Our Story

The winery was originally started by Steve and Susan Olsen who began making wine in their own home. In the late 1990's they purchased the 5 acres of land that would become Glacier Peak Winery. The first clippings were planted in 1998 and the vineyard continued to expand through 2002. It was around this time that the first vintages of wine were made and the winery had got its start. Over the next few years the winery would grow its customer base and become an integral part of the Skagit community it calls home.

In 2009 the Olsens sold the winery to Gary Outzen and Jackie Schneider. Business partners from California, it had always been a dream of theirs to own a winery and they had a deep love for Washington wines in particular and jumped at the chance to become part of this growing industry. They brought aboard Louis Dailly as their winemaker and viticulturist. Louis, originally from the Burgundy region of France, had a long history and plenty of experience with Pinot Noir. The new owners also updated a fair amount of the equipment in the winery and vineyard to help produce the best product possible. After a few years Louis moved on and Gary and Jackie hired the current team with designs on taking the winery to new levels of production, quality, and passion.

Our Estate Vineyards

The number one question we get is, "Wait, you grow grapes in western Washington?" Yes, yes we do. It takes a certain balance between passion and masochism to grow vitis vinifera on this side of the mountains, but we do it. Our vineyards are primarily Pinot Noir and Siegerrebe. Both of these grapes thrive in the cooler maritime climate of the Puget Sound. That being said, we achieve great diurnal variation (difference between the high and low temperature in a day) which these grapes enjoy. During the warm days the grapes accumulate sugars while during the cool nights help maintain the great acidity you associate with these varietals. We have recently expanded our vineyards and added more vines just west of the winery. And we are in the process of planting some Madeleine Angevine on the land that surrounds our Mount Vernon Tasting Room.

Our Team

 

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Marren Avery Yarbrough
Tasting Room Manager

Marren has been working for Glacier Peak Winery since 2009. She was hired by the wineries original owners, Steve and Susan Olson. Given her knowledge of the winery and strong ties to the community she was an invaluable part of the winery when the current ownership took over. Her love of wine began while she was in northern Spain. Savoring the deeply red and smoky wines of the region she truly learned to appreciate the complexity and connections wine has. Paired with the verdant Spanish countryside and traditional earthy foods she experienced how wine, environment, and food all come together for the perfect pairing. Marren now finds herself surrounded by the green fields and striking mountains of the Skagit valley. While in the tasting room she will be happy to tell you about our unique soil composition and how great a growing region the Skagit truly is.  Marren is truly excited about being part of the ever growing Washington wine industry and loves sharing our great wines with other wine lovers.