Ross Mickel’s path to winemaking began while working at the blueprint for fine dining: Seattle’s Canlis restaurant in 1996, under Master Sommelier Rob Bigelow. Through Bigelow, his appreciation exploded for Washington State’s incredible ability to craft fine wines.
Some globe-trotting through Australia, South America, Europe and South Africa widened his iris for the exciting life of wine. Working first in Washington with the iconic DeLille Cellars, he then jumped to embrace the Australian wine scene at Rosemount Estate. Ross was mentored throughout by longtime Washington producer Bob Betz, MW, who, in 1999 brought on Ross as assistant winemaker for Betz Family Winery.
Ross learned the nuances of winemaking from the man who helped put Washington wine on the map. It is from Betz that Ross learned to focus on what the vineyards provide, starting with the best possible fruit. In winemaking he learned to allow the wines to develop slowly. Ross began simultaneously producing his own wines and has since accumulated soaring acclaim for Ross Andrew, Betz Family as well as Grand Reve/Force Majeure Winery.