. It gives that human interaction and people are actually talking together, celebrating together.”
Swei’s favorite part of the winemaking process is meeting new customers and educating them about wine: introducing someone to a new wine, seeing their reaction and how their palette changes with different wines. “Trying wine is as simple as: you either like it or you don’t.”
On advice for new tasters during the upcoming Wine Walk or someone new to wine, “Don’t limit yourself to just reds or whites and try different things you normally wouldn’t try. Break that barrier and try something different. If you don’t like it, you can always spit it out.”
Three of Cups Winery will be pouring tastes at the Virago Art Gallery on Alaska Street during the Wine Walk on September 28th from 6-9pm.
Photo Credit: Woodinville Wine Country