All About Trothe: Why The First Washington State Winery To Accept Cryptocurrency Is Slated To Be A Cult Classic

TrothePhoto Credit: Trothe

Haute Wine Society was lucky enough to be among the first few to explore the inaugural release of Trothe, the first Washington state winery to accept cryptocurrency. Owner Jeff Andrews and winemaker Ray Mckee joined Haute Media Group’s Editor-in-Chief Laura Schreffler and sommelier Jennifer Carruthers, the founder of JC Select Wines, for a virtual tasting/exploration of this haute new release. Check out our live tasting at the end, but first, a bit about the brand below!


TrothePhoto Credit: Trothe

Trothe wines are sourced exclusively from Andrews Family Vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills, where some of Washington state’s best merlots and cabernets come from. The Andrews Family has farmed the land for generations, adhering to the ethos that by holding their work to uncommon standards, they will produce uncommon results. Grapes are hand-selected in small lots from the blocks, rows, and individual vines that exemplify the quality of the vineyard and the distinctive character of the vintage. The inaugural release, a 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, is available for preorder to list members. Only 600 three-packs of this first vintage (or five barrels) are currently available. The wine will ship in September and are available to members only (and you can become a member HERE). 


Jeff Andrews and Ray McKee

Photo Credit: Cameron Karsten for Trothe

Jeff Andrews is part of the fourth generation of the family. He went to law school before returning to work the land in this remote region of eastern Washington. He is determined, with the help of winemaker Ray McKee, to elevate the reputation of this AVA for producing some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines, matching those of top regions of the world.

Raymon Mckee has worked as a winemaker in Washington for 27 vintages. He grew up working his parents’ vineyard and winery in the Yakima Valley, and has an intimate knowledge of vineyards across the state. His passion for wine has led him around the world and ultimately back home. He was formerly the red winemaker for Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Canoe Ridge Estate, and he has worked for numerous Washington wineries, including Heaven’s Cave Cellars, Covey Run Winery and Columbia Winery. He sees unique potential to create world-class wines from Washington grapes. His approach to winemaking is detailed, conscientious, and anchored in the simple belief that the best fruit yields the best wine.


TrothePhoto Credit: Cameron Karsten Photography for Trothe

CELLARING Trothe’s Cabernet Sauvignon is vibrant and accessible and drinks well now, but it will continue to show deeper integration and complexity over the next 10 years or more.

GROWING SEASON An unusually warm May helped overcome a cooler start to the vintage and transitioned to perfect fruit-set weather. A long, hot summer was marked by minimal rain, leading to medium berry sizes with fully developed fruit sugars and rich, concentrated tannins. The wine’s fruit was the first picked in most blocks, to capture a balance of ripe fruit and fresh acidity.

VINIFICATION The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon was vinified using several different methods, each matched to the specifics of the blocks and fruit characteristics. The result is a complex blend that accentuates the individuality of each block. The wine was aged over 22 months in 83% new French oak, followed by 13 months in bottle.


TrothePhoto Credit: Cameron Karsten Photography for Trothe

Ray McKee on why you should buy Trothe: “I would say if you are a Washington wine lover, if you love cabernet in a world-class expression, if you are a collector of age-worthy wines, this is the wine for you. This is every hallmark of a world-class wine starting from the estate where it’s grown, the care we put into every decision, all the way through into the wine in the bottling. When you get it, you open it and take a sip, you’ll feel the culmination of all that excitement.”

Jeff Andrews on the decision to accept cryptocurrency: “The roulette wheel that is Mother Nature each season and the games she plays in the vineyard — that wasn’t enough. We wanted to ride the roller coaster with crypto. We’re both crypto enthusiasts. I actually mined ethereum back in 2017 for about a year — it was just a little hobby of mine — but it was a lot fun, so I’ve been into crypto for awhile. The reason Trothe accepts crypto is that it’s just another way to connect with consumers who share similar interests. Any time you can connect in another way, on another level, is really helpful, and so that’s that’s a big part of it.”

Ray McKee on what the future holds for Trothe: “As we started Trothe in 2018, we didn’t know what was coming down the pipeline with Covid. But we were always with the mindset of elevating the Horse Heaven Hills by creating the best possible cabernet we possibly could and being customer-centric. All best places and brands that I love personally. For us, not being able to host in-person events meant we had to move immediately to social media channels; learn how to interact with people via Instagram and Zoom. It’s been a stellar experience, and considering that no one has been able to come and see us, we’ve had a level of success that has blown our minds. So the future is is really bright, because we learned so much about how to be there for customers.

Jeff Andrews on why Washington state wines deserve a seat at the table alongside wines from Napa and Bordeaux: “We’re in an age of discovery I would say. There are some great winerieis — liike Quilceda Creek, Passing Time, Januik — that are pulling fruit from the Horse Heaven Hills and making fabulous wines, getting all sorts of accolades, yet at the end of the day, seems like so many people hadn’t hadn’t heard of them. So with Trothe, we wanted to do our part to elevate the Horse Heaven Hills, and show that we have a seat at the table with wines from all around the world. There’s no reason why Washington state should be overlooked.”


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