Michael Ruhland and Matías Kúsulas still consider themselves the new kids on the block in the Northwestern winemaking world. While the business started five years ago, Valo only started selling wine in 2021 and opened its tasting room amidst the uncertainty of a pandemic.
However, the wines they’re producing at Valo are proving age isn’t always the most significant factor for a winery to successfully make it in the industry.
Their vintages (the oldest from 2018 when they launched) have been praised by Anthony Mueller in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and garnered high-point values, including 94-point wines from Jeb Dunnuck for 2019 Valo Intemporal, 2019 Valo Reserve Cabernet Franc, and 2019 Massalto Artisan. Read: If they’re not on your radar, they should be now.
We recently caught up with the pair to get more insight into the brand’s vision and why they don’t necessarily choose favorites. Here’s what they had to say:
Q: Describe Valo Cellars in three words?
A: Pure. Focused. Dynamic.
Q: What sets Valo Cellars apart from other winemakers in the region?
A: We have a tight connection with our vineyard sources, with the Winemaker also being the Viticulturist for all of them. We don’t follow a recipe. We evaluate every single vineyard as it is and make the wines accordingly. The results are hopefully the best vine expression of each year.
Q: Out of your current lineup, what is your favorite wine and why?
A: We don’t play favorites. Each wine, even if it’s $25 or $100, has equal importance and intrinsic value to us. Even though we have a broad spectrum of varieties, our Bordeaux wines come from very old vines, some of the oldest in WA, so the purity and quality of those wines put them a bit aside from the rest. That being said, we are very proud of our BDX lineup, and we are also big fans of Cabernet Franc.