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Cougar Crest Winery

Cougar Crest Winery

Cougar Crest Winery was established at the Walla Walla Airport in 2001 by Deborah and David Hansen. Owners of 50 acres of vineyard, all in the Walla Walla Appellation, we have sold wine grapes to other wineries for years. The move into making wine has been a natural progression for two people with strong backgrounds in science and a love of fine wine. The University of California at Davis offered many winemaking classes that both David and Deborah attended. Our first vintage was 900 cases and will be sold across the Northwest. The 2002 vintage will be 4000 cases and sales will expand into other states. The 2002 vintage also brought the release of our first white wine, Viognier.

Natives of the Northwest, Deborah from Spokane and David from Bremerton, we met in Pullman. After graduating from Washington State University in the 1970's, Deborah in Pharmacy, and David in Veterinary Medicine, our careers led us to the San Francisco area for 18 years. It was there, among the California wineries, that the appreciation of the art of winemaking was born. While pursuing wine in California, we developed 125 acres of orchards in the Walla Walla Valley. In 1995 the farms became self-sufficient and we moved our family to the Valley in 1996.

The return to the Northwest was a pleasant surprise. There were seven wineries making unbelievably good wine in Walla Walla. Upon visiting the vineyards, the decision was made to replace some aging apple orchards with wine grapes. The first year, we raised all our own plants with cuttings from Windrow Vineyard (the original Seven Hills vineyard) and Cailloux Vineyard. The chosen site was Stellar Vineyard, and the plants flourished. The next year Cougar Hills Vineyard was established. We currently make wine from Estate Grown Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Viognier. This year will mark the first year of production for Petit Verdot and Malbec, which will greatly expand our blending options and complexity in our Bordeaux varietals.


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