"We like nothing better than sharing the special beauty and fine wines here at Basel with others. Please come visit and experience it for yourselves. We look forward to meeting you and calling you friends."
Steve and JoMarie Hansen
After a career as a construction executive where Steve managed major bridge and highway projects throughout the country they are happy to be at Basel Cellars where they can combine their creative talents and business expertise with a passion for good wine.“Our first view of Basel Cellars was a December day when the vineyards and resort were covered in a layer of fresh white snow. We were awestruck by the beauty and then discovered that the wines were as delicious as the grounds were beautiful . We happily became partners. Fast forward to 2015 and many seasons later. We are still inspired by the beauty of the area and intrigued by the process of working together with our team to grow grapes and create exceptional wines from this rich land.“We are excited to introduce you to our terrific staff and share our delicious wines and spectacular scenery with you. Our goal is to give all of our visitors a memorable wine experience, whether they are opening a bottle of our wine in their own home, visiting for an afternoon or spending the night at the estate.”
"It’s no secret that a good glass of wine starts in the vineyard. We are constantly evaluating our growing practices in order to deliver the highest quality grapes to the winery."
Estate Vineyard Grower / General Manager
"I was raised on a family farm in the Walla Walla Valley and have tended orchard and fruit crops for as far back as I can remember. I joined Basel Cellars in the spring of 2007 and I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I focus my time among the vines of our estate property, along with the blocks we manage throughout eastern Washington. I’ve spent a fair amount of time working in the winery to gain a full appreciation of the process. This gives me the vision I need in the vineyards, because I know what Dirk is looking for in the fruit. It allows me to grow the highest quality grapes in the Walla Walla Valley."
"When I drive through the front gates here at Basel I feel honored and proud to be a part of this team. It’s awesome that Steve and Jo Marie are giving us the opportunity to express our abilities and talents every day!"
"I was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa and was always surrounded by vineyards and wineries from a young age. I was always very intrigued by the winemaking process. I think my dad’s love for farming and agriculture and my moms patience and attention to detail stuck with me. I studied viticulture and enology in South Africa, and during this time worked at the world renowned Vergelegen and Delheim wine estates. I did my first winemaking Internship at Ingwe Wine Estate in South Africa, and came to the states in 2004 and started internships with Chateau St. Michelle, Bookwalter and then moved on to Assistant Winemaker at Kestrel Vintners and then Winemaker at Coeur d’ Alene Cellars before I came to Basel Cellars."
"I met my beautiful wife Esther in 2005 working at Chateau St. Michelle and got married in 2012. We have one daughter named Anna Marie Lente, a true miracle and blessing from God. We also have an energetic Rhodesian Ridgeback called Cayenne that keeps us on our toes. We enjoy the outdoors, cooking, creating and living life to the fullest every day, and love the God that gave it to us!"
"After 18 Years of owning and operating restaurants on the West Side I’m now living my dream life here in wine country."
Joshua “Woody” Wood is the Hospitality Director at Basel Cellars Estate Winery & Resort in Walla Walla, WA. Prior to joining the Basel Cellars team, he spent more than 18 years as a restauranteur in the Puget Sound area.
Originally from University Place, WA, Woody now makes his home in Walla Walla with his four children and the love of his life. Woody has earned multiple awards in the restaurant business including the Golden Fork Award as well as the Ambassador of the Year for a large restaurant group in the South Puget Sound. Woody’s passion for wine was born over nearly two decades of crafting exceptional fine dining experiences for his restaurant guests, with special attention made to procuring the best wines in the world and marrying them with the gourmet creations born in his kitchens.
When Woody’s not working you can find him at the golf course, preparing gourmet meals at home, exploring the Walla Walla wine scene, cheering on the Seahawks, or playing any one of his favorite lawn games (namely bocce ball and corn hole) for cash! Woody is well known in the Walla Walla valley for his funloving demeanor and passion for creating a worldclass hospitality experience for all the guests who pass through the winery at Basel Cellars, whether it’s organizing private chef tasting dinners, scheduling hot air balloon rides, or booking tee times.
"If you have a favorite restaurant or wine shop where you would like to purchase Basel Cellars wines, send me an email and we will do our best to make that happen."
