From the label to the glass
By Jillian Chandler
As their 20th year quickly approaches, Coeur d’Alene Cellars continues to be a family affair inspired by a shared passion for wine and art. Since introducing Coeur d’Alene Cellars to the community in 2002, the small, creative winery has continued to focus on the fine art of wine since day one, producing 3,000 cases of ultra-premium wines annually, made with finesse, nuance, balance and character. “Our winery is focused on the artistic element of winemaking—from the label to the glass,” shares Kimber Gates, who owns the winery alongside her mother, Sarah Gates, and father, Dr. Charlie Gates.
A passion for wine was ignited in Kimber years before Coeur d’Alene Cellars was born. Kimber was inspired to pursue the art of winemaking during her time spent in the Burgundy region of France. After graduating from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, she worked at Waterbrook Winery before receiving her MBA from Washington State University. It was then that she decided to make her way back to her hometown of Coeur d’Alene to start a winery, which had always been a dream of hers.
“The people are definitely the most rewarding part of the winery. We have such a great team of people working here—we feel like family,” affirms Kimber. “Our wine club has grown to over 500 members, and these wine aficionados love to have a good time! It is rewarding to make wine with such a special group of people—but it is even more rewarding to share it with our amazing customers.”
The grapes are sourced from some of the best vineyards in Washington state, from which Coeur d’Alene Cellars carefully crafts the highest quality wines through attention to detail each step of the way.
The art of the winemaking is complemented and reflected by the art found on the label of each Coeur d’Alene Cellars wine bottle. Sarah, who has been painting watercolors for 40 years, is the woman behind the artwork that graces the labels of each different wine.
After nearly two decades, Kimber continues to be in awe of the dedication, love and support of her team at Coeur d’Alene Cellars. “I attribute the success of this winery to the winery staff,” she gleams. “We are like family, and we treat each other with respect while also having a fun time—even during those stressful moments.”
And then there’s the generous community, who never ceases to amaze her. The entire Gates family are proud to call Coeur d’Alene home and to be a part of this special community. Not only are they passionate about fine wine and sharing it with their North Idaho friends, but Kimber and dad Charlie are heavily involved in Rotary. “Many of our local business leaders are members of Rotary—and many of them enjoy wine,” smiles Kimber. “Combining community service with wine appreciation has resulted in a nice blend.”
Rotary is a service organization helping to improve lives through supporting education, ending homelessness, providing meals and companionship to the elderly, funding youth camps, and more. In 2022, as Kimber shares, the Rotary Club of Coeur d’Alene will be celebrating 100 years, and to celebrate, the Rotary Club and the City of Coeur d’Alene have partnered in acquiring and designing a park downtown, on the corner of Second Street and Sherman Avenue—be ready to celebrate the unveiling of the new park next June! And come 2023-2024, Kimber is honored to become Rotary District Governor for District 5080, which serves Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho and Southern British Columbia! “District 5080 has over 2,000 Rotarians, all contributing time and energy to improve their communities,” says Kimber. “Here in Coeur d’Alene, the Rotary Clubs offer thousands of dollars in local grants every year.”
For the past 11 years, Coeur d’Alene Cellars has also partnered with North Idaho College as the wine sponsor for NIC’s annual Bon Appétit fundraiser. A fundraiser that pairs four courses with four different wines while raising funds for the North Idaho College Foundation, Kimber and her team feel honored to be a part of this special fundraising event each year.
With love for the art of wine paired with a passion to supporting their community, raise a glass to Coeur d’Alene Cellars.
Coeur d’Alene Cellars
3890 North Schreiber Way
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83815