Made in the Northwest: Winescape Winery
SPOKANE, Wash. — When Phil and Patricia Butterfield opened Winescape Winery on their 14 acre property on Spokane’s South Hill in 2017, they created a destination for drinking wine without leaving town.
“What we wanted was a sense of you could have a glass of wine and you could feel like you were a hundred miles away,” said owner Patricia Butterfield.
“They enjoy the location, they enjoy the facility, they enjoy coming into a tasting room where they look out, ‘Oh, that’s where they make the wine,'” added Phil Butterfield, owner and winemaker.
The Butterfields are Washington State University professors, reinventing themselves in their sixties, after their winemaking hobby grew too big for the basement.
“Of course I was always thinking about a winery, dreaming about it, doing planning about it,” said Phil.
Coming from the world of academia, Patricia said starting a winery and running a business has been quite an adventure.
“90 percent of the time it’s been really fun and 10 percent of the time it’s been, ‘Aaaah (screams)! What were we doing?'”
But Phil, also known as Dr. Winescape, has really taken to his new profession, connecting the science of winemaking with the art of winemaking.
“He has the talent,” explained Patricia. “He has the palate and he has the ability to do something that’s very special.”
And because of Phil’s extensive research in labs, Winescape doesn’t have to send its wines away for testing.
“Run the analysis and get the answer right away,” said Phil. “Come back out, take any corrective actions that I might need to do.”
But what the Butterfields really enjoy is making Winescape work together.
“Instead of like losing our identity as college professors and different things, we’ve gained our identity as people that are doing something special and unique,” said Patricia.
“Career wise and business wise, it’s brought us together in a whole new way,” added Phil.
And making wines people enjoy, like the Cabernet Sauvignons Phil is especially proud of, doesn’t hurt either.
“It’s very gratifying that people enjoy our wine.”
Winescape is a destination and its wines have definitely arrived.
“We can make great wine here and that’s our intention,” said Phil. “And I think we’re starting to prove that we can do that with the wines that we’ve released so far.”
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