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Local winemaker V du V believes Spokane should have something else to taste

click to enlarge V du V owners John Morrow (left) and Kirk Phillips. - MEGHAN KIRK
  • Meghan Kirk
  • V du V owners John Morrow (left) and Kirk Phillips.

For John Morrow and Kirk Phillips, winemaking is an art that should be shared. That’s what prompted them to open V du V Winery and sell their colorfully labeled bottles of wine.

Settled in on the corner of First and Scott since 2010, it took until October to open the tasting room where patrons of First Friday got to experience the small-batch, handcrafted wines.

Using grapes grown in the Columbia Valley, they are fermented on site. Currently, 80 barrels of wine wait in the high-ceilinged storeroom. Tasters can now enjoy three kinds of red wine: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Meritage, a blend of Cabernet and Merlot. Expect the label's first round of white wines as early as next spring.

The business partners are fans of fruit-forward Washington wines.

"The spicy, the peppery, that's what we like in our wine's flavors," Phillips says.

The men first met a decade ago, and produced their first bottle of wine within a year. Phillips had a small vineyard growing up on a farm in Lind, Wash. After tasting his wine, Morrow made a proposition. V du V started with five people, but as the others fell away one by one, Morrow and Phillips stood by a product they believed needed to be shared.

"Spokane deserves to have more wine options," Phillips says. "Every state has a thriving wine industry now, and Washington's is right up there."

Both men have outside jobs; this is what makes them happy.

"This is a hobby that ran amok," Morrow says.♦

V du V Wines • 12 S. Scott • Open Fri, 3-7 pm; Sat, 1-5 pm or by appointment • $5 tastings • 747-3200 •

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story said the winemakers sold wine out of the back of a van. That was never the case.

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