Director of Sales
"I am a native of the Napa Valley where I grew up a sports fanatic. I learned fractions and percentages at an early age by studying batting averages on baseball cards. I soon learned that it was a good thing I didn’t need Algebra to figure out batting averages.I attended U.C. Berkeley where I earned a degree in English Literature, graduating 'Magna Cum Barely.' While I hoped to become a famous 'man of letters' and write a great American novel, I have become infamous for crafting humorous family Christmas letters.
Growing up in Napa I was practically bottle fed Cab, so after a career as a sports marketing executive, I have worked in the Washington wine industry for fifteen years. Our winemaker, Dirk, and I have collaborated in the past, and I feel very fortunate to market and sell the wines he creates. Steve and JoMarie Hansen, Ryan, Dirk and the entire staff at Basel have built a fantastic culture and I feel blessed to be part of the team.
I met the love of my life, Linda, in 1979 in Spokane and we have been creating our own love story for thirty seven years, although I am certain I haven’t aged like a fine wine."
"I truly believe that Basel Cellars offers world-class wine accompanied by unprecedented customer service. I love working at Basel Cellars because of the fun and friendly customers I get to meet and the fantastic team of people I get to work with that bring our vision to life every day!"
Walla Walla Tasting Room Manager/
Wine Club Manager
"I was born and raised in Walla Walla, Washington and attended Washington State University, where I graduated with a degree in Social Sciences.
Growing up in the heart of Washington wine country, I learned to appreciate the magic of good food and wine at a young age. I was fortunate to work at Basel Cellars as a Tasting Room Associate during college, but then left to finish my degree in Pullman. When I returned to Walla Walla and decided to pursue a career in the wine industry, I was overjoyed at the opportunity to return to Basel Cellars as the Tasting Room and Wine Club Manager. I truly believe that we have the very best team of people, from the vineyard and winery, to the Tasting Room and Estate House; there is absolutely no place I would rather work! My husband and I have a beautiful and energetic five year-old daughter. She keeps us laughing and busy every single day. When I’m not working at Basel Cellars you can find me relaxing with family and friends, sharing laughs and good wine.
I look forward to sharing my knowledge and passion for wine with you!"
"I think what sets Basel Cellars apart is that the wine is exceptional and I am really looking forward to sharing the wines with our guests and helping to expand our footprint in Woodinville."
Woodinville Tasting Room Manager
Maxx, is no stranger to the wine industry. He first fell in love with wine and winemaking at the age of 14 after watching the feature film “Sideways.” Born on the east coast, and raised in Woodinville, Maxx took a closer look at the wine industry for a career development project where he solidified his interest in the field. After graduating high school he attended Washington State University to pursue a degree in winemaking. Following his sophomore year he began an internship with an Eastern Washington winery and then began working full-time while finishing his degree.
Beginning in 2015 Maxx lived in Lodi, California and managed the lab at Klinker Brick Winery where he became a seasoned veteran on the technical aspect of winemaking. In 2018 he relocated back to the Woodinville area where he’s excited to join our team as the Woodinville Tasting Room manager. Maxx is a social person who loves to make connections with new people and share his passion for wine with them. Be sure to stop in and visit Maxx and the team in Woodinville soon.
" I enjoy meeting people from all over the world and having the opportunity to pour them Basel Cellars' excellent wines."
Leavenworth Tasting Room Team
Stephanie has worked in the in the wine industry for 5 years, joining Basel Cellars when they opened their Leavenworth tasting room in 2017.
Paula has been with Basel Cellars over a year since moving to Leavenworth from her home in Idaho. While embracing the Leavenworth lifestyle she has been key in creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for Basel Cellars visitors.
"I love showing up to work every morning, there’s a great vibe, incredible people, and I enjoy seeing the fruit of our work every day on the estate grounds and in the vineyard."
"I was born in Michoacán, Mexico and raised in Walla Walla, where my family moved when I was 2 years old. Not long after graduating from Mac-Hi I began working at Basel Cellars.
