SoJen Cellars began as an enchanting love story between two main characters from a book called, "Griffin and Sabine", but let's back up a bit and give you the whole story!
Max met Jen online via AOL Pen Pals before Match.com and E-Harmony existed. It was a simple statement from Jen saying, "I like your screen name," which at that time was winos3 because Max and his two other roommates were sitting around setting up the dial-up account for AOL and drinking wine at the same time.
After just a few short months Max sent Jen a book for her birthday, yes you guessed it, "Griffin and Sabine". A story about two people who had never met face to face, but fell in love by writing post cards back and forth to each other. The original winery name was born from the main character "Griffin" from the book and the fact that Max and Jen "Crossed" each others paths via the internet, thus was born the first winery name, "Griffins Crossing Winery".
Max was working as a winemaker at a well respected winery in Woodinville, Wa. and Jen was completing her teaching degree at Sonoma State in Santa Rosa, Ca. and working at a 5 star restaurant doing wine and food pairing.
After courting for a year and a half Max convinced Jen to move to Washington to be part of the up-and-coming wine scene. The engagement soon followed at the Mukilteo Lighthouse, which is the signature image on the wine labels.
Griffins Crossing Winery was born in 2003 out of the Jensen home, and grew from a small 50 case production to 300 cases in a two car garage. A once-a-month tasting room opened in Lake Stevens to allow locals to experience the wines, but it was soon discovered that there just wasn't enough foot traffic to keep the tasting room operating. Along came an opportunity at the beginning of 2009 to take over a beautiful 2,000 sq foot facility with tasting room and production space in the heart of Everett.
Jumping at the chance, a lease was signed and no sooner were the plans made than a cease and desist order was received from another winery to discontinue the use of "Griffins Crossing Winery" because another "larger" winery had trademarked the word "Griffin" in a wine label. Since the larger winery had already claimed ownership for the word, it made more sense to change the winery name at the Grand Opening of the new space in Everett which is what was done, and SoJen Cellars came into existence in January 2010.
But wait, you ask? What does SoJen Cellars have to do with Griffins Crossing Winery? Ahh, very good question, follow the bouncing ball.
When Max first started talking to Jen, just a few short months after writing back and forth, the first questions asked were, "So, Jen, how's it going, what are you doing?" It wasn't a conscious question, just a bit of nerves and poking a little fun at Jen for the fact that she was a Valley Girl. When a new name had to be created, going back to the beginning of how Max and Jen meet only made sense, so... "SoJen Cellars" was a perfect new name fit -- so much so that Jen had created a character called SoJen Girl (which is a Japanese anima character of a karate-kicking girl with pigtails, that was meant to kick the apprehension from Max in his saying "So, Jen, how's it going?" and be more assertive).
Well it must have worked because SoJen Cellars has celebrated its 2-year anniversary in January, 2012! And with weekly weekend music and fun events like Ladies Night every last Wednesday of each month, the fun continues.
We hope that you will come on out and make your own memorable story at SoJen Cellars.
Cheers ~ Max and Jen Jensen