We’ll just come right out and say it: Washington State produces some of the best wines in the world. This ancient land has been shaped by geological forces hundreds of millions of years in the making, and the result is a range of terroir as perfectly suited to growing pristine grapes, and crafting world-class wines, as anywhere in the United States.
At Silvara Cellars, our guiding principle has always been the same: To craft small-production wine from the very best vineyard sites in the Pacific Northwest, and to express the majesty of this land in every bottle we produce.
We take deep, passionate pride to be making wine in Washington State, and we hope you feel the same sense of excitement that we do every time you take a sip. From the sweeping vistas of the Cascades to the woodlands and ancient soils that define our amazing terroir, our wines embody everything that makes the Pacific Northwest so special.
This is Washington State. This is Silvara Cellars.
Where We Source
Our wines are produced from grapes grown in Washington’s top vineyards, and express the land of the most important AVAs in the state. As the great winemakers of France often say, our job is to craft wine that serves as a unique, delicious lens through which these appellations and vineyards express themselves.
Though grapes have been grown here since the mid-1800s, it’s only in the last 15 years that the Walla Walla Valley has really made a name for itself. Yet its trajectory has been incredible, and it now has the state’s highest concentration of wine producers. No wonder: With often wet, cool weather, the grapes that grow here have plenty of time to develop on the vine, resulting in wines of layered complexity and longevity.
Primarily a white-wine-producing AVA, Ancient Lakes has only been an officially recognized appellation since 2012. Yet even in that short amount of time, it has made a name for itself among sommeliers and collectors who enjoy wines with mouth-watering acidity, and the minerality that is so often associated with the greatest growing regions in the world.
Accounting for nearly 1/3 of the state’s land, Columbia Valley is the single largest AVA in Washington. As a result of the sheer size of the AVA, soils and climates vary significantly throughout. That’s why so many of Columbia Valley’s sub-AVAs have earned so much attention. Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain, Horse Heaven Hills, and more are all located within Columbia Valley’s borders. No matter where grapes are grown here, they always find a way to express something new and exciting about the ancient land of Washington State.
The warm climate of the Horse Heaven Hills AVA, combined with the south-facing sites of many of the top vineyards and an altitude that ranges from 300 feet to 1,800 feet, means that the wines produced here are not just reliably delicious, but also particularly age-worthy in the best vintages.
This is a desert appellation by definition, which means that the lack of rain and massive swings between daytime highs and nighttime lows result in wines of tension, energy, and concentration. It’s not a big AVA—just 2,382 acres of vines can be found here—but it’s reputation is huge, thanks to the immense expressiveness of the best wines of the AVA.
This isolated AVA is among the warmest and driest in Washington, and the grapes grown in the alluvial soils that define it result in wines of concentration, generosity, and ripeness. For Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah fans, the Wahluke Slope AVA is as good as it gets.
1. relating to, or inhabiting the forest
FOUNDER & WINEMAKER
Silvara Cellars was founded by winemaker Gary Seidler in 2008. Gary’s approach to winemaking is a traditional one: Seeking out grapes from the best growers and distinct AVA's in Washington State, bringing out the natural depth and complexity in that fruit, and crafting terroir-driven wines that reflect their distinct appellations.
Like many of the best winemakers in the United States, he came to it later in life.
After a stint as a touring sound tech in the 1970s, Gary went on to found six different companies, each with its own distinct challenges, setbacks, and victories. After selling his sixth business and retiring at the age of 48, Gary realized he had the passionate desire to get back to a simpler, more meaningful lifestyle.
Having grown up working in agriculture and surrounded by a large Italian-German family in upstate New York—grandmothers who baked, uncles who cured meats and cheeses—what we now refer to as "farm to table" was just another Sunday supper for Gary.
It left an impression on him.
At the age of 52, he began working toward his degree in viticulture and enology at U.C. Davis, one of the most prestigious universities in the world for the study of grape-growing and winemaking.
Training with some of the best growers and winemakers in Washington’s wine country, Gary had the opportunity to start a winery in either Napa or Washington State. Napa already had a strong reputation in the wine world, whereas Washington had…well, everything else. From its economics to the diversity of distinct growing regions, Gary could see that the Pacific Northwest was ripe with untapped potential. So with plans drawn up by renowned Montana architect Jeri Locati, Gary grabbed his tool belt and a 6-ft. ladder, and literally began building his tasting room in the foothills of Washington's Cascade Mountains.
He named his winery Silvara, which is derived from a Latin word that means “of the forest.” The name is a tribute not only to the Evergreen State, but also to those individuals who brave the woods of impossibility to take up the challenge of writing their own pioneering story.
Now in his 12th year at Silvara Cellars, and after a lifetime of finding success in other fields, Gary has done just that. And with each vintage, that story continues to unfold.