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Marty Taucher

Over the years, several members of the Seattle tech community have plowed some of their wealth into Washington’s burgeoning wine industry. Venture capitalist Tom Alberg is the owner of Novelty Hill winery in Woodinville, while former software executive John Bigelow is the chief winemaker at JM Cellars.

Now, another software geek has caught the wine bug. Marty Taucher, a 15-year marketing veteran at Microsoft, has partnered with winemaker Chris Peterson,  to create a new boutique winery in Woodinville called Avennia.

A native of Oregon and an avid wine collector, Taucher joined Microsoft in 1984, two years before the company went public. He spent 15 years at the software giant, leading public relations and event marketing.

But for the past decade, Taucher has been passionate about wine. The angel investor participated in the enology program at South Seattle Community College and eventually earned an internship at DeLille Cellars where he met Peterson.

“As Chris and I talked about the possibility of working together, we found that we have shared visions for what Washington wine could be as well as building a successful business in a very tough industry,” said Taucher. “Simply put, Avennia will be artistic and elegant, both in its brand and its wines, but more importantly, it will be based on smart business underpinnings.”

Avennia’s inaugural vintage is scheduled for release in September 2012, and will feature two 2010 vintage Rhone-style blends and a 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. During the first year, the winery plans about 1,000 cases.

The name Avennia is inspired by the Roman name for the city of Avignon.

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