Charlie Hoppes, Owner + Winemaker
Winemaker of the Year
Washington Wine Awards 2013, Seattle Magazine
Fidelitas is led by owner and winemaker Charlie Hoppes, who is an acclaimed Columbia Valley vintner whose first crush here was in 1988. He works in partnership with Washington’s finest growers to capture the distinct character of the vineyard and the purest expression of the fruit. Charlie’s wines are handcrafted and aged in small lots, showing exceptional character, varietal expression and structure.
Charlie first became interested in winemaking while working as a flight test engineer in the early 1980’s. After spending some time with white riesling and home winemaking kits, Charlie pursued his passion at University of California, Davis, graduating in 1988.
Since graduation, Charlie has served as the winemaker for a few of Washington’s most recognizable labels. Perhaps most notably, he spent a decade with Chateau Ste. Michelle, first as Assistant Winemaker, then the Head Red Winemaker during the 1990’s.
In the year 2000 with the support of his wife Terri, Charlie began his own winery and named it Fidelitas, drawing on the family name Fidelis. From the beginning, Fidelitas sought to be faithful to Cabernet Sauvignon, loyal to classic Bordeaux winemaking techniques and true to Washington State’s Columbia Valley terroir. A decade later, these principles remain with Fidelitas’ hand crafted, Bordeaux-styled red and white wines.
Today, Charlie Hoppes creates 7000 cases under the Fidelitas label in addition to serving as a consulting winemaker for a number of smaller Washington wineries. 2012 marked Charlie’s 25th harvest in Washington State.