Our Wines & Grapes

Our wines are crafted from premium hand-picked red and white grapes harvested from small family vineyards located in the Columbia Valley of Washington.  The viticulture areas include Rattlesnake Hills and Yakima Valley.  In 2014 we harvested 57,800 lbs. of grapes from Elephant Mountain Vineyards, Yakima; Crawford Farms, Prosser and Lonesome Spring Ranch, Benton City, WA.  Working closely with the vineyard owners, we monitor all stages of growth and assist in the agronomic decisions leading to harvest.

Then at harvest time we transport the fresh grapes (on-the-stem) directly to our winery in Billings.  After arrival, the grapes are de-stemmed and crushed within 30 hours post-harvest.  Fermentation, pressing, cellaring and bottling are completed on-site using our own equipment.

Last year we sold about 2,500 cases of wine.  We'll ramp up to about 3,200 cases this year, and level off in 2016 to about 3,700 cases -- which we anticipate will be our sustainable annual production.

If you'd like to see Yellowstone Cellars wines featured on the wine list of your favorite restaurant or steakhouse, please ask the management to contact us!


2011 "Rimrock Red"- Washington -- The 100-mile run of unique sandstone cliffs carved over the centuries by Montana's Yellowstone River is the inspiration for this signature red blend produced by Yellowstone Cellars & Winery. Not for the faint of heart, this careful blending of 25% each Syrah, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc is a robust wine loaded with the flavor of chokecherries, dark chocolate and wild current berries -- finishing with layers of smoked wood and black pepper. The smooth tannins and oakiness of this wine are perfect with just about any food -- or give it a chance to stand alone. If you love a grilled Montana rib-eye steak, roasted prime rib, or a slab of baby-back ribs this is absolutely the wine for you! Typical of our other reds, it will only get better with time -- if you have the willpower to salt it away in your cellar...

2011 Merlot - Washington -- The micro-climate of Washington's Horse Heaven Hills and the silty soils left by the ancient Lake Missoula floods provide the terroir for this Merlot. Notes of chocolate and coffee bean are being enhanced through aging in French oak barrels. A mild natural acidity gives this wine great balance and a complex palate. This easy-to-drink-alone wine pairs well with meat loaf, Italian-style sausages, beef stew or even smoked salmon and tuna. Try it with pasta dishes, pizza and cheeses like Gouda, cheddar, Monterrey Jack or smoked provolone. This is a great candidate for 2-5 years of aging.

2012 Malbec - Washington --  This Malbec is produced with grapes from Yakima Valley vineyards that have been supplying small, artisan wineries for years.  It represents a classic medium-bodied Malbec with pronounced and well-rounded flavors of dark cherry, blackberry and plum layered over a slew of high profile spices. This makes for an interesting medley of aromas and flavors. Malbec may be Argentina's signature grape, but nothing is lost in the smooth tannins and earthy essence of this wine that's been aging in French and American oak barrels for two years. It's definitely a red meat wine adaptable enough to stand up to spicy Mexican or Cajun foods or saucy Italian fare. Consider giving this Malbec a go with meatloaf, barbecue ribs or hamburgers off the grill.

2011 Syrah - Washington -- "For me, Washington state is the second-best place in the world for Syrah, after the Rhône Valley. I really do believe it's that amazing. I'll take it over [Australian] Shiraz or California Syrah any day." - Chris Miller, sommelier at the Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning Spago restaurant in Beverly Hills.  Our spicy, big-hitting Syrah has aromas of blackberry, currant, cinnamon, vanilla and anise. It ends in firm but smooth and supple tannins creating a soft-lingering finish. Pair it with robust, hearty foods -- including grilled or braised meats, lamb and full-meal dishes. like thick stews and meat-lovers pizza. Enjoy now or at it's best in 2-5 years. By the way -- try it as a delightful compliment to a dark chocolate truffle!

2011 Cabernet Sauvignon - Washington - Our Cabernet Sauvignon is a special treat for “Cab” lovers. Young, big, bold and dark! The grape's naturally high tannins, the unique wood flavors of vanilla and spice complement the natural grape flavors of black currant and tobacco. The grapes for this release (45 cases)were born from the micro-climate of eastern Washington's river valleys and the silty soils left by the ancient Lake Missoula flood. Aged for 30 months in French and American oak it’s a candidate for an added 3-5+ years of aging. We advise setting out a bottle (let it breathe for at least 30 minutes before pouring) the next time you serve grilled steaks, hamburgers, a red meat casserole - it's also perfect when paired with strong-flavored cheese, and chocolates (especially dark chocolate).

 2011 Petit Verdot - Washington - When it comes to aroma and flavor, this wine is anything but "petite." Seldom bottled as a stand-alone varietal, this unique "spice box" wine promises to be another huge hit here at the winery - as was our 2008 Petit Verdot. Aged in French oak barrels for two years, the dense fruit, dark color, powerful flavors, and heavy tannins of this wine help it pair with rich cuts of red meat (beef, bison, lamb or wild game) and well-aged cheeses, especially aged smoked cheddar. This full-bodied wine is a perfect choice as a gift for experienced red wine drinkers. With only 69 cases bottled, it will go out the door quickly! That said, this wine is a great candidate for long-term (3+ years) aging.

