All of our grapes come from Washington State!!
For growing premium grapes it is essential to find the right site and grower who matches you own passion for a premium wine. We are strong believers that the great wines start in the vineyard. Its not easy finding the Italian varieties we use to make our wine. Several times throughout the season we make trips to the vineyard and check on progress. Throughout fall, we sample and taste the fruit and watch the vines develop.
We source grapes from the following AVAs:
Select a Washington State vineyard below for more info and photos:
There are four main things to consider when storing wine: temperature, light and keeping the cork wet.
Temperature:Both red and white wine likes to be kept cool. 55°F is ideal, but more important than this magic number is that the temperature doesn’t fluctuate. Better a constant 65°F than 40° one day and 80° the next.
Light: bright light and sunlight can damage wine as it ages in bottle, so the darker the room, the better. Total darkness is easily achieved by simply closing the lid of the case or the closet door.
Keep the cork wet:laying your bottles down on their sides keeps the wine in contact with the cork, which in turn prevents the cork from drying out. Dry corks contract, allowing air to pass into the wine and wine to leak out. If air gets in, it renders the wine dull and lifeless and it will taste more like old sherry than wine.
Aging our wine:
One thing to consider when aging a wine is what kind of wine is it? Our Rosé and Dolcetto are both meant to be consumed young. Rosés are typically consumed the same year of release or within the next year. Our Dolcetto should be consumed within 2-3 years after release.
Both are typically made in vessels like stainless steel or neutral barrels which keep the wine fresh and allow true varietal character to develop. Freshness is the key for these wines to pop.
Our Bravo Rosso and Barbera should age very nicely and continue to develop for 4-5 years. Barbera’s tend to be big on fruit flavor, but low on tannins. The grape also tends to hold onto its acidity, giving it a naturally fruity yet rustic character.
Our Nebbiolo, with its natural tannins, should age nicely and continue to develop for 8-10 years.
I believe with its level of acidity and methods of winemaking, the wine should age 15+ years.
Unique varieties grown in Washington state.
We source all of our grapes from eastern Washington vineyards. For growing premium grapes, it is essential to find the right site and grower who matches your own passion for a premium wine. We are strong believers that the great wines start in the vineyard. It’s not easy finding the Italian varieties we use to make our wine. Several times throughout the season, we make trips to the vineyard and check on progress. Throughout fall, we sample and taste the fruit and watch the vines develop.
We source grapes from the following appellations:
Red Mountain: Vinagium Vineyards
We have sourced Barbera from Vinagium vineyards our first three vintages and will for the foreseeable future. Their vineyard manager, Damon LaLonde, has a magical touch with grapes. His attention to detail only adds to creating a perfect vintage.
“Red Heaven” is the main vineyard site for Vinagium. It sits on a gentle slope between Hedges Family Estate and Col Solare Winery. The style of wine produced from Red Heaven are bold with fruit and body, enfolded in silky tannins. The old saying “fist in a velvet glove” comes to mind. Red Heaven offers sweeping views of the Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills and Rattlesnake Mountain. On clear days, Mt. Adams can be viewed from our block. Wines produced from Red Heaven Vineyard: 2009 Barbera, 2010 Barbera
With its cool night and long hot summers, the Wahluke Slope allows Italian varieties a long growing season which are essential for complex flavors to compete with the natural acids in the grapes. Most Italian varieties retain a certain amount of their acidity. If the grapes are not allowed to ripen, the acids tend to be the dominate flavors.
We have sourced Barbera, Nebbiolo and Dolcetto from the Gilbert family for our first two vintages. At their “24K” vineyard near Mattawa, Washington, the Barbera and Nebbiolo grow side by side. This site has sandy loam soil which offers good drainage and allows the roots to grow deep down into the various soil layers. Wines produced using Gilbert Vineyards: 2009 Nebbiolo, 2009 Bravo Rosso, 2010 Barbera Rosé, 2010 Dolcetto
Stone Tree vineyard:
Tedd Wildman, the vineyard manager for Stone Tree, is one of the top growers here in Washington State.
From his perfect south-facing vineyard, Stone Tree offers excellent sun exposure. It is one of the highest in elevation for Wahluke Slope and offers a long growing season without much fear of a frost towards the end of harvest. We are currently getting limited quantities of Barbera and Primitivo.
Yakima Valley: Lonesome Spring Ranch
Lonesome Spring Ranch is managed by Colin Morrell, the vineyard manager for Hogue Cellars. The vineyard is located north of Benton City and is just a stone’s throw from Red Mountain.
Elevation: 890-1000 ft
Slope: Mostly South and SE
Soil: Kootenay silt loam 2-8% slope and starbuck 5-15% slope.
They are a new vineyard for us in 2011. We currently source our Orange Muscat, Barbera and Dolcetto from LSR.
And now a little bit about my wine making style:
We are a passion-driven winery wanting to make the best Italian style wines here in Washington state. Finding these varieties hasn’t been that easy. The process for making great wine truly starts in the vineyard. As a wine maker, it’s my job to not “screw the grapes up” or “overmake” the wine. In addition, it’s up to the winemaker to keep the wine clean in the sense it won’t spoil once bottled. Our craft as winemakers are put to the test in more challenging or difficult vintages such as 2010 and 2011.
All of our grapes come from eastern Washington vineyards. Many of the vineyards are relatively new plantings, many just on their 4th-5th leaf of production. What is nice about these vineyard sites is that many of the growers are established viticulturists who really know that their sites are ideal for the particular varieties we use: good in the sense that they know their soil type, aspect and growing season will work for these varieties, thus producing a premium product.
Why Italian style wine?
One of the interesting things about using Italian varieties to make wine is that the grapes tend to hold onto their natural acidity more than other varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. The acids from these varieties tend to make a wine that is crisp and refreshing once released. In addition, varieties such as Nebbiolo can be aged for a considerable number of years due to the natural acids. My passion for Italian style wines began early on. Being raised as an Italian-American, my family had wine with dinner. It was part of the meal. This refreshing character found in the varieties we use, Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo for example, complement food meals extremely well. In addition, by “Italian style” we mean we tend to use less new oak and more neutral vessels to allow the fruity characters to play more of an important role. Many of our barrels are 5-6 years old, allowing the fruity esters of Primitivo or Barbera to be more upfront than other wine styles, where oak– often too much oak– is the dominant “spice” than the variety itself.