with Rick Mafit"
by Alison Ruch
He loves working with the grapes (as
he calls it, “gettin’ purple,”). “It’s
more difficult here because people aren’t expecting
to find good Zinfandel, Cabernet or Merlot.” (Mafit
does all three, as well as a Syrah, a Barbera and a Pinot
noir.) “Every weekend I’m in my tasting
room people are totally surprised. . . .
Fielding Hills Winery
"Spring of 1999 we planted our grapes and when summer came I arranged to
buy a few grapes from a neighboring Mattawa vineyard to do a final winemaking
experiment before taking the bigger plunge and going commercial. "
Temperance Hill Vineyard
Manager Dai Crisp on
Grape Vines and Great Wines
By Alison Ruch
of Oregon’s most distinguished
winemakers are sourcing fruit from Temperance Hill
Vineyard, a gorgeous and expansive site located
in the Eola Hills. These wineries include Adelsheim,
Belle Vallée, Chehalem, Elk Cove, Evesham Wood, J.K.
Carriere, Mystic, Panther Creek, R. Stuart & Co., and
St. Innocent. Vineyard Manager Dai Crisp uses
Temperance Hill grapes for his own delicious Lumos wines.
So, what constitutes an excellent vineyard site? In a word:
Belle Vallee Cellars
and Overnight Success
of Pinot noir Specialist Joe Wright
Andrew Will Winery
Top producer of big reds changes winemaking to focus on vineyard specific blends.
Instead, he plans to "zone in" on the types of blends he prefers, such
as his Sorella (Italian for sister) and his Champoux Vineyard Red Wine.
The Broadleys live in Monroe, OR, not exactly
the heart of wine-making ( or anything else, except perhaps
Christmas tree farming).
"I like this new crop of people-they make
it their job to reinvent themselves and come in with fresh
ideas. The younger people will come in and take the lead.
It is how it should be.
to the Cream of the Crop and the
by Christina Kelly
Charlie Hoppes has something
that can’t be taught in
the wine industry—a gut instinct that nudges him when
grapes are ready to pick, alerts him when he reaches the “ah-ha” point
of blending wines and intuitively informs him what a
wine will taste like a year or two down the road in the
Release of Wines
From Another Boeing Guy”
By Christina Kelly
Lots of new winemakers
want public attention, but one of the newest Washington winemakers
it in his label, “Nota Bene.”
y Christina Kelly
Trey Busch is like many young winemakers lured to the Walla
Walla Valley to help pioneer the wine industry’s
growing reputation for luscious Merlot, powerful
and silky Syrah.
by Shannon Borg
Funk has his pick of some
of the best grapes in Washington state, and after four vintages,
is well on his way to creating the kind of wine he’s
dreamed of making.
Obsessed with quality, Bob Andrake wants to make “the
biggest, baddest mother on the block.”
Arbor Crest Winery
Kristina Mielke was 12-years-old when her parents,
Harold and Marcia Mielke along with Harold’s brother
David Mielke started a winery in Spokane, WA in 1982, pulling
out cherry trees from the family’s cherry farm to
Betz Family Winery
“There is something to be said about
knowing every barrel—it’s one of the few advantages
small wineries have,” Betz said recently. “I
know, by tasting, what is occurring in every barrel, and
which ones will be my problem children. ”
In five short years, Ben Smith and Gaye McNutt
put Cadence Winery on the lips of wine lovers everywhere,
and created a high demand for the tiny Seattle winery.
Canon de Sol
The 45-year-old Cruz sits in his small, white
office, reminiscing about the decade-long talks between
himself and childhood friend Charlie Hoppes. Those chats
led to the opening of Ca ñon de Sol.
Five Star Cellars
The Walla Walla native graduated from a carpentry program
at the local community college and started a career of “pounding
nails for a living,” working for a general contractor.
1991, Marie-Eve Gilla came to the United States from France
to work in an Oregon winery for a few months as an intern. She
did not plan to stay long, but 12 years later, Gilla is still
in the Northwest, introducing wines from Forgeron, a new
Walla Walla, WA winery.
(at bottom of Woodward page)
"It was luck that I came to Washington," Nicault recalled. "I
didn't really know there was so much wine made in the Northwest. Everyone hears
about California, but you don't hear of the little wineries in Washington making
such good wines."
Brett's beginning course in winemaking began
through volunteerism. He became a "cellar rat" to
several local winemakers, who taught him basic cellar skills.
"It does feel like we're an overnight
success," said Scott Williams, winemaker and son of
Kiona's founder. "We've gotten a lot of attention
recently, after making wine for 20 years. We haven't changed
much, but word of mouth slowly brought people to us.
L'Ecole No. 41
“You can’t raise babies on airplanes,” said
Clubb. “I knew in December of 1988 that my wife wanted
to return to Walla Walla. Having a family life was the motivating
factor in our move.”
Interview by Bob Woehler
Spring Valley Vineyards
In the land of Leonetti, L'Ecole and Woodward Canyon-all
longtime fixtures in the Walla Walla Valley-no one really
expected the winery newcomer to score so high out the gate.
Earl Jones passion for Spanish
wine began in the 1960s when he purchased his first bottle
of red wine, a Rioja, for about 88-cents.
