Woodward Canyon Wines
Woodward Canyon Winery was established by Lowden native Rick Small in 1981. One of the first Walla Walla wineries, it quickly rose to fame with a series of intense, complex, long aging red wines. The winery has consistently produced premium, award-winning Cabernet sauvignons and Merlots as well as barrel-fermented Chardonnays. His "Old Vine" Dedication Series Cabernet Sauvignon is considered some of the best American Cab made today.
"Quality" has characterized the Woodward Canyon philosophy. Woodward Canyon has remained small. It's initial production in 1981 was 1,200 cases. The winery produced only 15,000 cases in 2002.
More About Woodward Canyon Winery
Woodward Canyon enjoys the advantage of owning mature estate vineyards, the first twenty six acres of which were planted in 1976. The Estate vineyard now includes Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet franc, Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, Dolcetto and Barbera.
Woodward Canyon also purchases grapes from some of the best vineyard sites in Walla Walla. Woodward shares vineyards with such wineries as L'Ecole No. 41, Chateau Ste Michelle, Leonetti, and Andrew Will.
Canoe Ridge Vineyard, with its fine, sandy soil, provides intensely flavored Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon; old-block vineyards of Mercer Ranch in the Horse Heaven Hills provide mature vines from ancient soils for big, well-structured wines; and the silty loam soil of a newer vineyard, Pepper Bridge, in the Walla Walla Appellation, produces rich flavors and supple textures; Celilo Vineyard and the Columbia Valley Appellation bring complexity to Woodward's award-winning Chardonnays.
Woodward Canyon Winery's own vineyards are near the sites listed above, and are carefully managed by the Small family. Recently, 17 additional acres of estate vineyards were planted to high-density Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.
Nelms Road is Woodward Canyon's second label, less expensive, from younger vines and from the juice left after their higher end wines are made- it is a bargain, when we have it! Woodward makes Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot under this label.
By Christina Kelly
It was the days of one- and two-room schoolhouses, coon-skin hats and hula-hoops.
Rock ‘n Roll, a blend of Southern blues and gospel music, filtered out of transistor radios during the 1950s, appealing to teenagers looking to break out of mainstream music and fuel a growing gap between teens and parents. The baby boomers were emerging.
It was also a time of sandlot baseball, when kids begged the local hardware store to pay for uniforms since the local school districts earmarked funds only for reading, writing and arithmetic.
In the Walla Walla area, the two-room schoolhouse was public school number 41 located in Lowden, WA, which now houses L’Ecole No. 41 Winery. Across a field stood the teachers’ apartment during the 1950s. The two teachers walked across the sandlot to teach first through sixth grades. It is now Woodward Canyon Winery.
A sandlot baseball field where Rick Small, now owner and winemaker for Woodward Canyon, played ball separates two of the oldest wineries in the Walla Walla Valley. It is soon to become a shared vineyard between L’Ecole and Woodward Canyon.
Rick Small, age 10