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Washington Wine Month Stop #29: Novelty Hill/Januik Winery

A little bit of modern touches propelled this winery on our Washington Winery tour.

Our 29th stop began with a great partnership and innovation.

This stop is one for the books just for the architectural design of the winery alone.

About the Winery:

Novelty Hill and Januik are two independent wineries that share a destination tasting room and production facility in Woodinville, Wash. under the direction of Mike Januik, one of Washington State’s most acclaimed winemakers.

The partnership began in 2000, shortly after Mike met Novelty Hill’s owners Tom Alberg and Judi Beck and began consulting on the planting of a new vineyard, later to be named Stillwater Creek.  Being a vintner, Mike couldn’t imagine owning grapes without making wine.  It didn’t take much to convince Tom and Judi; later that year, they established Novelty Hill with Mike at the winemaking helm. After crushing two vintages in Walla Walla, the operation moved to Woodinville’s warehouse district in 2002 before putting down roots in 2007 in the stylish, modern state-of-the-art facility the two wineries share today.

About the Vineyard:

Stillwater Creek is Novelty Hill’s estate vineyard and also supplies grapes to a select group of acclaimed Washington vintners. Located on a steep, south-facing slope in the Frenchman Hills of Washington State’s Columbia Valley, the site is best known for its innovative vineyard management and unique selection of premium varietal clones.


• Large amounts of tiny fractured basalt and a steep, south-facing slope (22% in many parts of the vineyard) are ideal for growing premium grapes
• Data gathered from the vineyard and from the PAWS station in Royal City confirm the site is ideal for ripening wine grapes. Heat units in a warm year average 3000+; in a cool year 2700+
• Historical data confirms the season’s first frost typically arrives in late November allowing grapes plenty of hang time
• Stillwater Creek is planted with a diverse selection of clones, including both Entav and Rauscedo selections.

Exposure: South-facing
Slope: up to 22 percent in some parts of the vineyard
Trellising/Spacing: Vertical shoot positioning with moveable catch wires and bilateral cordons — 8’ x 5’
Soil: Sandy to silty loam mixed with fractured basalt
Acreage Overview: Total planted to date: 210 acres
Total suitable for planting: 245 acres
Total property acreage: 315 acres
White/Red by %: White 21%, Red 79%

About the Building:

Novelty Hill ∙ Januik is the new Woodinville location for two independent wineries sharing a tasting room, private event venues, production facilities and the talents of acclaimed winemaker Mike Januik. The winery’s contemporary design and surrounding gardens celebrate wine’s agrarian roots and the artistry of fine winemaking, making it a distinctive venue for business or personal use.

Novelty Hill ∙ Januik uses a few simple materials, primarily concrete, glass and wood, to blend interior spaces with the site’s landscape, inviting the outside “in.” Extensive gardens seamlessly flow into the winery’s private meeting rooms and public tasting bar that overlooks the winery’s oak aging room and fermentation area. Open and expansive, the building acknowledges artisan winemaking that unites innovation with tradition.

About the Owners and Winemaker:

Owners Tom Alberg and Judi Beck

Long-time Pacific Northwest residents, Tom Alberg and wife Judi Beck, founded Novelty Hill in 2000 dedicating the winery to high-quality wines by combining handcrafted, artisan winemaking tradition with vineyard innovation.  The vision for the winery was born in Novelty Hill’s estate vineyard, Stillwater Creek on the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills in Washington State’s Columbia Valley.  As managing director and co-founder of Madrona Venture Group, a leading Seattle venture capital firm, Tom was interested in using technology and innovation in the vineyard to make superior wines.  Under his leadership, the vineyard has become known for its unique selection of premium varietal clones and superior grapes.

Tom currently serves as a director for Madrona portfolio companies, including Impinj, Mercent and ShopIgniter and on the board of  A graduate of Harvard, Tom received his law degree from Columbia Law School.

Owner/winemaker Mike Januik

Mike Januik has been making wine in the Columbia Valley since 1984.  He established his own winery in 1999, the same year he began consulting on vineyard plantings at Stillwater Creek for Tom Alberg.  He has been making Novelty Hill’s wines since its first vintage in 2000.  Described by The Wine Advocate as a winemaker at the “forefront of Washington State’s producers,” Mike is one of the most honored winemakers in the state.  His wines have appeared on Wine Spectator’s prestigious “Top 100” list a dozen times, Wine & Spirits magazine Januik a “Winery of the Year” in 2001, and he was named one of the world’s ten “Masters of Merlot” by Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Previously, Mike was Chateau Ste. Michelle’s head winemaker for ten years, developing the winery’s ultra-premium wine program and earning acclaim for Chateau Ste. Michelle’s single vineyard and reserve wines.  He holds a master’s degree in winemaking from University of California, Davis.

Novelty Hill – Januik Winery

14710 Woodinville Redmond Road Northeast
Woodinville, WA 98072

(425) 481-5502

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    Theresa Dillon

    Theresa Dillon
    Theresa Dillon earned her bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU. In her spare time she enjoys reading, attending concerts, weekly trivia nights, watching movies (especially her favorite The Wizard of Oz), and of course wine.