(WALLA WALLA, Wash.)—What began more than 20 years ago as a hobby in the basement of their Portland home has evolved into a dream business for Devin and Debra Stinger, who are on the cusp of celebrating their 10th anniversary as owners of Walla Walla’s Adamant Cellars. Through passion, dedication, and commitment to producing ultra-premium Walla Walla Valley wines, the Stingers have not only turned their hobby into a career, they have turned a few heads in the process.
“Debra and I have always had a passion for wine and winemaking, and would often share our wines with friends and family which is the way we believe wine should be enjoyed,” said Devin Stinger, owner and winemaker at Adamant Cellars. “When they started asking us if we had any more, and when some of our wines began to win awards at small local competitions, we decided it was time to pursue our dream of owning a winery and we knew that Walla Walla was where we wanted to be.”
The Stingers found their opportunity at the Walla Walla Wine Incubators, a first-of-its-kind program at the Walla Walla Regional Airport operated by the Port of Walla Walla. The program provides short-term (up to six years), low-cost (rents start at $1,200 per month) building opportunities to help start-up wineries establish themselves. For Devin and Debra, it was an ideal stepping-stone.
“The Wine Incubator program was a tremendous opportunity for us to focus first and foremost on crafting great wine, while we gained experience on the business side of being winery owners in a less stressful, economically sustainable setting,” said Devin Stinger. “The support we received from other winemakers, who were always willing and eager to share their knowledge and experience, was invaluable to our early success and is a reflection of the truly collaborative nature of the Walla Walla Valley winemaking community.”
Today, Adamant Cellars operates its tasting room and winery inside a former World War II Army mess hall and adjacent aircraft maintenance building, both of which have been repurposed and refurbished in the Walla Walla Airport District. Theirs is a family operation in every way, with Devin serving as winemaker and overseeing production, sales, and distribution, while Debra manages the tasting room, marketing, and Joy Club – Adamant Cellars’ wine club. Debra’s artwork also adorns the tasting room, and even appears on select wine labels beginning with the winery’s 2011 Artisan Syrah. Like the former Army buildings turned winery and tasting room, the Stinger’s journey from wine lovers to wine makers has a colorful history and a bright future.
“I didn’t grow up thinking I wanted to be a winemaker or own a winery, and we didn’t have the money to just go out and purchase an existing winery, but what we did know was that we were passionate about great wine,” said Stinger. “And not just about drinking it, but about the art and science and nuances behind what makes it great, which is why we ultimately pursued our dream and why we pour our hearts and souls into every bottle of wine that Adamant Cellars produces.”
About Adamant Cellars:
Founded in 2006 by Devin and Debra Stinger, Adamant Cellars annually produces 1,200 cases of artistically crafted, sensory saturated, ultra-premium Walla Walla Valley wines including Bordeaux-style blends, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Albariño, a Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon blend, and a Sparkling Rosé. Membership in the winery’s Joy Club includes newly released wines shipped three times each year with exclusive pricing, invitations to private Joy Club events, receptions, and dinners, priority notification of new, special release, and limited availability wines, and more. The Adamant Cellars winery and tasting room is located at 525 E Cessna Ave., in Walla Walla’s Airport District cluster of tasting rooms. The tasting room is open daily from 11am to 5pm, with the exception of January tasting room hours from 11am to 4pm, Friday through Sunday. For more information call 509-529-4161 or visit www.adamantcellars.com.
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