2016 NCW Wine Awards (Wenatchee Wine and Food Fest)

Malaga Springs Winery received the Platinum Winery Award for achievement, having won the most gold medals in the competition.  We are blessed with the support of our friends and one of the most involved wine communities in the state.  Our wines are produced by hand, with care and love of land, and our reputation is produced by the care and involvement of friends, both in and out of the wine club, and a community that very much supports our efforts at continuous improvement. 

Gold Medals

2014 Cabernet Franc

2013 Syrah

2015 Chenin Blanc

2015 Viognier

Silver Medals

2014 NCW Wine Awards

Our wines got noticed at this year's North Central Washington Wine Awards. Come visit our tasting room and try our excellent wines that won awards this year.

Double Gold
2010 Syrah

2010 Sangiovese
2013 Chenin Blanc
2013 Muscat Canelli
2009  Malbec
2011 Evolution Malbec
2013 Sangiovese Rosé
2013 Blanc de Noir
2013 Viognier
2013 Sauvignon Blanc

Awards: 2014 Seattle Wine Awards

We did it! Malaga Springs Winery brought home four awards from this year's Seattle Wine Awards. Taste all the varieties that won awards in our tasting room.

Cabernet Sauvignon | $20-$35 Category
Silver: 2011 Cabernet Sauvingon

White Varieties | $20 & Under Category
Double Gold: 2013 Muscat Canelli
Gold: 2013 Chenin Blanc

Viognier | $20 & Under Category
Double Gold: 2013 Viognier

Wineman’s Toast: Award-winning vintages from Malaga Springs

Cathy and Allen Mathews - Photo by Business World

Cathy and Allen Mathews - Photo by Business World

Al Mathews is a very talented fellow. He’s a building contractor who has develeoped a small Southwestern-style stucco and straw-bale village at Malaga Springs Winery, which he owns with his wife Kathy.

He’s also a potter, whose utilitarian and artistic pieces can be found at the winery on Cathedral Rock Road.

During the summer months, Kathy, an interior designer, runs the tasting room while Al heads up to Bristol Bay, Alaska, to work the commercial salmon fisheries.

His passion, though, is growing grapes and making wine. Now 66, he’s been making wine and craft beers since he was in his 20s. He earned a degree in microbiology at Oregon State University and loved the science as well as the taste of the beverages he made, most better than he could buy.

The couple now have 5.5 acres of vineyard on rolling hills nestled against a rocky bluff far above Malaga. The massive rock reflects light and heat into the vineyard. The land’s gentle swells create currents of air and offer various soil compositions appropriate for the 13 grape varieties they have planted. They bottled about 900 cases of wine last year, but expect to increase that by 25 percent a year as young vines produce more grapes.

I admire anyone who can source good grapes and make great wine. There’s an astonishing number of people who have done just that and established fine wineries in North Central Washington over the past dozen years.

Farther up on my admiration chart are those who grow their own grapes to make their wine, in the French vintner tradition. The Mathewses are among that group, and they’ve managed in a short time to produce wine grape crops worthy of making award-winning vintages on land that most farmers would have overlooked.

Malaga Springs wines have won numerous medals at the NCW Wine Awards, Seattle Wine Awards, NW Wine Competition and the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Its 2012 Chenin Blanc won Best of Class there last year.

Two other wines to taste are the 2010 Zinfandel, one of few zins made in Washington; the gold-medal winning Cabernet Sauvignon, made from grapes grown on leased property in the famed Red Mountain AVA; and the 2012 Cabernet Franc, which ripened beneath a shroud of smoke from the Wenatchee Complex fires that year. The last is a very interesting wine made under conditions that aren’t likely to be duplicated anytime soon. At least I hope not.

The couple truly takes a “hands-on” and sustainable approach in every step of their wine production. The scenic drive to the winery is an essential stop for anyone wanting to learn more about the Wenatchee Valley’s growing wine production.

More information about Malaga Springs Winery — and a map to help you locate it — can be found at malagaspringswinery.com.

Here are my notes on a few of the winery’s recent releases:

2013 Sauvignon Blanc: Lots of tropical fruit including pineapple, slight banana and peach aromas followed by a burst of ruby grapefruit. Sweeter beginnings than a lot of sauvignon blancs, but well balanced with bright citrus acidity.

