After more than two years of construction, Sparkman Cellars has finally welcomed guests to its new home at Hollywood Station (formerly Redhook Brewery). The winery’s 30,000 square feet of production, tasting room, and event space occupy the former southeast side of Redhook’s bottling line. Sparkman Cellars and adjacent neighbor DeLille Cellars have completely transformed the iconic destination from a barley-hops beverage factory into a cathedral of wine. For Kelly and Chris Sparkman, it is the first time the various aspects of their business have coexisted under the same roof — a luxury and a game-changer, according to Chris.
“We have moved now from being possibly one of the most inefficient wine operations to among the most efficient. For more than a decade, we have had people deployed across our five contiguous leases. It’s nice to have one key.” said Chris. “This [is] our second act. We lived our scrappy warehouse life for 15 years, and now we’re on the 50-yard line of Main Street. This is the upper Eastside. We’re really excited to celebrate with our community and do special throw-downs with our club members,” Chris continued.
When the couple were first approached about the opportunity, the Sparkmans were nearly ready to sign a lease on another property. The Redhook space was so much larger than anything they had imagined occupying, and the couple wondered how on Earth they could pull it off. But they didn’t immediately rule it out. After chewing on the proposal for 10 days, they both agreed, saying, “We have to do this. We’ll either soar to great heights or have a magnificent crash,” they said.
Who knew that social distancing would be a phrase, let alone a primary concern, when construction began in 2018? Fortunately, space isn’t an issue here. The intimate-in-comparison tasting room is flanked by a 3,000-square-foot Great Hall with a cavernous vaulted ceiling and 5,000 square feet of outdoor patio space where the sky is the limit. The Great Hall can be divided by barrel racks to create cozy “private” alcoves. For even cozier gatherings, the Library Room — housing verticals of Sparkman wines — and the Club Room — available for evening hours after the tasting room has closed to the public and boasting a view into the Barrel Room — are perfect for corporate meetings and small receptions.
The facility may be the shiny new toy, but let’s not forget about the real main event — that magical liquid known as wine. Sparkman Cellars specializes in all the best red varietals Washington state has to offer and some lesser-known treats like Touriga Nacional and Graciano. They have a white wine for everyone, from Chardonnay to Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc to Roussanne.
BRAG-WORTHY: 2016 Kingpin Cabernet Sauvignon awarded 95 points by international wine critic James Suckling. Sourced from Klipsun Vineyard (Red Mountain AVA), this wine pairs perfectly with fall and winter comfort food. $65
NEW RELEASE: 2018 Reunión (Spanish for “gathering”) made from Graciano — a Spanish varietal grown in Washington state. A powerful wine with intense blackberry, mint, and cedar aromas followed by a silky palate bursting with black fruit and licorice flavors, it was inspired by a winemaker friend from Barolo who helped with the 2018 harvest. Available to club members for $55.
NEW FROM THE VINEYARD: Sparkman Cellars’ first bubbly, called Étincelle (French for “spark”) — a blanc de blancs made using the Champagne method.
To book a private event at Sparkman Cel-lars, contact the director of events, Elisa Morrison, at email@example.com or by calling (425) 398-1045. Sparkman Cellars is located at 14300 N.E. 145th St.