An eight-acre field of grass that was in need of constant mowing has been transformed into the idyllic Matthews Farm, just steps outside of the Matthews Winery in Woodinville, and is the host for the winery’s growing farm-share program.
The Otis family, owners of Matthews Winery and Farm, planted the first seeds for the farm a couple years ago as a way to expand the offerings of the winery. Woodinville has become a popular Pacific Northwest wine destination, but its history is also steeped in agriculture throughout the Woodinville Valley. Opening a small-scale farm seemed like the perfect way to pay homage to Woodinville’s past, and could bring further traffic to the winery, said part-owner Bryan Otis. So, they hired Alex Meizlish to oversee the farm, and it’s been wildly successful.
Last year, 13 members picked up their 20-week Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes, curated with unique vegetables, freshly-cut blooms, honey, custom bread and cheese, eggs and a bottle of highly-acclaimed Matthews wine. This year, they’ve expanded to 30 members who can subscribe for $1,750 annually and start picking up their boxes in late June.
The scores within the CSA box are about as fresh as it gets, Otis said. All of the non-produce items — bread, cheese, eggs, ect. — are sourced within five to 20 miles of the winery and the produce is often picked 24 hours before pick-up. Sometimes it’s gathered the morning of. They’ve also expanded the flowers grown on the farm this year. They purchased nearly 200 Dahlia tubers, also known as bulbs, which could produce thousands of the vibrant flowers.
Boutique-type produce from the farm, such as purple broccoli, is also sold to restaurants on the Eastside and Seattle, and is translated into beautiful dinners prepared by celebrated chefs at the Matthews Winery. The farm-to-table dinners are open to wine club members with tickets available to the public as well.
“The original thought was that when people think about their great wine experiences, they’re thought of around food,” Otis said. “Food is part of that. The Matthews brand has been around for a while, but we’ve sort of seen a renaissance with the amount of quality we’ve been able to get into the bottle. And while we’ve been focusing on how we can enhance the quality inside of the bottle, we were also thinking about what we can do to enhance the quality outside the bottle.”
In the coming years, they have room to grow the CSA membership, but that will depend on the support of the community. Anyone who can’t join the CSA still can enjoy the farm while visiting the winery.
“People can come out and have a Sauvignon Blanc and a glass of Claret and walk around the farm and enjoy the afternoon,” Otis said.