Without the grapes, there would be no wine.
…and Washington’s cherished wine country is among the world’s richest regions (located approximately on the same latitude (46ºN) as some of the great French wine regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy) producing some superb fruit. A dry climate and abundant sunlight during the growing season creates an ideal environment along Washington’s eastern slope. Full-ripened grapes offer up complex flavor, good acid levels and pleasing aromatics. In fact, Washington’s wine industry is now the fastest-growing agricultural sector in the state and and the number of wineries have quadrupled in the past decade. It now attracts two million visitors each year!
Dwelley Vineyard: Viognier|Cabernet|Merlot
Cozied up to the Blue Mountains on a sweeping rise overlooking the city of Walla Walla, Dwelley is 20-acres of warm, grape-growing paradise producing complete flavor development. Rooted in Walla Walla silt loam, rows are single-side watered for vine stress producing small grapes and moderate cane growth. Dave Jones, owner and vineyard manager, meticulously thins the leaves the second week of September for good sun exposure on the fruit and clusters are pruned to one or two clusters per cane encouraging fruit maturation during the critical period before harvest.
Kiona Vineyard: Sangiovese|Cab Franc
Kiona is part of the Red Mountain AVA, one of the world’s best grape growing coordinates. Abundant sunshine, unusually clear skies and northerly latitude, it averages 17-plus hours of sunlight per day. Bitterly cold winters take the vines dormant completing the annual (and necessary) temperature cycle and the arid climate (Red Mountain averages but five inches of rain per year) lets growers influence watering and results in well-ripened and robust fruit harvests. A Goldilocks setting, vines are rooted in a sandy, fine-texture silt that sits atop a fractured basalt rock that’s rich, and allows for ideal drainage. Fluctuating temperatures (it can enjoy a 40 to 50 degree swing from day to night) reduces acid loss that can occur if vines and grapes are continually warm. Red Mountain grapes are high in both sugar and acidity, an exceedingly uncommon and coveted wine production characteristic.
Seven Hills Vineyard: Cabernet
The original vineyard and heart of SeVein, Seven Hills, is one of the first commercial vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley AVA. Seven Hills Vineyard was first planted in 1980 and then expanded in 1989. Norm McKibben purchased this 20-acre old block in 1994 and, in partnership with Gary Figgins, Marty Clubb, and Bob Rupar, expanded Seven Hills Vineyard in 1997 and 1998 to over 200 acres. With an elevation of 850 to 1,050 feet, the site has excellent soil and air drainage and is one of the most technologically advanced in the industry. The vertically trained canopy, controlled cluster spacing and sunlight exposure generates uniform fruit ripeness. Soil moisture is monitored daily by computer with sophisticated drip irrigation scheduled to augment vine development yet limit excessive canopy growth. Yields are strictly controlled to assure ultra-premium quality.