Categorized | Events

Cordon Selections Annual Bus Tour

At less than a decade old, Cordon now has some of the more prestigious Washington State small winery labels in its book – such as Long Shadows, Fidelitas, Corvus Cellars, Hightower, Basel Cellars, VaPiano and Sleight of Hand to name a few.

Ken Avedisian

For Cordon Selections owner and CEO, Ken Avedisian, selling wine is much more than simply hiring some drones to work in specific markets and have them go and try to sell wine to retailers and restaurants. It’s all about the personal, human touch – and to that end, his company has done a great job establishing a good name for itself as one of the premier “boutique” distributors.

What better way to get its customers more acclimated to its brands than to put them all on a tour bus and drive them over for a 3-day extravaganza of hands-on time with the winemakers, vineyard managers and owners? That’s just what Ken and his team do each year – bring out some of their restaurant buyers, grocery store wine stewards and wine store owners (29 in total) to Eastern Washington

To the best of my knowledge, Cordon Selection is the only Seattle-based distributor that puts on such a cool hands-on event like this that allows its buyers to experience both the wines and “human terroir” of some of its Washington State vintners.

The trip started off on Friday and had stops at Traveri Cellars (makers of some good bubbly), Cote Bonneville, Hightower (where Mark Ryan was also pouring) before ending the day at Fidelitas.

Dubrul Vineyard – where Cote Bonneville sources its grapes

More from Dubrul Vineyard

Folks doing some punch-downs at Hightower

Mark McNeilly of Mark Ryan Wines

Joe Haugen of Tacoma Boys food markets with Dan Bachilla of Cordon

A view from the Higtower Vineyards on Red Mountain

Tim and Kelly Hightower

The second day was spent entirely in Walla Walla and was for sure the most hectic schedule to endure. Long Shadows, Basel Cellars, Tertulia, Va’Piano, Zero One, Chateau Rollat, Waters, Sleight of Hand, a Maurice, Walla Faces, DaMa Wines, Rasa Vineyards and finally ending at a nice dinner with Dusted Valley and Corvus Cellars.

Randall and Jennifer Hopkins – owners of Corvus Cellars

Basel Cellars Vineyard view

Dinner tables setup behind Corvus

Gilles Nicault Winemaker of Long Shadows

Hank Dardenne – sales rep for Cordon

Tour Bus pulling into Va’Piano

Having lunch at Va’Piano

Sunday was more vineyard time – starting off with Kent Waliser and Sagemoor – one of the most pervasive growers which happen to have some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon blocks in the state. After learning a lot about the history of Sagemoor and how much it’s played a part in our wine culture here, it was off to Weinbau – another vineyard owned by the Sagemoor group that’s just about smack-dab in the middle of the Wahluke slope. The owners of Kyra Wines met us here and joined-in for lunch was was prepared with lots of love by the vineyard staff – it was hands-down, the best Mexican food I’ve had outside of Mexico.

Weinbau Vineyards

Sagemoor Vineyards

Kent Waliser – General Manager of Sagemoor Vineyards

Sagemoor Vineyards

Sagemoor Vineyards

Sagemoor Vineyards

Sagemoor Vineyards

I  can report that after spending a few days together with the team at Cordon Selections, that they have a very passionate, personable staff that is committed to bringing their customers, and ultimately us wine-lovers the best of what each region around the world, has to offer.

If you reside in Washington State or even parts of Oregon, check with your local wine merchant to see if they have Cordon Selection wines available.


  • Joe Haugen

    Thanks for sharing Duane.  It was such an amazing time!