The Kontos Cellars Story
The dragonfly, a symbol of change and a representation of life's journey, chose us to tell it's story.
From the wheat fields of Eastern Washington, inspiration for the dragonfly was handed to us by our own beautiful Walla Walla Valley. The dragonfly is a meaningful symbol to our families. Representing change, our dragonfly has launched us into a life of crafting wonderful experiences and memories.
From the moment we began contemplating the dragonfly as our winery's predominant image, we were inundated with dragonflies. They would find us in the barrel room while topping off wine. They would find us in the middle of wheat harvest, 10 miles away from any reliable water source. They seemed to come out of nowhere, wherever it was that we were and would inevitably find thier way onto our label.
"A great winemaker will always remember a particular year by what was given to him, and what he did with it....In wine, and in life."
Specializing in ultra premium wines that are born from the heart of the Walla Walla Valley
Kontos Cellars is a 1500 case winery that primarily focuses on ultra premium Bordeaux varieties grown in the Walla Walla Valley. We create one flagship blend (Alatus) each year, and then focus on letting the varietals speak for themselves. We believe that blending the same variety between vineyards and using a very extensive French/American oak program creates wonderful complexity, while allowing each grape to showcase it’s own inherent character. Working closely with vineyards such as Pepper Bridge, Seven Hills, Les Collines, Boushey and Stone Tree has continually given us beautiful fruit that is truly a cut above.
Chris & Kelli Kontos - Partners
Getting better with time!
Chris has grown up farming wheat in the Walla Walla Valley with his family, and spent the last several years farming for himself. Kelli joined the farm partnership in 2007.
Chris and Kelli were married in 1999 and have 2 daughters, Taylor and Caimbry.
Kelli is a stay-at-home mom, and the moral compass for us all.
Chris manages the business, and is a jungle-gym for his girls in the evening.
Cameron Kontos - Winemaker
Growing up in a winemakers household within the Walla Walla Valley, Cameron had a great deal of exposure into the world of wine and winemaking.
Growing up in a winemakers household within the Walla Walla Valley, Cameron had a great deal of exposure into the world of wine and winemaking. Our father, Cliff Kontos of Fort Walla Walla Cellars, is a remarkable mentor and is always excited to share his knowledge of life and of wine. Cliff is easily the most important influence on Cameron's life; as a winemaker, husband, father, and a man. It didn't take long before he realized that this was his calling and his lifelong connection to his father.
In 2002 he joined Forgeron Cellars, and quickly became a part of their family. After a short time, Cameron was promoted to assistant winemaker. During his eight years there, Marie-Eve Gilla helped further his knowledge of crafting wines in a traditional French style. He and Marie still compare notes and enjoy a treasured friendship to this day.
Cameron's own style of winemaking has evolved and matured with time. The blending of the Alatus is of primary importance. He then focuses on blending wines within the same varietial but from various vineyards throughout the Walla Walla Valley. A very extensive oak program gives him the finishing finesse that make Kontos Cellars wines stand proud.
Cameron and his wife Becca have two daughters, Brynnan and Becket.
Walla Walla As We Know It
As 6th generation residents in Walla Walla, we have been part of it all
Walla Walla is many different things to many different people and has undergone some drastic changes over the last 10 years. A college town rich with art, wine and culture, always eager for more. And a town that is proud of our history, deeply rooted in agriculture and sense of community, trying to hold onto what sets us apart.
No one in the valley is more aware of these separate trends than us. No one is more proud of the way our valley has worked together to grow and yet remain the same.
As 6th generation residents in Walla Walla, we have been part of it all. The first bank in the North West Territories, the first railroad in the area, 3rd generation wheat farmers, and now 2nd generation winemakers.
Welcome to our Walla Walla!
Alatus - "with wings" Named after our grandpa Tom "Doc" Campbell's sailboat based in Port Ludlow. Our family has great memories of sailing the San Juan Islands doing what you do on a 63' sailboat.
Every year, we put a signature blend together that will be given the name "Alatus". The focus of the Alatus Blend will be balance. It will be blended in a fruit forward style, with just the right amount of oak.