From golf to good wine, Cindy Rarick gives it her best shot
With longtime partner Gary Seidler, the LPGA golfer has opened Silvara Vineyards near Leavenworth. Now they are earning high scores and acclaim from professionals and customers alike.
Special to The Seattle Times
TRY THESE TWO
Silvara Vineyards 2010 Quartette, Columbia Valley, $42: This was one of the best wines I tasted last year. It won Best in Show at the North Central Washington Wine Awards, a Platinum from Wine Press Northwest magazine, and the No. 9 spot on my Seattle Times top 50 list. It’s a malbec-based blend that uses grapes from nine vineyards. Beautifully balanced and absolutely stunning, it’s loaded with aromas and flavors of blackberry, fig, chocolate, espresso and cherry.
Silvara Vineyards 2012 chenin blanc, Columbia Valley, $24: This is a fairly off-dry white with aromas and flavors of lemon grass, honeydew melon, Golden Delicious apple and sweet Meyer lemon. Perfect for a warm summer day.
CINDY RARICK has spent her adult life shooting for low scores. Now, she’s aiming higher.
The five-time winner on the LPGA Tour still tees it up on the Legends Tour — the senior circuit for the LPGA — but now she is driven by a passion for wine.
With longtime partner Gary Seidler, Rarick has opened Silvara Vineyards near Leavenworth. They launched their winery in 2008 and have since built a beautiful facility amid alpine wildflowers high above Highway 2.
Rarick grew up in Minnesota and attended college in Hawaii before hitting the pro circuit and earning more than $2 million throughout her career. Seidler, who worked in the IT business, has little interest in golf, but they met on a flight to Las Vegas and have been together since.
Neither living in Washington nor starting a winery was in their plans until Seidler made a trip to the Wenatchee Valley to check out a collectible car. He drove past a pear orchard, fell in love with the property, called Rarick and said, “Hey, let’s start a winery.”
She thought he was crazy, “but it sounded like fun.”
A year later, they found an architect, and some 18 months after that were up and running. Now they are earning high scores and acclaim from professionals and customers alike, and have landed on the wine list at Anthony’s, among other restaurants.
Seidler is the winemaker and Rarick is the winery director, using her public-relations skills and years of wine appreciation to full advantage.
Until starting the winery, Rarick was familiar only with the west side of the Cascade Mountains, having played in tournaments in and around Seattle for about 20 years.
“I never had time to explore the state,” she said.
Now she spends time working on her game at golf courses in Leavenworth, Wenatchee and Cashmere when she is not on the tour. Two years ago at the Swing for the Cure at Inglewood Golf Club near Lake Washington, she poured Silvara wines with longtime friend and former LPGA star Jan Stephenson, who now is a fan of north-central Washington after visiting the winery.
“She came to Leavenworth and fell in love with it,” Rarick said.
Andy Perdue is a wine author, journalist and international judge. Learn more about wine at www.greatnorthwestwine.com.