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Our Story

Amazing South Sound Wine

The story of Sunken Cellars starts with a very young Patrick Palace. Not only is he our Chief Visionary but he is also our winemaker. His first introduction into wine didn’t go necessarily as planned for him.

At 15, Patrick applied for a summer waiter job, and during the interview, he was asked to discuss at least five wines.   In his most mature voice he recalled names he had seen on wine bottles, but he had never tasted.  After all, he was still just a kid.  Sadly, he was quickly waived from the interview table and told flatly that he did not have the knowledge to do the job and would not be considered. He left the interview, walked around the corner to the public library, and checked out as many books on wine as he could carry on his walk back home.  For the rest of the summer, he poured over the books, taking notes and memorizing maps, regions, varietals, and wines.  This process ignited a thirst for knowledge and love for wine, that would be with him for the rest of his life.

Sunken Cellars Was Born

Even as Patrick continued on with his life as he went to school to become a lawyer, the love of wine never left. Through jobs at restaurants and wine bars, world travel, and a few degrees, drinking and collecting wines (repeat, repeat) and you arrive at a fateful birthday dinner. On this night decades later, Patrick reviewed his list of life goals and dreams, those accomplished and those yet to be realized.  As morning came the next day, Sunken Cellars was born.

Inspired by stories of a French treasure hunter who had discovered a 14th-century shipwreck containing wine that was still drinkable, Patrick dreamt of a wine made from world-class vineyards and aged under the sea. Better yet, the best Northwest wine aged in the cold and briny Puget Sound.  Thus, Sunken Cellars name became from the very beginning synonymous with the most innovative of seafood-loving wine.

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Designed to Pair Perfectly with the Seafood Harvest

Patrick didn’t just want to craft any wine to pair with seafood he wanted to find something uncommon to work with. Eventually settling on the Spanish Varietal Albarino. It serendipitously happened that one of the first people Patrick worked with in the first years of the winery, had brought some of the first plantings of Albarino over from Spain to plant here in Washington. Discovering this, Patrick set out enthusiastically in search of this original old-vine block of Albarino to use in Sunken Cellars wine.  This Varietal would prove to be the perfect choice to use for our underwater aged white wine,  designed to pair perfectly with the seafood harvest of the Pacific Northwest.

Environmentally Sustainable Wine-Making

What could be the benefits of underwater aging? The answer is quite simple: to access consistent temperatures, lack of oxygen, and sunlight.  Making wine on land requires temperature control as well as a dark place to store the bottles. This is not only costly in a monetary sense but also costly to our environment, requiring a large carbon imprint. As a Pacific Northwest local, Patrick is aware of our natural resources, their beauty, and their precious value. Our underwater storage and aging process bottles allows us to limit our impact while pursuing a new innovative movement in the wine industry.