Celebrating 30 years as your Northwest wine specialists!
Mark Ryan McNeilly is a Washington wine star who started making wine in 1999. While Mark is now a seasoned wine industry veteran with more than a decade of winemaking success and tons of critical praise, has always been remarkably modest about his winemaking.

In 2009, Mike Macmorran moved from assistant to full-on winemaker. The collaboration between them has produced the best Mark Ryan wines to date.

The Early Days
Time spent by Mark in restaurants waiting tables and bartending led to a sales job for a Seattle wine distributor.

"When I was in sales I was able to taste dozens of wines per week in an analytical situation, where everyone was talking about their perceptions and trying to understand the wine. That really helped my palate."
That, in turn, led to a two year stint as national sales manager for Matthews Cellars in Woodinville.

Working at Matthews gave me a whole new skill set in selling wine and dealing with distributors," he says. "It also got me into the cellar where I was working more hands on with wine."

Those jobs, along with work at Steele Winery in Lake County, California where he worked in the lab, the vineyard and on the crush pad, provided the practical education which culminated in the launching of his own label in 1999.

Anyone starting a new venture can use a little encouragement, and winemakers are no different. On the craft side, Mark McNeilly credits Jim Holmes of Ciel du Cheval Vineyards - then winemaker at Kiona - with being one of his early (and most patient) influences.

"I'd have him on the phone at all hours of the night and I'd be freaking out. Every conversation I had with him I'd start out by saying - I think I screwed it up again!"

Another early confidence building moment came at a dinner with famed Italian winemaker Domenico Clerico. "He actually loved my 2001 Dead Horse," remembers McNeilly. "I kept trying to hide my wine bottles behind his because I didn't want him to find them. He finally found them and he loved them!" A nice vote of confidence from a fellow maker of bold reds, as well a foreshadowing of critical success to come.

Future Ventures
If you ask McNeilly to look into the proverbial crystal ball, he sees himself owning vineyards sometime in the future.

"Not owning the land where my grapes come from is always a little bit nerve wracking," he says. "I have great relationships with vineyards, so I'm confident in them."

But the grand winery facility, acreage and tasting room is not what he's ultimately after - it's control, every winemaker's nirvana. "I'm always looking at vineyard opportunities," he adds, "but I'd much rather plant a vineyard than build a winery."

Build a Case

Make sure you always get a discount by using Build a Case. How it works:

If you haven't found a full case (12 bottles) to buy today, start your Build a Case now by purchasing a few bottles online, by phone or email. If you order online, select the Build a Case option. If by phone or email, just ask us to add the bottles to a Build a Case for you. You'll receive order confirmation and we'll cellar the wines for you at no charge.

Add to your case whenever you see wines you can't resist. Each time you add to your Build a Case, you'll be charged the discounted price.

When you complete your case, we'll apply a shipping rate and contact you to schedule your case for shipment.

Because of finite space in our warehouse, we kindly ask that you complete your Build a Case within six months. Please email or call us with any questions.