Chris & Cheryl Webber
Chris has been a connoisseur of wine for more than thirty years. For at least as long he has wanted to make his own wine, but was never able to find the time or motivation to get started. After a tour in Iraq in 2005 he did a serious re-evaluation of life and decided it was time to persue some of the things he had long put off.
In the spring of 2006 Chris and Cheryl bought a house in Lakewood just a mile and a half from The Beer Essentials. One day they made a visit and within an hour left with a new Homebrew Starter Kit. Chris picked up 30# of Granny Smith apples (grapes were out of season and very expensive) and made up his first batch of wine. In 2009 that batch of apple wine took a 1st Place at the Puyallup Fair. The winemaking bug had bit.
Chris has made a lot of fruit wines, called Country Wines, and honeywine, known as Mead, since that first batch. Sure he has made a few batches of grape wine, but his real passion is country wines and meads. Over the last few years he has generously shared his wines with friends and family who praise his works and encourage him to make more.
Due to the volume of requests Chris is getting for his wines and meads and his new found passion for making it he decided to go commercial in late 2009 and began the process of building a winery and getting his license. There are over 7000 wineries in the US. Washington State is the second largest producer with some 600 wineries and is second only to California. It is estimated that there are about 150 Meaderies in the US (with only two currently in Washington) and even fewer who make Country Wine.
Chris and Cheryl were born and raised in Washington State as descents of Washington pioneer families; he in Dayton (near Walla Walla), and she a Tacoma native. They met through a mutual love of genealogy, history and antiques.
Chris has been heavily involved in heraldry since 1970 and has been lecturing and teaching heraldry in the Pacific Northwest since 1996 including a brief college course. Over the years Chris has served on the Board of Directors for local Chambers of Commerce, Rotary, a Community Hospital District and now serves on the Lakewood City Council's Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee. He also served as a volunteer Firefighter/EMT for 12 years, first in Snohomish County and later in Pierce County. He has served 30 years in military service in the Army, Air Force Reserve, Army Reserve and currently the Washington Army National Guard. He has been mobilized three times in support of the Global War on Terrorism including a tour in Iraq. In addition to making wine he enjoys scuba diving and collecting military medals and crests.
Cheryl has been involved in genealogical research since 1996. She is a former Newsletter Editor for the Washington State Genealogical Society, where she also served on the Board of Directors. In 1999 she was the WSGS State Conference Coordinator. Cheryl also served for several years on the Board of Directors for the Heritage Quest Genealogical Research Library. She worked for several years in the antiques trade, specializing in antique glassware, jewelry and dolls and is currently immersed in research on antique glassware and is considered one of the top experts in antique glassware in the US. She has many years of experience with website building and maintenance, computer hardware installation and repair and computer desktop support. Her hobbies include bird-watching, gardening, collecting antiques, glass research, cemetery preservaton and surfing the web.
Chris and Cheryl recently rechartered the Washington State Cemetery Association to help preserve and protect pioneer and historic cemeteries in Washington and spend lots of time driving around the state taking pictures of headstones and doing research.