The Purple Turkey: A Thanksgiving Letter from Cavatappi Winery's Dow Family

For more than 30 years, Peter Dow, founder of Cavatappi Winery, has been the leader in Washington-grown Italian wine grape varieties. 

Stock up on Cavatappi Wine for the holidays and Read About  His Family's Most Memorable Thanksgiving!  

Dear Friends, Family and Fellow Wine Drinkers,

Every October for about two weeks, the front driveway of Café Juanita in Kirkland-- a lakeside town in Western Washington far from wine country-- became the production site for Cavatappi.

Peter Dow, our patriarch and founder, installed a couple of tanks in the basement of the restaurant. The crush took place in the parking lot and we were able to tap dance around the restaurant’s storage and garbage cans to make room for the bins. Normally we drove a big box truck over the pass filled with the grape totes, but on occasion Peter could fit a ridiculous number of totes in his Vanagon. Ah, the early years.

Crush was a friends and family affair, but there was always the eager and willing customer arriving early for their dinner reservation who wanted to roll up his sleeves and get in on the action. One year following crush, as the Nebbiolo was just fermenting, an interesting piece in The Seattle Times landed on Peter’s desk. It was an interview with the wonderful Leslie Mackie, owner of Macrina Bakery by food writer Providence Cicero. The subject was brining your turkey in the must of Nebbiolo.

'Hey! Let’s give it a shot, as we are well supplied with the main ingredient,' said Peter.

Thanksgiving was a few days away, and Peter came home with a Home Depot five-gallon bucket filled with must. In went the bird and we let it brine overnight...or perhaps a bit longer. We aren't sure if anyone actually read the recipe. Recollections are a bit fuzzy. What we all remember is the entire turkey, inside and out, was purple...a Go Huskies purple! How did it taste? Not memorable.

 To help make your upcoming Thanksgiving feast a bit more memorable, we’ve raided the Cavatappi cellar and found some incredible library vintages to share with you.

These special bundles will only be available for the month of November, so we recommend stocking up for future gatherings with friends, family, and delicious (and perhaps colorful) food!

 From all of us Dows…

Happy Thanksgiving!



Cavatappi "Thanksgiving with Molly" 3-Pack


Currant and cherry notes, along with the most extraordinary bouquet of tart red fruit, moss, and earth – these three vintages showcase Washington’s perfect balance of great acidity and soft tannins for a perfect Thanksgiving wine.

Contains a bottle each of:

  • 2013 Molly's Cuvee Sangiovese
  • 2016 Molly's Cuvee Sangiovese
  • 2017 Molly's Cuvee Sangiovese




Cavatappi "A Toast to Thirty Years" 3-Pack


These 2017 wines represent thirty years of Cavatappi wines, but more importantly, they represent thirty years of pride and friendship with our vineyard partners. Let’s raise a glass to these exceptional Washington wines.

Contains a bottle each of:

  • 2017 Maddalena Nebbiolo
  • 2017 Reserve 30th Anniversary Sangiovese
  • 2017 Molly's Cuvee Sangiovese



Cavatappi "Pass the Nebbiolo, Please" 3-Pack


From the first-ever Nebbiolo vines in Washington State, the Maddalena Nebbiolo is a harmonious marriage of new-world terroir with old-world-style winemaking. These three delicious vintages are reminiscent the charm of Barbaresco, yet still approachable and food-friendly for a large pasta feast or a full Thanksgiving spread.

Contains a bottle each of:

  • 2015 Maddalena Nebbiolo
  • 2016 Maddalena Nebbiolo
  • 2017 Maddalena Nebbiolo