Posted on Nov 17, 2017
Matt Albee talks about the making of Eleven Winery
Sometimes, life takes us to our heart's desire in very indirect ways. That is certainly the case for Matt Albee, founder and leader of 11 Winery in Bainbridge Island, Washington.
In Matt's case, bicycle racing was his first love. For years, he honed this craft and gained prominence as a world-class bicycle racer. But one day, he literally woke up and thought, "I want to make wine".
They started small, in Matt's garage on Bainbridge Island, and eventually grew his business to now, when they ship over 3,000 cases of wine made from grapes from Eastern Washington. The grapes are carefully chosen because, according to Matt, it is "all about the grapes".
Eleven Winery has gained prestige and awards in a fast-growing industry. There are currently 900 wineries in Washington State, 600 of which grew up in the last 10 years. In this competitive environment, Eleven Winery has managed to stand out to gain local and national recognition for their good work. Their tasting room and wine selections have been voted "Best of Bainbridge".
A couple of interesting tidbits to pass along....
• Today's wine is meant to be consumed right away—contrary to popular belief, not all wines age well.
• Did you ever wonder where the name Eleven comes from? Matt explained that it denotes the cog used in a bicycle gear when "you go all out". A perfect way to connect Matt's two loves.
You can learn more about Eleven Winery by visiting their website at