Indefinite Hiatus for Nicholas Cole Cellars

After nearly a decade in business, Nicholas Cole Cellars has decided to call it quits—for now. The winery’s future is uncertain, as evident with a recent statement made by founder and winemaker Mr. Neuffer.

On August 9th, 2010, after a seven year battle with cancer, my children’s mother Susan Neuffer, quietly lost the fight and passed away. Nicholas and Michele’s lives were changed forever and I began the inevitable reevaluation of my priorities and responsibilities to my children, my future and the future of Nicholas Cole Cellars. I immediately moved to the Seattle area to take care of my kids. After much reflection and soul-searching, I decided to make the move permanent and try my best to fill the void left in the wake of cancer’s unfair and cruel joke on Susan and her loved ones.

In choosing to refocus my energies on raising my children, I am placing an indefinite hiatus on winemaking and future vintages of Nicholas Cole & GraEagle wines. I will miss walking the vineyard, sampling grapes, the excitement of harvest, long exhausting days of crush and even the tedium of barrel management and bottling. Most of all, I will miss the great friends, loyal customers and the many fantastic people I have met and worked with in an industry I truly love. Thank you for all of your support.

–Mike Neuffer

Founded on the belief that great wines are made “one vine at a time”, Mike Neuffer released his inaugural Bordeaux blend in 2001, which quickly placed Nicholas Cole at the forefront of notable wineries in the Walla Walla Valley in Washington state.

Shortly thereafter, production ramped up to showcase the full expression of what Walla Walla could produce—solid, powerfully built yet elegantly expressive, hand-crafted wines. The winery primarily made blends consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, along with some Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Syrah. An occasional Italian varietal would make it into the blend for their second label, Graegle RedWing.

Neuffer sold the vineyard and production facility to Corliss Estates in 2006 and relocated his tasting room to downtown Walla Walla in 2008. As the story unfolds, we’ll keep you posted as information becomes available. Until then, we wish Mike and his family all the best.


About the Author:

Editor and co-founder of, Pamela is a sommelier and former restaurant manager and wine buyer with Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Court of Master Sommeliers & Center for Wine Origins certification. She has contributed to or been quoted by various publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Sommelier Journal, Vegetarian Times, VIV Magazine, UC-Berkeley Astrobiology News, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, NPR and USA Today. True to her roots, she seeks varietal and appellation integrity and is always passionate about finding the next great bottle of wine.


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  2. Michele December 15, 2010 at 11:23 AM - Reply

    I am sadened by the news. I’m a fan of the wines this winery makes. The best goes out to Michael and his family

  3. Brett L. December 15, 2010 at 7:13 PM - Reply

    Indeed sad news. I’m a fan of many Walla Walla wines and its disheartening news to hear. Best wishes Mike.

  4. Olivia December 15, 2010 at 7:32 PM - Reply

    I first tasted Nicholas Cole Cellars second label back in 2004—the ’03 Graegle RedWing Columbia Valley Merlot. It’s a wonderful wine as is the rest of their lineup. I’m saddened by the news-we all have twists and turns in life. I’m hoping Mike doesn’t decide to close his doors for good, but its understandable if that’s the decision he makes. Sincere condolences, Mike, and may your memories give you strength.

  5. Indefinite Hiatus for Nicholas Cole Cellars | wineclubsrule December 25, 2010 at 10:31 AM - Reply

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