We only source grapes from the eastern foothills of the Blue Mountains, as close to our family farm as possible,
with the eventual goal of producing only estate wines on that land.
These hillsides produce lighter-bodied wines with racy acidity, and our low-impact winemaking style reflects that via early pick dates, restrained use of oak and minimal fining and filtration.
Kelsey came to winemaking via a long and winding road. After graduating from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 2009, she wore a lot of hats: political campaign manager, reality TV production assistant and coordinator, executive assistant at Lionsgate Studios, sales and development manager at natural foods companies, and some heady days as a bartender, bar manager, and food & beverage director for a bar group in San Francisco.
Ready to settle down and tired of spending 50% of her income on rent, Kelsey looked north to her homeland of Washington State. Originally from Seattle, Kelsey and her husband, Kai, decided to try out the sunny side of the state where her family had purchased land in the foothills of the Blue Mountains just outside of Walla Walla. They spent the first year on the farm moving handline in the alfalfa fields, taking care of a test plot of grapevines and tree fruit, and finding jobs at local wineries.
In 2017 Kelsey enrolled in Walla Walla Community College’s Institute for Enology & Viticulture and supplemented her classroom learning with internships at Balboa Winery and The Walls Vineyards in Walla Walla. After graduation, she travelled to Burgundy to learn more about terroir and how to drink wine at lunch and still get work done. During her internship at Domaine Jean Charton in the village of Puligny-Montrachet, she learned all of that and gained a deep appreciation for site-specific vineyard management and winemaking.
At itä wines, Kelsey hopes to bring those lessons to the unique vineyards of the eastern foothills of the Walla Walla Valley and to one day make wines entirely from her family’s estate vineyards.
Kelsey Albro Itämeri can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loki is a 5 year old Idaho Shag who loves running, running, and running. He became part of the itä wines team in 2017 when Kelsey and Kai adopted him from the Blue Mountain Humane Society. An all around Scruff McGruff and very good boy, Loki is integral to the morale of the entire team at itä wines.
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