Local flavor: Alaska Airlines and Chateau Ste. Michelle partner to make wines fly

Alaska Airlines flight attendants take notes on Alaska’s new wine offerings at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, Washington.

Alaska Airlines flight attendants take notes on Alaska’s new wine offerings at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, Washington.


Deborah Chvila-Dols knows her wine. She and her husband are members of many wineries and travel to the country’s major wine events five to six times per year.

But what the 10-year Alaska Airlines flight attendant particularly loves is sharing that passion with the customers she meets onboard. That’s why she and fellow oenophile flight attendants have been so excited to share two new wines from local Washington winery Chateau Ste. Michelle with customers flying first class this fall.

“My customers love wine – especially the reds we offer – and it’s so much fun for me to present them the bottle when they discover a new wine on board,” Chvila-Dols says.

“I enjoy sharing with my customers the wine’s composition – what makes it unique from others – and the fact that it’s locally produced in the Pacific Northwest! If I’ve tasted at that particular winery, I like to share with them where the winery is and the events and wines it has to offer.”

The two new wines, Chateau Ste. Michelle’s 2011 Indian Wells red blend and 2012 Columbia Valley chardonnay, were specially selected with Alaska customers in mind.

Alaska flight attendants sample Alaska’s new first class chardonnay courtesy of Chateau Ste. Michelle assistant winemaker David Rosenthal at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, Washington.

Alaska flight attendants sample Alaska’s new first class chardonnay courtesy of Chateau Ste. Michelle assistant winemaker David Rosenthal at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, Washington.

Alaska’s director of onboard food and beverage services Lisa Luchau says Alaska customers appreciate wine (red blends are a particular favorite), but more than that love to explore new things – from the places they travel to the foods they eat, to the wines they sip.

“There’s a mysterious nature about blends,” says Chateau Ste. Michelle assistant winemaker David Rosenthal. “People like that in wine. A blend is a discovery.”

He says the winemakers wanted to create an interesting, yet approachable wine, and ended up with the Indian Wells red blend – a very fun wine.

The Columbia Valley chardonnay highlights all the things people love about different Columbia Valley vineyards, he says, bringing them together for a silky smooth finish with a perfect amount of oak.

Both wines pair well with food but stand well alone.

Flight attendant Janice Sidwell has flown for Alaska since 1983.

She says her customers love to sample new things from around the region and she’s proud to serve the two new wines.

“They’re going to be a real hit with our customers, because they really like to sample things from our region,” she says.

Chateau Ste. Michelle was Washington state’s first wine company, coming out of prohibition in 1934. Today it is a northwest icon.

“When people think of Seattle and all these iconic brands that are best in class, in our respective categories, we are best and best,” says Chateau Ste. Michelle CEO Ted Baseler.

Chateau Ste. Michelle wines are currently flying in first class on all Alaska Airlines flights.

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