By Duane Pemberton
Visit Maison Bleue on the web at: www.mbwinery.com
Former dentist and owner of his own practice in Kansas City, MO – this career professional had enough of what the medical industry offered. A number of years ago, Jon Martinez took a trip to France and while there, fell in love with Rhone – not only the region but the beautiful wines that come out of there.
It was that passion and drive that let his ambition to sell the practice, enroll in viticulture classes and move his family to the great state of Washington. When asked, “Why Washington out of the available wine-producing regions in the USA” – he says, “it’s simple, Washington has – in my opinion – the best growing conditions for Rhone varietals.”
Although his winery is young – just a few years old now – he has garnered wide-spread accolades from both traditional media and wine bloggers but more importantly to his bottom line, customers.
If you’ve been drinking a lot of over-extracted “new-world” kool-aid and are looking for a wine that can transport you to the old-world, then you really should seek out Jon’s wines. They are still fruit-forward, however, have a great balance of tannin, acids and give you a really nice sense of terrior (fancy French word for sense of place).
Jon is a one-man-band in the sense that he does literally everything at his small wine-producing loft inside the wine-loft building in Prosser Washington. From working the tasting room, to traveling to events to doing everything in the cellar and lab work, Jon is as hands-one as you can get.
He tells me his ambition is to eventually move to the Lake Chelan area – who can blame him? Prosser is kind of a dead-beat little town with almost zero culture or anything fun to do – the only good restaurant it has left is Wine O’clock (conveniently across the street from Maison Bleue.
You can find his wines at many of the better retailers and restaurants in the greater Seattle area, if you live out of that are, you can order them directly from Maison Bleue on its website.