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Bottles and Bonds: Purple Star and Crowe Wines in Benton City, WA

Some friendships develop slowly over time.  Others seem to sprout from nowhere, blossoming into beautiful connections that feel like they've been there forever. Take Bill and Jaime Crowe, and Kyle and Amy Johnson, for example. Their friendship ignited unexpectedly, yet it burns bright with shared passion and camaraderie. 

Amy Johnson and Bill Crowe
Amy Johnson and Bill Crowe - Bottling Day

Bill’s journey from Napa Valley to Australia and eventually to Red Mountain reads like a novel.  Bill and Jaime begin producing small batch wines under the Crowe Wines label in Australia and had dreams of moving back to the US to open a winery here. They researched and landed on the Red Mountain area, purchased a home with plans to plant their roots on 11 acres of vineyard land, and it would have been perfect......except for one thing......2020.  While Bill and Jaime made it from Australia to the US, the chaos of 2020 left their belongings stranded at sea, including their precious wine-making equipment. 

Purple Star had an open position advertised for a wine maker, and after Bill and Jaime had checked it out on a wine tasting visit, he decided it might be a good place to work for a while. 

Bill interviewed and landed a spot with the winery, where he started working with the owners, Amy and Kyle Johnson.  Anyone who knows Kyle also knows he is a man of few words, and at first this made Bill wonder if Kyle's quiet demeanor meant a rocky start.  Did Kyle even like Bill?  Fortunately, it didn’t take long for the team to gel.  As Amy says “Within 10 days of working together we knew Bill would be great!”  Kyle and Amy recognized Bill's talent and work ethic, and a friendship was born.

Working Harvest
Bill (left), Amy (middle), Jaime (right) - working harvest

Today, their relationship extends beyond work; it's a testament to the power of collaboration and support in the wine industry. Instead of viewing Crowe Wines as competition, Amy and Kyle embraced Bill and Jaime, paving the way for mutual growth and success. They have introduced them to others in the industry, such as vineyard owners so that they could source grapes for their wines and are even letting them make their wine at the Purple Star facility. 

This spirit of camaraderie isn't just business; it's a way of life in the Benton City wine community — where neighbors uplift each other, knowing that together, they can create something extraordinary. And as someone fortunate enough to be part of this vibrant community, I can attest to the magic it brings. 

Join me at Purple Star Winery's tasting room on NE Roza Rd in Benton City, where you can savor their exceptional wines and meet the remarkable individuals behind them. And while you're at it, don't miss the chance to indulge in Crowe Wines—available online or through private tasting events that promise unforgettable experiences. Trust me, it's a journey worth taking! 


Purple Star - 56504 NE Roza Rd, Benton City 

Crowe Wines - 

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