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Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Katie Nelson | Photo Credit: Carina Skrobecki

“I love the contrasting flavors in Cold Creek Cabernet, which make it such a surprising and unique wine. It is bold, concentrated, with dark fruit flavors and has firm tannin structure. It is also elegant, with vibrant acidity.  This juxtaposition is what makes this wine truly exceptional.”

– Katie Nelson, VP of Winemaking


Planted in the 1970s, Cold Creek is one of Washington’s oldest and most acclaimed vineyards. Character builds season after season in the growth rings of the old woody vines.

This wine is 100% Cold Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. 2018 was another stellar growing season in Washington state. Spring temperatures followed by mild conditions throughout the growing season allowed for extended hang time and enhanced flavor development. Warm fall days allowed for full ripeness and color, while cool Washington nights helped maintain crisp natural acidity.

Each individual fermentation tank is tasted daily to evaluate the development of the tannins and structure. Gentle pumpovers were used to extract optimal flavor and color and minimize harsh tannins. Aged for 22 months in 29% New French and 20% New American Oak.

This Cabernet has broad-shouldered structure, concentrated fruit characters and deep color.




During her time at Sonoma State University, Katie Nelson signed up for an Enology class on a whim. She was struck by the ability to merge agriculture, chemistry, art, hard work, and luck of the vintage into a bottle of wine. She quickly changed her major to Chemistry with an Enology emphasis within the week.

She landed her first winery job as a crush intern in Healdsburg, California shortly after her 21st birthday. Upon graduation, she worked as a Lab Supervisor for Associated Vintners in Sunnyside, Washington before moving to Oregon to work as an Enologist at Eola Hills Winery.

In 1999, Katie moved back to Washington where she began her career as an Enologist at Ste. Michelle Wines Estates. She left briefly in 2015 only to return in 2018 as Senior Director of Winemaking for Innovation and Head Winemaker of Columbia Crest and H3. She now serves as the Vice President of Winemaking for Chateau Ste. Michelle.

“Nowhere else in the world is there as much diversity in varietals as Washington state,” says Katie. “We have it all in just a few hours in every direction. It’s a winemaker’s dream. It’s an honor to help build the momentum for Washington wines and find their place on the world stage.”

When asked what Katie loves most about her job, she says mentoring future winemakers. “No day or vintage is ever the same. I get to keep growing and innovating with an amazing team, year after year. I also love partnering with family farmers to craft exciting, food-friendly and accessible wines for people to enjoy of all backgrounds.”

Katie lives in Prosser with her husband Flint, who is also a winemaker, and their two children.