HISTORY—During World War II the 2,164 acre Walla Walla Army Airbase was developed as a training base for B-17 and B-24 aircraft. During the early 1940’s it is estimated that more than 8,000 officers were trained in Walla Walla, producing 594 heavy bomb crews for the war effort. Our small building was one of over 300 buildings built, designed to have a limited life of only six years. By 1947 the Army was gone and the City/County took over ownership and management of the facilities. At this time the majority of the buildings were empty. Although built for a “temporary” existence, many of these structures are functional today, housing many different business including over 12 wineries.
CONSTRUCTION—We began work on turning our World War II vintage wood building into a modern winery in November 2004. By March 2005 we were ready for wine barrels. This was a major construction project including complete demolition of the interior. Demolition included removal of all interior walls and rooms, removal of a large chimney, and removal of pier foundations and wood floor in production area. Some of the major improvements included:
•New concrete walls and floor in production area with floor drains.
•All new plumbing including high recovery 180 degree hot water system for sanitization purposes.
•New handicapped bathroom and ADA ramping into building.
•All new interior walls including special metal/vapor barrier in production and barrel storage area for trichloroanisol (TCA) control.
•Two new HVAC systems for office and barrel storage areas (maintains 56° F)
•New large concrete crush pad with access driveway.
•Addition of new tasting room.
The challenge of finding a wine...
Special thanks goes to our General Contractor JIM NOSTDAL of Nostdal Construction and our concrete specialist DON ANDERSON of Single Man Construction for an excellent project completed in record time.
PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT—Equipment was carefully selected to optimize quality and assure that the hand-crafted character of our wine is maintained year to year. We use stainless steel fermentation tanks, stainless steel transfer pump, and stainless steel wands and transfer equipment. To assure only the most gentle pressing and optimum quality we use a stainless steel basket press, achieving a light pressing of our pomace. We crush only small lots of fruit (less than 3 tons) at any one time and ferment in small tanks (1.5 ton capacity). We do most of our own laboratory testing and analysis to maintain vigilant monitoring of our wine through its long life.