Gilbert Cellars is a family collaboration, with three generations of Gilberts involved with the project. New to wine, they are one of Washington's oldest farming families. With their family motto, “strong root, great fruit" in just a few years they have established themselves as a source for excellent grapes and wine.
The Gilbert Family has a long history in Washington State. They arrived in the Yakima Valley in 1897, when Horace Mark Gilbert moved his family from Geneseo, Illinois and started farming apples and other produce. The original family farmhouse is now maintained as a museum. Passed down from father to son, Gilbert Orchards is owned and operated today by brothers Curtiss and Cragg Gilbert.
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In 2002, the family decided to grow wine grapes and bought the Doc Stewart Vineyard in Mattawa, in the Wahluke AVA. Planted in the 1970’s, Doc Steward is a prime vineyard property containing some of the earliest acres of red wine grapes in Washington. Planted in the 1970’s, they are some of the few sites from the '70s are still farmed today.
Gilbert Cellars’ winemaker Justin Neufeld studied under Doug Gore, winemaker at Columbia Crest and one of Washington's best. He's making some big balanced red lip smackers. When we tried his wines, everyone within hearing insisted on trying them as well, we were making such loud sounds of delight.
Justin now bottles wines under his own label, JB Neufeld. He has two Cabernet Sauvignons, one from the Dubrul Vineyard and one from the Artz Vineyard. Both are fantastic.
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