Tanya Woodley

Tanya Woodley

SuLei Cellars (Winemaker & Founding Member)

Tanya Woodley, Winemaker and Founding Member of SuLei Cellars, moved to Walla Walla 12 years ago to complete the Enology and Viticulture Program at Walla Walla Community College. A former marketing representative and buyer in the music industry, she had spent time with people who loved wine and found herself building a wine cellar and wanting to try her hand at winemaking.

She worked as an enologist at various wineries in Walla Walla and as a winemaker at Whitman Cellars for three years before launching SuLei Cellars in 2007. It is the 60th bonded winery in Walla Walla. Her philosophy in making wine is to intervene minimally, allowing the fruit to develop with guidance, thereby revealing the true essence of the grape.

A Wine Press Northwest “Washington Winery to Watch”, SuLei wines have received awards and accolades from Seattle Wine Awards and the Cascadia Wine Competition, among many others.

The Wines. Tanya produces a variety of wines, including Albarino, Roussanne, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. The day we visited, Tanya shared several of her wines and the story behind her two labels—SuLei, a name derived from Sulis Minerva, a Celtic Mother Goddess, and Roller Girl, a name reflecting love for the sport of roller derby. We were especially taken with her award-winning 2015 SuLei Roussanne and 2014 SuLei Cabernet Sauvignon. Her second-label 2013 Roller Girl Wine Jammer Red was very approachable and reasonably priced!