Creating truly premiums reds wines is our primary goal; but also will be our desire to produce a wine that can help make any occasion a special one. By using only time honored small lot winemaking methods, combined with only the finest ingredients (grown at our affiliated vineyards in Mattawa, WA), we believe our wines truly excel. We also hope that by sharing with you many of the details of our winemaking experiences that you can become more connected to our wines. Only time and tastings will prove the results
My first memory of a personal experience regarding wine (the semi-serious kind, not the Annie Green Springs kind) is having dinner with my Grandmother (Doris Wade) at the Chieftain Restaurant in Wenatchee, WA and ordering a glass of house burgundy with my prime rib. I was pretty much a beer drinker at the time and I remember thinking; "wow!, together with the prime rib this wine actually tastes good". Since we ate dinner together frequently I kept ordering a glass of burgundy and it continued to impress and grow on me.
Very slowly I began to experiment with other types of wine and quickly focused on reds. I can recall my first taste of a "premium" red wine. It was an Apex Cabernet Sauvignon (Apex is the Washington Hills premium label). It was wonderful and the hook was set! Perhaps a sign of the times (the 90's!), or perhaps the friends we were socializing with (I am not sure which), I kept enjoying red wines more and more. Then in the mid 90's we went to Napa Valley with Dave and Jennie Parks. David is an avid wine connoisseur and he was a wonderful tour guide; we just showed up and held on! Napa was a wonderful experience and when touring the wineries and checking out the vineyards I began to ask myself if this was something I could do. But Napa is fairly intimidating. Most everything is done first class and clearly reflected the huge investment wineries have.
Because my day job and most of my life has been spent in agriculture (I work for and am part owner of Columbia Fruit Packers, Inc.; a medium sized family owned apple and cherry packing warehouse which also owns several orchards), I knew quite a bit about farming and processing of agricultural products. I found many similarities between apples, cherries and grapes. My interest continued to grow.
n 1997 Karen put together a winery tour of the Lower Yakima valley. We rented a bus and 30 of us had tons of fun. Again I continued to look at everything from a perspective of, "could I do this?" and if so where would I start? In 1998 we did another tour this time in Walla Walla. It was there at a small winery outside of town it really hit me. Here was a winery creating killer red wines and their operation was very visually doable. This was my answer of what a start up could look like.
That winter I went to the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers annual meeting and was fortunate to meet again some of the winery owner/winemakers I had met on my earlier tours. I am sure I overwhelmed each of them with endless questions, but with their help my plan continued to formulate. It was also at this meeting we decided to plant a few acres of grapes at two of the orchards in Mattawa we are involved in.
Our passion is to produce premium red wines. Not just the best possible, but ones that will truly stand up to the ultra premium wines made today. Key to this success will be growing world class grapes and Mattawa appears to be a stellar location. Many wineries in Washington State are finding their best red wines coming from grapes in this region. The grape growing ability of the Wenatchee Area has yet to be proven. In 1998 we planted a test block with 8 varieties of grapes planted near the winery building in the East Wenatchee orchard; 4 reds and 4 whites. In 2001 we removed this test block as we found both our focus on Reds and the desire for the finest grapes possible did not support raising grapes at this site.