Winemaker Morgan Lee was born in Michigan and raised in Indiana. He fell in love with the Northwest at age 17 while on a family trip to Seattle.
When he graduated high school in 1998 in Lafayette, Indiana (which is roughly one bridge length from Purdue University), he decided to take an elective called ‘Wine Appreciation’ taught by a man named Dr. Vine (no shit). You had to be 21 to take the class so most of the students were seniors, but every senior who could do so lined up because, well, you could drink in class. Needless to say, he loved the class. After the semester ended, he asked Dr. Vine if he would be willing to write a letter of recommendation so that Morgan could seek out a harvest internship. Dr. Vine didn’t know him from anything; his class was Monday nights in front of 350 students. He agreed to do so most likely because Morgan got an A in the class, and more so because he had the guts to ask him. That letter got him an internship at Tabor Hill in Southwest Michigan for the 2005 harvest. Today they produce over 100,000 cases.
After graduation, Morgan knew that culinary school was out, and he wanted to be a winemaker. He had no formal training and one harvest of knowledge but decided to send unsolicited resumes to wineries in Washington so he could try to get back to the Evergreen State. Somehow one of those letters, mailed in manila envelopes, made it to the proper desk at Columbia Crest in Prosser. Juan Munoz-Oca and Daniel Wampfler interviewed him over the phone while he sat at a coffee shop on the Purdue campus during the summer of 2006. They offered him a spot. He and his wife Sally decided to move and give it a try for 5 years. It has now almost been 18.
Morgan, Sally, and their two kids, Oliver, and Claire, now live not far from Woodinville, WA – the mecca of wineries and tasting rooms in Western WA. The family dog, Alice, can be found at the winery with Morgan most days.
Morgan met owners, David, and Cindy Lawson, in 2007 as they hired him to take on winemaking for their first brand – Covington Cellars. This later led to their second brand, Two Vintners, and now City Limits.
Our relationships with our farming partners is the backbone of our winemaking program. The symbiotic relationship that exists between the grower and the producer is everything. Winemakers cannot do what they do without farmers, and farmers have no outlet for their fruit without a winemaker's desire to create.
All our vineyard sources are sustainably farmed using techniques including natural cover crops and landscaping to encourage beneficial insect activity, raptor nests to keep natural predators present for rodent control, and no tilling to reduce soil compaction.
We love experimenting artistically with unusual varietals, fermentation vessels (concrete, terra cotta jarres, clay tinaja, amphorae) and winemaking techniques (whole cluster fermentation, native yeast fermentation, foot stomping, manual punch downs, etc.)
We feel our job is to let the vineyard do the talking, and refrain from interfering with nature as much as possible.