1.  Olsen Vineyards

Leif Olsen

www.obri.com

 

Olsen Vineyards are located in the East end of the Yakima Valley from north of Prosser to north of Benton City. The vineyards are planted on several different sites with a wide variety of slopes, aspects, and elevations. The first vines were planted in 1980 and the youngest will be planted in 2005. Varieties grown include: Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsaut, Petit Verdot, Grenache, and Malbec.

2.  Lonesome Springs Vineyard

Colin Morrell

www.lonesomespringranch.com

 

At Lonesome Spring Ranch (LSR) we strive to grow the best vinifera wine grapes of the highest possible quality. Our vineyard is located in the warm, well drained Rattlesnake Mountain bench near Benton City, Washington. We harvest by hand and by machine. Ours are the grapes of choice for small, medium and large wineries for the production of superior quality, award-winning wines.

Our vineyard team, lead by Francisco Salgado, has been working together at LSR for more than a decade. They bring hands-on experience, pride and consistency to vineyard production, as attested by the quality of wines produced by our grapes.

Owner Colin Morrell has been growing, managing and consulting for vineyards for more than 25 years. Because of the reputation LSR has earned over the years due to the perennial high quality of its fruit, many vineyard blocks are sold out, although some fruit is still available.

3.  McKinley Springs Vineyard

Rob Andrews

www.mckinleysprings.com

 

At McKinley Springs Winery, we’re committed to crafting wines of exceptional balance, flavor and value. Our estate wines come from our 2000 acre vineyard in Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills, an area acclaimed for its fine wines and unique location. The Horse Heaven Hills is bordered in the north by the Yakima hill, to the south by the Columbia River, and surrounded by the larger Columbia Valley appellation. The winds from the Columbia River protect against vine diseases and provide a cooling effect that concentrates fruit flavors, while the south facing slopes provide optimum growing conditions.

Since we own our vineyards, this gives us more quality control over the growing and production aspects of the business. We first planted in 1980 and today have over 200 different blocks of vineyards, the majority of which are on south-facing slopes ranging from 800 to 1200 feet. The soils are silt loam with a deep layer of broken basalt which controls water by absorbing excess moisture. There is granite rock throughout due to the Missoula glacial floods, which washed in rock from Montana during the last ice age.

We grow more than 20 different grape varieties and specialize in Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec, Merlot, Barbera, Chenin Blanc and Viognier. The arid conditions, winds and combination of cool winters and warm summers with extended sunlight hours lend a perfect climate for growing grapes.

Rob Andrews, our Grower, is continually searching for ways to improve the quality of our grapes. Interestingly, one of the original plantings from 1980, Cabernet Sauvignon, is still farmed.

4.  Stillwater Creek Vineyard

Ed Kelly

www.stillwatercreekvineyard.com

 

Stillwater Creek Vineyard is a 235 acre site on the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills.  Planted in 2000 on a steep, south-facing slope with one of the most diverse clone selections in Washington State, Stillwater Creek quickly has earned a reputation as one of the Columbia Valley’s top vineyards.

The site’s fractured rock and extreme southern exposure are ideal for reds, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.  White grapes are planted on a mixture of fractured rock and areas of fine sandy loam.

Temperatures during the growing season favor warm days and cool nights.  Grapes ripen beautifully under these conditions, enhanced by both hours of light per day during the summer and the total number of sunlight days from bud-break through harvest.

Stillwater Creek Vineyard is dedicated to growing high quality wine grapes through careful vineyard management and innovative clonal selection.   Sharing that vision is award-winning Washington winemaker Mike Januik, who began consulting on plant selection and vineyard design in 1999. Like many winemakers in the state, Mike believes the next leap in Washington wine quality will come through clonal selection; to that end, Stillwater Creek is planted with a variety of clones, including both Entav and Rauschedo selections. The four principal varieties planted at the vineyard – Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Chardonnay – represent 17 different clones.  The vineyard is a mix of 80% red, 20% white grapes.

5.  Conner Lee Vineyard

Tom Thorsen

www.connerleevineyards.com

 

Bill Conner and Rhoady Lee knew from the beginnning in the late 1980's that their mission and goal was clear:Be One of the Best Vineyards in Washington State. 

Over the last quarter century, through multiple major winter events, spring frosts, fall frosts, and replanting more than fifty percent of the vineyard, Conner and Lee persevered. Wines produced from their vineyards by thirty or more Washington State wineries have clearly distinguished this vineyard as one of the “Top Ten Vineyards in Washington.” 

AVA: Columbia Valley
Elevation: 1164' to 1085'
Slope: South 2-5%
Soils: Loamy fine sand to very fine sandy loam
Annual GDD: 2200-2800
Acres: 150
Major Varietals Grown: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Malbec, Merlot, Muscadelle, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Viognier
Onsite Manager: David Ayala
General Manager: Tom Thorsen

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