The vision for Buty Winery was originally sketched out on a napkin by Nina Buty and Caleb Foster while on a backpacking trip in the Cascade Mountains in 1998. Focusing on a belief in the artistry of the blend, this original blueprint included a short list of wines that Buty would make, most notably a pioneering Washington blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, and an equally inspired Sémillon-based blend that would include both Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle. The napkin also listed a dream portfolio of vineyard partners—renowned grand-cru-caliber sites like Champoux and Conner Lee.
After two years of planning that included a trip to New Zealand to learn more about making great Sauvignon Blanc, Buty became a reality. Its debut 2000 vintage featured five wines. Building on the early acclaim of these offerings, in 2001, the winery added Rediviva of the Stones and Columbia Rediviva to the Buty portfolio. These premium blends of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah were the first of their kind in Washington State, and continue to set the standard for this blend among the great wineries of the Northwest. That same year offered several other highlights, from the opening of Buty’s tasting room in Walla Walla to the planting of Buty’s dedicated section of Phinny Hill Vineyard on a hillside overlooking Champoux Vineyard. This was also the beginning of Buty’s inspiring relationship with legendary consulting winemaker Zelma Long.
Today, Buty remains true to its original vision. Though Caleb Foster has moved on to other ventures, Nina Buty continues to run the small, family-owned winery, guiding a team that includes Zelma and renowned winemaker Chris Dowsett. Together, they make a selection of iconic Washington State blends. These wines continue to be made using grapes from a handful of renowned vineyards, as well as fruit from Nina’s own Rockgarden Vineyard in Walla Walla Valley, and Buty’s section of Phinny Hill Vineyard. These wines have earned a reputation for their blending artistry, and for the soulfulness that inspires Buty’s winemaking approach.