With it, we will begin producing a new estate-focused line-up of wines, in addition to the ones we have all grown to love!
Rockgarden Vineyard was planted in 2007 by Nina Buty with the assistance of famed viticulturalist Dr. Phil Freese. It is named for the famous cobblestones formed by an ancient riverbed in the southern part of the Walla Walla Valley and is uniquely planted perpendicular to the angle of the sun to shade the fruit zone during hottest days of the year. It is planted to Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marsanne and Roussanne. We plan to add a half-acre block of Viognier for Syrah co-fermentation, as well as a white wine blend.
The vineyard was certified organic by Oregon Tilth on October 15th, 2010 and has been continuously farmed organically since it was planted. We value organic and sustainable farming and winemaking practices, and will continue to farm to organic standards. Rockgarden is densely planted, requiring a European tractor to fit through the rows for cultivation. This high-density planting allows for lower yield per plant, further ensuring ultra-premium quality and intensity of fruit.
The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater
THE WINES: CONCRETE MAMA, WONDERFUL NIGHTMARE, MERLOT
As the country’s newest AVA, The Rocks of Milton - Freewater has received its fair share of attention in the wine world.
Sprouting from heavy cobblestone and fractured basalt, the world-class vineyards of “The Rocks District” have no comparison. Wine Spectator calls this AVA “perhaps America’s most distinctive example of terroir.” 12,000 – 15,000 years ago, massive floods swept through the Pacific Northwest caused by ruptures in the ice dam that held Montana’s glacial Lake Missoula.
These floods left behind cobblestone and pebbles made of basalt, forming a 12-square mile alluvial fan of 3,770 acres. The chemistry of this soil is different from that of its surroundings, and the coarse landscape allows for excessive drainage causing vines to cast roots far deeper than in silty soil. The stones heat up during the day, absorbing the sun’s energy and sending it deep into the land.
The heat also radiates upwards, warming grape clusters day and night. Our 18-acre Estate vineyard is a perfect example of the geology the area is known for — studded with beautiful basalt cobblestones and bedded in rich soils. It is currently in development, with planting overseen by Napa/Sonoma grape-growing legend, Phil Coturri.
THE WINES: CURIOSITAS, THE RAMPARTS, GASPARD, STANLEY GROOVY
An earthy and complex spot in Washington's smallest AVA.
The unique soils and microclimates of Red Mountain, coupled with Eastern Washington’s infamous diurnal flux, bear fruits with a true certainty of place. This is typically the warmest growing region in Washington, with daytime averages of 90 degrees and lows dropping below 50. These fluctuations in temperatures promote sugar accumulation with the day’s heat while cool nights conjure balanced acidity. Red varietals dominate on this AVA’s sweltering slopes, and it is well-known for its Rhone varietals, but we also find a particular thrill in the uniquely-suited Spanish and Portuguese fruits it produces. We have a lot of fun in this bright spot and that joy truly shows in the wines we’ve created from it.
THE WINES: CHEYS, LIP STINGER, MARTIN’S GOLD, CRUEL SUMMER
This diverse growing region is home to many of Washington’s oldest vines, as well as many of the other fruits the state is so well-known for: apples, cherries, pears, hops, and raspberries.
Low elevations and consistent winds through the Yakima valley combine to cool fruit even in the warmest of weather, giving fruit from this site a fresh acidity and crispness ideal for our style of wines. Yakima Valley was Washington’s first federally-recognized AVA and has had time to spread its wings, in a sense, with more than 40 grape varietals flourishing from the banks of the Yakima River to the hot tops of loamy rises deposited by the Missoula Floods.