Trendsetting and trailblazing — these brothers have vino running through their veins.
It all started with three brothers, wine, and a dream. 32 year-old Bryan Otis, sommelier and wine aficionado for Matthews Estate, traveled to Europe in 2002 and brought back a love of wine. Following his suggestion two years later, his parents invested in Matthews Estate–four years later they became co-owners–and as of this year, they own the Woodinville winery, which cemented their status as a local wine family.
But Matthews Estate is not your average winery, and the Otis brothers are not your average wine enthusiasts. There are over 80 wineries in Woodinville so they knew they had to do something different to stand out. “We wanted to move away from the sleepy/stuffy Jazz night thing and make our winery more relevant to an entirely new audience of younger wine drinkers in their 20s and 30s,” says 30 year-old Jeff Otis, middle brother and director of marketing for Mathews Estate.
Taking inspiration from the infamous party extraordinaire P. Diddy, Jeff got the idea to do an All-White Party to attract the younger demographic–and it worked. Their first all-white soiree drew in over 450 people, and the following year that number grew to over 1,200. This year, Jeff says he expects to top that number and create a wine party experience like none other.
Beyond their white-hot events, Matthews Estate has killer wine and a rockin’ winery that has received recognition in the wine industry–winning “Best Winery of 2011” in 425 Magazine, edging out local wine powerhouses Chateau St. Michelle and DeLille. With the success of Matthews Estate, the Otis brothers decided to branch out and start a premium label–thus, Tenor was born. Their best wines from each year go into Tenor; the goal is that these bottles should measure up to the best best wines in the world.
Using their passion for wine and their marketing creativity, the Otis Brothers are catering to a new generation of younger wine drinkers and turning Woodinville Wine Country into a social hub. This trio not only have many talents, but they also wear many hats. If you were already impressed, their skills don’t stop with wine–oldest brother Bryan and youngest brother, 28 year-old Scott, the tech wizard behind Matthews Estate, own Tandem, an online calendar that provides an easy and dynamic way for schools to schedule events and share with their communities. Middle brother Jeff works at Evergreen Capital, a wealth management firm in Bellevue.
“I love that wine brings people together,” says Bryan. “I have been able to meet a lot of amazing people who I might not have had the chance to otherwise.”