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Q&A: Tinte Cellars' Teresa Spellman Gamble and Tim Gamble

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Photo by Brad Johnson, courtesy of Tinte Cellars

Longtime Washington residents Tim Gamble and Teresa Spellman Gamble say they’re living the dream as owners of Tinte Cellars. With backgrounds in health care and biotechnology, the shift to winemaking seems like a bit of a jump from the outside. However, it made perfect sense for them.

“After rewarding careers in health care and biotechnology, both of which emphasized quality and service, we wanted to combine our passion for these things with the development of a sense of community in a new venture,” Spellman Gamble said. “We were familiar with the Washington winemaking industry and saw a potential fit for what we wanted to do.”

Community, volunteerism, and philanthropy formed the foundation of their upbringings, they said. And, in 2018, they acquired two neighboring wineries in Woodinville, which led them to create Tinte Cellars.

What sets Tinte Cellars apart from other local wineries?

The Washington wine industry continues to craft some of the world’s fi nest wines, and we’re proud to continue the legacy with the Tinte Cellars brand. The Tinte Cellars’ commitment to quality begins in the vineyard and continues in the cellar under the steady guidance of our winemaker. Leaning on generations of artisanal winemaking knowledge and utilizing sophisticated scientifi c practices and technologies underlie one of the two core commitments that set Tinte Cellars apart from others.

Tinte Cellars is equally committed to giving back to the community. Through Tinte Cellars, we blend our passion for creating exceptional wine with our deep commitment to engaging others and helping our community to thrive. After all, one of the very best things about great wine is its ability to bring people together.

Each year, Tinte Cellars selects a few nonprofit organizations to receive a portion of all wine sales right off the top. We don’t raise prices to donate; we don’t ask customers to buy a certain wine or to “round up” their purchases. Rather, we donate 5 percent of all retail sales and 10 percent of all wine club sales to area nonprofits. In 2021, the nonprofits are Mary’s Place, Northwest Harvest, Seattle Children’s Behavioral Health Crisis Care Clinic, and the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic. In addition, Tinte invests in a wide range of programs and activities to enable our customers, employees, and partners to amplify their own positive impact on the world. Since 2018, Tinte’s philanthropic commitment of cash and in-kind donations to area nonprofits exceeded $500,000.

How has it changed since it opened?

We have made some significant changes since our founding in 2018, including:

• Renovation of a historical building in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, and the December 2020 opening of a new tasting room and event facility there.

• Acquisition of a small vineyard on Red Mountain, and later this year, we will be opening a vacation rental situated in the vineyard.

• We have started entering our Tinte Cellars’ wines into competitions, and we are thrilled at the results, including the recent “Best of Class” Double Gold award for our 2018 Malbec in the Sunset International Wine Competition 2021.

• And, we have built a thriving and impactful philanthropic program that is making a difference in the lives of many in the Pacific Northwest.

How has the pandemic affected Tinte Cellars?

The pandemic presented unique challenges to all sectors, and the wine industry was no different. From day one of the pandemic, we were focused on the health and safety of our employees and guests. Our Tinte Cellars management team was quick to identify opportunities to continue meeting our wine club members’ and customers’ needs and, in turn, continue to support our philanthropic efforts. On top of making sure our winery and winemaking continued production safely, we were quick to innovate, being one of the, if not the, first local winery to off er curbside service, home delivery, virtual wine tastings, and streaming live music. As phases began to shift and the opportunity for small-scale private and outdoor socially distanced tastings became a reality, we instituted policies and procedures to ensure safety, cleanliness, and a comfortable environment for staff and guests.

Despite the heartbreak and challenges of the pandemic, Tinte Cellars’ commitment to crafting “great wine for the greater good” remained steadfast and took on special meaning as charitable organizations struggled. As health concerns grew and economic uncertainty wrought fear nationwide, our wine club members stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us, allowing Tinte Cellars to continue to help nonprofits with their important social missions; consequently, in 2020, Tinte was able to donate over $195,000 to more than 40 local charities! We led projects and impacted many lives, including the Bottles for Bravery program recognizing frontline workers during COVID, and the Love Letters to the Elderly program focused on senior citizens who were isolated due to the pandemic.

What’s been most rewarding about leading Tinte Cellars?

We set out with a vision to use our business to make a difference in others’ lives and inspire others to give back to their community. Every day, we hear stories from nonprofits, such as Mary’s Place and Northwest Harvest, about how our donations are changing lives. The ultimate reward is knowing we are making a difference with our “great wine for the greater good” social mission.

Learn more here.

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