2013 Viognier: Wildly floral, bursting with jasmine; like getting off the plane in Kauai, said a friend with whom I shared a glass. I envisioned biting into a juicy ripe peach picked right off the tree in July.

2010 Syrah: There’s plenty to love about this rich, full-bodied Syrah. Lots of ripe berry, spiced with pepper, clove, vanilla and tobacco. This is the perfect wine for barbecued ribs or anything off the grill.

by Rick Steigmeyer | Wenatchee Valley Business World | June 1, 2014

Review: Wine Trails NW

Perched on a bluff above the mighty Columbia River is the Southwest-style abode of Malaga Springs Winery. The orange-hued winery and adjacent home of Al and Kathy Mathews is the perfect complement to the basalt cliffs rising in the background. Nearby is Saint Laurent Winery, and if you squint your eyes, you can see Martin-Scott Winery many miles in the distance.

Getting to Malaga Springs Winery on Cathedral Rock Drive is a bit of an adventure given that most of the journey is on gravel road. However, the destination is worth the occasional washboard bumps. As Al notes, “We are one of the smallest wineries in the state, with production well south of 1,000 cases annually.” Translation: Lovingly nurtured, hand punched-down fermenting wine, for which Al has aged in oak through maturity.

When I wasn’t gazing at the lemon yellow sample of viognier poured for me, I took in the pottery placed throughout the tasting room. It turns out Al throws pots when he is not busy making wine or dabbling in other things. A tour of the facilities revealed that Al built their current residence and tasting room using an ingenious straw bale technique. He also showed me the plot of land where he will build their new house, next to Kathy’s well-tended gardens (she’s a natural at growing things). And all these talents are sandwiched between Al’s other job in Alaska, where he owns a commercial fishing business. Phew!

Be sure to note the colorful labels on Malaga Springs’ bottles. That’s the creation of Al’s 84-year-old mother, Vera Mathews. As I packed my bottles of “Al y Kat,” a big, bold red, into the car, I reflected on the pioneer spirit of this family, suffused with self-sufficiency, respect for the land, and love of family.

By Wine Trails NW


Review: 2010 Sangiovese

Wenatchee Valley winemaker Al Mathews graduated from Oregon State University with a microbiology degree, and he’s been making wine before he built a career as a contractor. While he bottles a tasty pink from this Italian variety, he also offers this well-structured Sangiovese that carries aromas cherry, rose petal, crushed walnut and dusty oregano. The foundation of the drink is one of black cherry and dark strawberry with sandy frontal tannins and a steady push of pomegranate acidity for length.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 50 cases

Alcohol: 13.3%

By Great Northwest Wine


Spring Distribution for Wine Club Members

We will be contacting wine club members this week to make their selections for the spring distribution. The wine can be picked up at the winery the next 2 weeks, or we can ship it to you. We will be bottling our 2012 reds Memorial Day weekend....including the smokey Cab Franc that we named "Singed Cat Red" We just completed pouring the footings for our new tasting room next to the winery. Now we'll see how slow the old guy is.

New Beginnings of a Historic Vintage

The cuttings we took from what we believe to be grapes from the original plantings in Malaga; the ones that gave the area its name, have sprouted. We are very excited, and are starting the planning phase of a small vineyard which will be dedicated to production of an authentic vintage wine, which will herald back to the 1800's, when the original plantings were made. We will fill you in as we continue to grow the plants, take more cuttings and eventually produce a wine which we can evaluate and present to the public as a tribute to the rich history of our area. Kathy's green thumb came through, as usual. She could grow a banana out of an iceberg.

Singed Cat Red Available Soon

We are bottling our 2012 reds later this month, and the smoky Cab Franc that so many have tried and expressed interest in will be available by the case in April. Bottle sales on it will be started in June or July. Only 50 cases of this once in a lifetime wine.....hopefully only once in a lifetime...so don't miss out. The contest winner was Jr. Burks, with the name "Singed Kat" Red. We had a lot of great suggestions, and thank everyone for entering the contest.

Review: 2008 Malbec

One of the best wine evaluation groups, Great Northwest Wines has just reviewed another of our wines...the 2008 Malbec. If you haven't checked out their website, you should do so, as it contains a lot of information and timely reviews of Northwest wines. They also host one of the most prestigious of Northwest wine competitions, the Great Northwest Wine Competition, which is getting ready to kick off. Check out their website. The reviews and all the other stuff is conveniently listed and archived.