Whitman Cellars produced traditional Bordeaux and Rhone style wines, currently offering Viognier, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, a proprietary blend called "Narcissa" and a port style wine.
Whitman Cellars closed in January 2011.
Whitman Cellars was founded in 1998, when owners John Edwards and Larry & Sally Thomason crushed two barrels of Merlot and one of Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2001, Whitman Cellars opened a tasting room in downtown Walla Walla and the winery won several awards for their 99 vintage wines.
In 2002, Steve Lessard joined the winery as winemaker and the winery built a new winery facility across from Canoe Ridge Winery. Steve came to Whitman from California, where he made wine at winerys such as Chalone and Stags Leap Wine Cellars. In 1996 he moved to Washington State and worked at Hedges for six vintages. He draws on methods he learned in producing Stags Leap Wine Cellars' famous Cask 23 blend in making the Whitman Cellars wines.
Whitman Cellars Sources grapes From the Following Vineyards:
Seven Hills Vineyard
One of the best known vineyards in the Northwest, Seven Hills is located on the southern end of the Walla Walla appellation. Seven Hills has a tremendous record of producing some of the best wines in the country. Its vast size (about 170 acres) and intense diversity produce a multitude of vinifera varieties. It also shows unique terroir differences among single varieties planted in different microclimates within the vineyard. In addition to Syrah and Merlot, we produce from Seven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon grown down in the rocks of the ancient riverbed as well as those grown from the higher, sandy, Southern-facing slopes.
Located just South of Walla Walla, this vineyard is lowest in elevation and is situated on very porous, fine, sandy soil. The excellent drainage capabilities of the soil make it a premier site for rich and intense Cabernet Sauvignon as well as Merlot.
Les Colene Vineyard
An exposed site at about 900 feet in elevation, and East of Walla Walla, the Les Colene Vineyard is an excellent site for Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Soils are a deep porous sandy loess with some rock.
Situated on the rocky ancient riverbed, the Waliser Vineyard produces distinctive floral Cabernet Franc.
Cougar Crest Vineyard
At the base of the Seven Hills Vineyard, the Cougar Crest Vineyard produce Viognier and Syrah of stand alone quality.
This new vineyard is a real gem, situated on the rocks of the ancient riverbed, trained on a VSP system, yielding about 1.5 tons per acre and producing beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon.
A fertile site close to the Les Colene Vineyard, the Spofford Station Vineyard is an exceptional Syrah Vineyard with deep sandy loess and excellent management practices.
Red Mountain Vineyard (Red Mountain AVA)
The Red Mountain Vineyard produces great fruit. Our winemaker, after six years at Hedges on Red Mountain, will continue to keep a few tons of Cabernet Sauvignon for our port style wine. He has used a little to blend with our table wines this year with excellent results. The Red Mountain Vineyard is a very warm site on very porous, sandy loess producing big, forward, intense wines.