You might not think city planning and winemaking have a lot in common.
But Scott Greenberg’s decades of experience helping shape and manage municipal growth has come in handy in his second career as a winemaker and winery owner.
Greenberg, who recently moved his North Bend-based Convergence Zone Cellars to Richland, relies on the organizational skills he honed in his previous field.
And he taps into the problem-solving abilities that always served him well.
“What I like about winemaking is being able to create something,” he said. “I like the art – the blending, problem-solving. If something isn’t working, let’s dive in and see what we need to do.”
At Convergence Zone Cellars, all seems to be working well.
Greenberg, who spent about 40 years as a planner before retiring, opened the winery in Woodinville in 2008, moving it to North Bend eight years later.
He makes about 1,000 cases of wine a year.
While Convergence Zone Cellars has been popular on the west side, Greenberg got the itch to move east and began exploring relocating the winery to the Tri-Cities. He has family in the area.
He found a spot in the Flex Space Business Centers location off Tapteal Drive in Richland that suited his needs; he has about 2,280 square feet for a production facility and tasting room.
The winery’s last day in North Bend was June 3, and a soft opening in Richland is set for June 16. A grand opening is planned later in the summer.
Greenberg financed the new location himself.
The move brings Convergence Zone Cellars closer to the source of its grapes. Greenberg uses fruit from Red Mountain, the Horse Heaven Hills and throughout the Yakima Valley in his wines.
He specializes in red blends, but also makes white and rosé wines.
He learned about wine from his former father-in-law, who was a connoisseur.
“His palate was old world, where you have some fruitiness in the wine, but you generally have a lot of acidity. What that does is helps wine go better with food and it also helps wine age,” Greenberg said. “That’s how my palate developed and that’s how I make wine. My wines have higher acidity than a lot of other wineries, and that’s by choice. But my wines can lay down for a long time or be good today.”
Greenberg said he enjoys the variety that comes with winemaking – and the fact that the winemaker’s personal touch comes through in each vintage. Like with city planning, the work makes a mark.
“No two bottles of wine are the same. My merlot-dominant blend will be different from someone else’s, even if it’s the exact same proportions and the exact same vineyards. The processing might be different, the barrels might be different, when they harvest the grapes might be different. I like that,” he said.
He’s looking forward to sharing his love of wine with customers in the Tri-Cities. At Convergence Zone Cellars, the wine – and the process to bring it to the glass – take center stage.
“I’m committed to making good, well-balanced wine at reasonable prices,” he said. “What I’m focusing on is the wine itself. I’m educating people about the wine and the winemaking process.
Convergence Zone Cellars’ local opening is scheduled from 1-5 p.m. June 16.
Convergence Zone Cellars: 1339 Tapteal Drive, Suite 104, Richland; 425-233-5638; czcellars.com.
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