Ellen R. Shapiro
"How're y'all doin'?" I turned around and was greeted by a Texas size
smile illuminating a well tanned, slender face with what I'd categorize as a
handlebar moustache minus the handles. Steven and I exchanged the glance we've
developed over many long road-trips to indicate that we had at the very least
found our entertainment for the day -- whatever the deficiencies of the wine,
this guy would clearly be the source of great storytelling material.
Belle Pente Vineyards & Winery
Brian and Jill O'Donnell's goal is straight forward: "We're
trying to make the best limited production, family-domaine
scale wines in Oregon," explains Brian. "We don't
want to be big, we like being small. We're almost at our
capacity, and now we're going to focus like crazy on quality. "
The Bergström family has a vision, and they are sticking
to it. “Our goal from the very beginning,” says
Josh Bergström, winemaker and vineyard manager, “has
been to craft the greatest possible wines we could. We
want to be leading the forefront of Pinot noir in Oregon
and America! ”
Terry & Ted
"We missed teaching, and the winery turned out to be more work than we imagined.
But it was absolutely worth it. It is the lifestyle we wanted."
"We set out to make great wines at Cristom,
and we are succeeding, one harvest at a time. -"
Dobbes Family Winery
It's all a little nail-biting," confesses
Joe, "but what is so exciting about what I am doing
now is that I have the chance to let the creative, entrepreneurial
spirit inside me out-to work for myself-which has been
a goal of mine as long as I've been in the business. "
"We use a very low percentage of new
oak barrels by New World standards - generally less than
20%. We do not want the influence of the wood to dominate
the wine or stand out in any way - we want to capture the
essence of the fruit, without masking it or manipulating
Elk Cove Vineyards
"I think the more you care about the
wines in your cellar," he comments, "the better
they become. "
“We get great color and extraction from the Red Mountain (Washington) fruit,” Cuneo
said. “We have to watch the tannins —we don’t want to bury
“We don’t manipulate our winemaking methods to produce a ‘sameness’ in
quality from year to year, or attempt to compete with the large producers by
making our wines appeal to a larger audience. "
& Cheryl Francis
Francis Tannahill Winery
Ask Sam and Cheryl Tannahill who makes the
wine for their new Francis Tannahill label and they answer
simultaneously—and with enthusiasm—“We
do!” What other answer could there be when you combine
two of Oregon’s finest Pinot noir winemakers in both
marriage and winemaking?
Ken Wright Cellars
& Mo Momtazi
It took seven years
for Mo Momtazi to find a chunk of land in the Willamette
Valley that reminded him of his childhood, where his grandparents
grew crops on lush farmland in Northern Iran. ------- Northern
Patricia Green Cellars
“I was ready to change my life,” Green
recalled. “I was burned out, fed up and tired with
the wine business. I don’t think people understand
how hard this work can be.”
Lynn Penner Ash
Penner Ash Wine Cellars
There is a passion for winemaking that runs really deeply
in me,” says Lyn Penner-Ash, “If I didn’t
have Ron around stopping me, I would spend all my time
here at the winery because I get so caught up in it all—I
constantly want to try something new, or to taste some
new blend—it’s just that I’m so excited
about what ’s going on and what we can do!”
Scott & Annie
Raptor Ridge Winery
" Our foggy ridge is ideally suited to a naturally cool winemaking
regime important in capturing delicate aromas and flavors. "
“We’re working with people who
are pushing the envelope,” says owner Dick Shea, “discovering
new things every vintage to make their wine better. You
have to constantly be on top of things—you can never
rest on your laurels. ”
“Where the fruit comes from is a big
deal to us,” Rosback explained. “We select
farmers who not only have pride in their work, but take
pride in the end product. Our producers have low yields,
high elevations and are able to ripen the fruit reliably. ”
If there is such a thing as the luck of the
Irish, winemaker David O'Reilly has found a pot of gold
underneath his Willamette Valley, Oregon rainbow.
In the early years running St. Innocent was almost like
a rollercoaster ride. Don
Making wine was not on Don Townshend’s radar when he moved to a small farming
community just north of Spokane in 1979.
It was the days of one- and two-room schoolhouses, coon-skin hats and hula-hoops.
The interview for the job took place on a bicycling trip. By the end of the
ride, Rick Small, owner of Woodward Canyon Winery in Walla Walla, WA hired
Kevin Mott to become the winery’s new winemaker.Chuck
by Andy Perdue
"I don't want to manage people. I want to manage wine," Chuck says. "When
we get to the point where we can't hug every barrel, we've gotten too big."
Ryan Patrick Vineyards
For Terry Flanagan, owner of Ryan Patrick Vineyards, growing grapes and producing
wine was a dream just waiting to be realized.
Seven Hills Winery
Winemaker Casey McClellan is the fourth generation in his family to work in
agriculture in Eastern Washington.
One of the hottest wines coming from the
Northwest is Syrah, and Doug McCrea, winemaker for McCrea
Cellars, believes he played a large role in the growing
popularity of the grape.
Owen Roe, O'Reilly's
If there is such a thing as the luck of the Irish, winemaker David O'Reilly
has found a pot of gold underneath his Willamette Valley, Oregon rainbow.