For our customers not familiar with the viticulture of Washington State, you must know that all of the vines from which our grapes are sourced are grown on their own roots. This is contrary to viticultural practices in France, Italy, Germany, California, and Oregon where wine grape vines are grafted onto root stock derived from Vitus Labrusca, native American grape varieties that are resistant to phylloxera, a root louse responsible for devastating the world’s vineyards in the 19th century. We feel this gives Washington State an edge in discovering the true terroir of the wine grape. Following are the fine vineyards our grapes come from.
Alder Creek Vineyard
Grapes Sourced in 2003
This new vineyard yielded some very fine Cabernet in 2003, one of the warmest growing years in recent history. Located above the drainage for Alder Creek near the town of Alderdale not far from the Columbia River, this vineyard is owned and operated by Dave and Fran Groth. It’s also home to many more red varietals and is located not far from Champoux Vineyard. We like the proximity to a vineyard with such a fine heritage. We look forward to making more Alder Creek wine in the future.
Grapes sourced in 2002, 2003, 2004
Owner Bruce Zunser takes great care in managing this warm Mattawa location. It is the source for some truly wonderful Merlot, and it’s precious at that because he’s only planted 5 of his 40-acre plot. Not one to jump head first into a venture, Bruce is searching for quality before expanding his site. We are very glad to be a part of his plans. Bruce is an engineer for Boeing’s flight test program during the winter months and is also a pilot who flies his Cessna 172 to his vineyard near the Desert Aire landing strip.
Grapes sourced in 2003
We made some mighty Merlot from this vineyard in 2003 due to a surprise in availability and a shortage at Ciel du Cheval. Fred has been keeping his grapes close at hand for select wineries, but we hope to get more Artz fruit in the future. This vineyard was planted in the mid ‘90’s with many varietals, but vines are heaviest with red fruit that typifies the virtue of the Red Mountain American Viticultural Area, (AVA for short...this is like the French designation of Appellation). He is surely one of the best growers in the state having learned his craft at Klipsun Vineyard, which he planted in 1984. We’d say he is a seasoned veteran who values the knowledge of science and sensitivity to the environment. At harvest you will notice he manages one of the happiest and most stable groups of workers in the state. Loud Latin tunes are a must...note that’s a winemaking term...as the crew winds down after a day of harvesting, but they don’t go home to party, they stay at Klipsun and enjoy the view.
Grapes sourced in 2002, 2003, 2004
Famed for it’s fine Cab, this is one of the oldest vineyards in Washington State with 30-year-old Cabernet vines in what Paul Champoux calls Block 1. While these vines are now reserved for some of the best wineries in Washington State like Andrew Will and Quilceda Creek, Tim had access in the late ‘80’s and is again hoping for the opportunity to more ferment these rare grapes. This not to make light of the grapes Paul has allocated for Tim. All Champoux Cab is tremendous...the colors and flavors are extremely concentrated and intense. This vineyard has the ability to retain acid late into the growing season and is usually one of the last vineyards in the state to be harvested.
Chandler Reach Vineyard
Grapes sourced in 2001, 2002
Construction of the Chandler Reach cave that houses Lenn Parris’s wines is one of the most innovative we’ve seen in Eastern Washington. Ask Lenn to tell you the story of it’s beginning especially if you are at all interested in construction. The winery aside, this is a fantastic site even though it’s planted mostly on a north-facing slope. The Yakima Valley sun is very intense in this warm location just south of the Red Mountain AVA. This may be why we speak of the Chandler Reach wines in the same breath as those from Red Mountain. They have the same deep color and warm climate fruit that we love so much about site.
Ciel du Cheval Vineyard
Grapes sourced in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
This place is just plain blessed...year after year owner Jim Holmes grows some of the best grapes in the state on Red Mountain near Benton City. His vineyard manager, Ryan Johnson is also an integral part of the success equation at this site. Many of our grapes come from the ’92 planting, but we combined some ’94 and ’98 Cab for 2003 and are very pleased with the results.