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3 short stories about why people move to NCW

By on May 23, 2021 in Uncategorized with 1 Comment
Doug and Kim Bianchi: Swinging on a trapeze… letting go of one bar to grab the next.

Doug and Kim Bianchi: Finding a magic place to build their own vineyard

Stories by Linda Reid

Photos by Ken Reid

Doug and Kim Bianchi’s journey to East Wenatchee had its roots in places they had loved or lived in on this side of the Cascades: Yakima, Cheney, Quincy, Mission Ridge, and the Wenatchee Valley. 

They dreamed of someday buying a small piece of land for a little get-away over here, to spend time with friends and family. 

From the time they met they shared a common interest in wine (from the grapes to the glass), which led them to take a class at Everett’s Port Gardiner Bay Winery from the winemaker and owner, Chris Covington. This class along with serious investigation and self-study convinced Doug he could do this too, so they started a small winery in Doug’s construction shop located in Whatcom County. 

Then magic happened and they found this intriguing piece of property (formerly an orchard) overlooking the Columbia, with a house and outbuildings, and a sunny slope, perfect for growing wine grapes. 

Doug could see the potential for more than a “get-away.” Although Kim was a little tentative at first, more sun, less traffic, living close to her best friend from middle school, and Doug’s enthusiasm and vision won her over. 

Doug likens their move to swinging on a trapeze… letting go of one bar to swing forward and grab the bar that was now in front of them. 

That meant selling their Arlington home, Kim quitting her job, packing up their wine-making supplies, and redesigning their wine label (which featured Mount Baker). They moved to their new home in July of 2017.

A collage of photos in their tasting room tells the story of their ambitious undertaking, accomplished while they continued to work part-time, Kim as a dental hygienist and Doug as an industrial consultant. Their work ethic and determination began to transform the land. 

Budgeting for this new venture was the biggest challenge, especially after COVID came along. 

Fortunately, Doug had grown up in a family that fostered an entrepreneurial spirit, discipline and self-motivation. His 20 years of business administration also helped prepare him for their many hurdles. 

Every year they have planted half an acre of vines, each a different variety. Their plans include planting Italian varietals, especially those grown in the Piedmont area of Italy where Doug still has family. 

Patience and vision have been prerequisites for this ongoing project. Doug says it takes at least three years to grow grapes that have the potential to produce good wine, so for now they source their grapes from various Washington growing regions. 

Mentoring and encouragement offered by other local winemakers, such as Mike Scott of near-by Martin Scott Winery, have been among the best rewards of “moving here.” 

Mike’s wife Judy even convinced them to open sooner than planned. She knew that wine enthusiasts enjoy visiting a creative work in progress while they sip wine, enjoy lovely landscaping with a beautiful view, and perhaps even listen to some live music. 

Best of all, the visitors can be a part of Doug and Kim’s vision of Bianchi Vineyards becoming a reality. 

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  1. Pops says:

    Nice article

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