I grew up in the valley and spent a lot of time in the orchards as a young man. Prior to Basel I worked for Appellation Management Group, it was a great experience getting to know the technical and scientific aspects of plant growth and management, particularly fruit. With the continued growth of the wine industry, I chose to set my sights on vineyard management, and began pursuing a career taking care of vineyards. I struck gold in 2010 when I was hired by Basel Cellars to assist in the vineyard.Since that time I’ve learned a great deal about wines, and how it truly does begin on the vine. We take great care to ensure the winery receives the best possible fruit, and are very hands-on throughout the process. I’m always thrilled to see the entire sequence unfold, and find myself continually impressed with the people that guide a process that I’m so fortunate to be a part of."
Kevin was born and raised in the Walla Walla Valley. Immediately after high school he worked as a welder’s apprentice in Prineville, Oregon before returning home and discovering the wine industry. He didn’t work in the cellar or the vineyard (at least, not exclusively) but was more involved in the construction of local wineries and vineyards. Just over a year later he ended up working as a temp on the bottling line at Basel Cellars and was hired for a full time position. After a couple years at Basel Cellars he gained well rounded experience in the cellar, vineyard and entire estate.
"I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve learned at Basel Cellars and how many great relationships I’ve made while working here."
Basel Cellars Estate Winery
The Estate House, which is now Basel Cellars Estate Winery, was completed in 1997 as a private home for the original owners who named it Double River Ranch. The home’s 13,800 square foot design is reminiscent of the casual grandeur found in American Lodges such as Timberline or Ahwahnee Lodge in Yosemite.
Basel Cellars had its beginnings in 2002. When the opportunity presented itself, local grape grower Greg Basel purchased the Estate House and the surrounding 85 acre Double River Ranch. He saw in this site two vital components to creating an estate winery.
The first: Nature. The rich soil and the hilltop position between Yellowhawk Creek and the Walla Walla River made for the perfect vineyard site.
The second: A man-made, 9600sq. ft., temperature controlled, subterranean structure (now referred to by them as the “batcave”) which had previously housed a car collection. The underground space was as perfect for winemaking as the caves of France! Plus, the idea of using the beautiful Estate home as a tasting room added to the appeal. And so, Basel Cellars Estate Winery was born when the Basel family began producing high caliber wines and transformed the stately lodge at the top of the hill into a wine country destination and event venue for many others to enjoy.
In 2004 the Basels invited Steve and Jo Marie Hansen, acquaintances from their earlier careers, to visit and see their young operation with an eye to becoming partners. It was a good match. Steve, a long-time construction manager of major bridge and highway projects in the western US, grew up in a farming family in Yakima and brought an entrepreneurial spirit with him along with a love for the sunny side of the state. They returned home to Vancouver, WA, thought it over and decided to become 50/50 owners. In 2011, Steve and Jo Marie began transitioning to full ownership of the Ranch and the Estate. They truly enjoy meeting guests and sharing with others the Basel Cellars wines and experiences that have captivated them since their first weekend.
Everything starts in the vineyard. Traveling between our vineyards keeps our Vineyard Manager busy, but the time spent in the ﬁeld, managing the land, examining and pruning each vine and cluster, expertly timing each harvest, gives Basel Cellars fruit that is balanced in acid and sugars, and exploding with flavor.
With such variety to pick and choose from, we are always in a great position to make some phenomenal blends, as well as the put together a reserve block from one year to the next. We maintain close partnerships with our growers with the focus being on soft farming and a gentle touch on the land and all of her creatures.
Double River Vineyard:
A 26-acre vineyard planted on the Double River Ranch, located at the west side of Highway 125 heading south towards Oregon on the Basel Cellars Estate Winery grounds. The site was established in the spring of 2000 and is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Semillon, Tempranillo, Cab Franc and Syrah. It sits at an elevation of around 900 feet and has many microclimates on the property, due to differences in exposure to sun and wind as well as soil composition. This provides us with many variances in flavor profile and varietal characteristics from block to block. A six million gallon pond was installed to provide enough water for irrigating the vineyard. The trellis systems used for Double River are Geneva Double Curtain (GDC) and Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP).
2901 Old Milton Hwy
Walla Walla, WA 99362
15029 Woodinville-Redmond Rd #400
Woodinville, WA 98072
217 9th St suite A
Leavenworth, WA 98826
Copyright 2019, Basel Cellars