2011 Sangiovese - Washington -- Our version of the the trademark wine from Italy's Tuscany region comes from the sunwashed vineyards of the Yakima Valley. Remarkable aromas of light-red berry, allspice, tobacco and cedar can be found in this Sangiovese. A medium-body and medium-soft tannin structure allow flavors of red cherry, plum, strawberry, cinnamon and vanilla enhance your the palate for a wide range of foods.  It's very versatile and matches-up well with the flavors of Italian sausage, marinara, lighter red meats, grilled fish, lamb, pork, stews and well-aged cheeses. Very drinkable now -- this wine will age well for 1-3 years.

2011 Cabernet Franc - Washington -- Cabernet Franc is one of the principal grape varieties in most Bordeaux wines, as well as being the dominant variety in the fine wines of France's western Loire Valley.  Most commonly used as a blending grape, we've discovered that Cabernet Franc on its own can produce a distinctive and delicious bottle of wine.  The color of medium to dark garnet, find distinctive aromas of chocolate, violets and green bell pepper.   On the palate this a rich wine with herbaceous and grassy aromas, and flavors of cassis, raspberry, and cherry.  Cabernet Franc is a staple at Parisian bistros and naturally pair with oven-roasted chicken or steak frites -- as well as a wide mix of Mediterranean tapas.

2010 Barbera - Washington -- SORRY SOLD OUT This Barbera is made from premium hand-picked grapes grown in a family vineyard that’s been supplying small, boutique wineries for years. Our Barbera is medium-bodied with firm acidity and intense flavors suggesting red cherry, raspberry and early plum. Barrel-aged for two years, and bottle aged for nine months, it’s natural acidity makes this an outstanding and versatile food wine. Great with zesty tomato-based pasta sauces accented with chorizo or Italian sausage. It’s perfect with classic pepperoni pizza. Try pairing this wine with baby back ribs or a big, juicy hamburger with plenty of ketchup!

2011 Tempranillo - Washington -- Our Tempranillo is made from grapes grown in a premier Yakima Valley vineyard located just north of Benton City, WA. The Tempranillo grape is the dominant grape varietal of Spain's Rioja region. Ours has characteristic and vibrant red fruit flavors of plum, cherry and strawberry - mixed with an earthy minerality. This release is traditional of the Spanish-style Tempranillos -- medium-bodied with mild acidity - making a very food friendly wine. Pair with simple meats like chicken, leg of lamb, and pork loin and it works especially well with Mediterranean tapas, bolder meat dishes or an aged Spanish cheese like Manchego or Idiazabal. This release was aged in neutral French & American oak barrels for two years prior to bottling. Drink now -- or better yet, let it age in your cellar or wine rack for at least a year.

2011 Carmenere - Washington -- SORRY SOLD OUT  Our Carmenere is a voluptuous and seductive wine loaded with soft tannins and velvety herbal accents. It begins with aromas of fresh coffee beans, kitchen spices and mature garden herbs. Begin with favors of mocha and vanilla followed by layers of dark plum, licorice and chocolate—ending in a soft black pepper finish. Aged in French & American oak, this full-bodied wine pairs well with red pasta sauce, spicy Italian foods, mild-hot chile, roasted lamb and barbecue ribs.

White Wines

2013 - Chenin Blanc - Washington -- The off-dry style of this Chenin Blanc provides crisp, refreshing citrus flavors offset by a creamy texture. Notes of a honey balanced by palpable acidity and bracing minerality make this a great wine with light appetizers and mild cheeses. This wine also pairs well with roasted chicken, broiled or poached salmon, peeled shrimp or Asian cuisine. We like to dringk this wine slightly chilled - at about 55 F.

2012 - Riesling - Washington -- If you're looking for a no-fail white wine for the table or the patio, this off-dry (3.2%residual sugar) wine will fit perfectly. With a sensible balance of sugar and acidity, it has aromas and flavors of tropical fruit, orange peel, peach and honey. Full-bodied but crisp on the palate, it can be enjoyed with chicken recipes, a wide range of salads, seafood dishes, light meats, cold cuts and BLTs. Perfect alone after dinner - or with apple pie or caramel desserts. Drink lightly chilled (50-55 F).

2012 - "Summer Blend" - Washington -- Not just for summertime anymore!!!! But, try this slightly effervescent wine this winter and it'll remind you of those warm summer evenings out on the deck.... It's a treat to every sense. A blend of Riesling and Viognier, this is a zesty, refreshing and incredibly drinkable off-dry white wine. When lightly chilled (50-55F) this wine is great by itself - or it pairs wonderfully with a patio lunch, gourmet appetizers by the fire or with mountain cabin cuisine. Not to be underestimated, it's one of those rare wines that's perfect anytime of the day or night!

2013 Chardonnay - Yakima Valley --  A secret is just getting out: The small family vineyards of the sun-soaked Yakima Valley produce some of the world's best Chardonnay grapes. This crisp and very lightly oaked wine is testament to that notoriety. It provides mild notes of butterscotch, vanilla and very light buttery flavors with firm acidity and a mild apricot finish. Chardonnay pairs with roast poultry, pork, shrimp or Caribbean fare along with an array of mild cheeses and cream sauces. Serve this Chardonnay "cool" (50-55 degrees) -- not refrigerator cold -- to enhance its fruit flavors.