AniChe Cellars is a small family winery located in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. We make wines honoring the European tradition of blends, with a Washington State sense of terroir and style. Our wines are almost entirely varietal blends. We believe that wine varietals are very much like people and dogs and that an egalitarian mix of characteristics create interesting nuances and surprising complexity and beauty (think Halle Berry, mutts and Bordeaux). Our fruit comes from Washington state’s plethora of renowned AVA’s, including our very own Columbia Gorge AVA. We have an all female wine making team!
Rachael Horn is the head winemaker and owner of AniChe Cellars. Rachael bounced around careers and jobs in public education as a teacher and the hospitality industry for years before embarking on her winery adventure (teaching made her a lavish consumer of wine, restaurants/wine stewarding cultivated her palate). She finally decided what she wanted to be when she grew up in an epiphenomena: the sky opened up, golden light
effused in a stream around her, etc, etc. In short, some poor soul who had been subject to her bountiful enthusiasm over a local winemaker’s vintage asked her “with so much passion for it, why don’t you make wine yourself?” Aha. A few years of self study and home winemaking led to the enrollment into the WSU Enology Cert program, and the birth of AniChe cellars. Rachael is the charming forty-something gal (looks early thirties after a few glasses…) wearing odd clothes and wine stained hands.
(warning* This winemaker is an eno-speak geek. She will rant on an endless yarn about isobutylmethoxlperanzines, or brettanomyces or TDNs, etc. to any unsuspecting visitor. BEWARE. And Forgive her…she was once a teacher and failed writer. Translates to verbosity and nerdy with a touch of social ineptitude )
Todd Mera is an IT guy by day and has become a religious practicer of the mantra, “Yes, dear…” . He owns AniChe Cellars with Rachael, as a husband and cellar rat. Todd happily checks off items on his “honey do” list. He is also the CTO (Chief Tasting Officer), and crisis manager of barrel room breakdowns. Asides from these indispensable duties, Todd is also an accomplished entrepreneur, from creating start up wineries to creating website services. You can recognize Todd by his long Gandalf-like tresses, Carharts and good humor.
Che Horn is the other namesake of the winery and the genetic progeny of Rachael and Todd. Che is 21 and has no real interest in the winery as of yet, except to earn some cash for odd jobs of heavy lifting and cleaning. His recent handy work includes the design of our new rack cards, stickers, and website! During crush, Che shows up and works hard shoulder to shoulder with the rest of us! (secretly cursing wine while pining for the days of cooked meals and a normal life). He currently aspires to make film shorts like this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMHBwxx8pmU&feature=share
Anaïs Mera is one of the winery namesakes, winemaker and General Manager at AniChe Cellars. She is also the winery hobbit, useful for getting into tanks for deep cleaning. Ani also owned a gourmet specialty catering business, Cork and Bottle. Her love of cooking and food has been instrumental in the food and wine pairings and wine club dinners. Ani is the official press cleaner, as she is the only one who can fit into it. (Did I mention that she is tiny?) An indispensable asset to the winery, she is hard working cellar rat her mother always wanted her to be. Ani is the short cute thing in Carharts.
Tom Dixon is Ani’s husband and the build-it fix-it guy for the winery. Need a fast makeshift barrel rack? Tom has it done in 5. Need a jig for something? (what is a jig, anyway??) Tom has it made in a jiffy. Next we’ll ask him to cut out a five foot peacock quill feather in 3/4 inch plywood. (Maybe next season…) Tom is also an integral part of the winery projects in his eagerness to work hard and help cheerfully. He was Ani’s partner in Cork and Bottle, and brings a wealth of experience in food prep and service to all of our events. Tom can be recognized by his decidedly French beret and penchant for vintage Woolrich woolens.
Brittany Duronslet is Rachael & Todd’s niece and has been with AniChe since the beginning. She has spackled walls, bottled the first wine, laid tiles, and started AniChe’s wine club. Taking a brief hiatus to return to school in Southern California, she is “back where she belongs” in the Gorge. She has brought back some invaluable skills she acquired during her time in the Temecula Valley Wine Country. Brittany is now the Wine Club Manager and works the tasting room on weekends. She’s the dark haired beauty behind the counter.
Talia Hammond is a longtime friend and now winemaker at AniChe Cellars. Talia grew up on a pig farm in Iowa, so hard work runs deep in this tall cool drink of water, and for that we are happy to have her on board! She also studied wine making and grape growing in Germany, and has become an indispensable part of the wine making process here at AniChe. In 2013, Talia took over the white program with Ani. You can recognize her as the tall lass typically adorned with one of her suspenders from her suspender collection.
Monica Pennington, reigning all the way from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is our “People’s Person” and a lively addition to the AniChe team. Monica works the tasting rooms on the weekends and Wednesdays. The lovely ladies of the winery can also boast fabulous hair styles due to the skills of Monica’s scissors! You can recognize dear Moni by her curly hair and bubbly personality.
Karin Duncker is a recent transplant from the Big Apple. Karin works in the Hood River tasting room on the weekend, and has a pretty good knack for baking… We feature her tarts, cakes and truffles on our downtown tasting room menu. Who doesn’t love flor de sal truffles and bourbon apple butter tarts? Her love of food and wine make Karin a great fit for us, and we know you’ll agree. You can recognize Karin by her blond locks and her east coast colloquials.
She also has a cooking blog! Click here to visit her blog.
Kristine Pollard has joined our team in the tasting room and beyond and we are thrilled. Kristine was Ani and Tom’s right had gal during Cork & Bottle Catering, so we know her dedication runs deep! Kristine’s positivity and genuine personality make her a great fit for AniChe. While not working for AniChe, she’s spending time with her three awesome kids. You can recognize Kristine by her long curly locks and zest for life.