You may recognize the photo above. It was the day we harvested our first estate grapes and we’ve shared this moment quite a lot over the years. Those smiles were genuine. This is a tough business and we were thrilled to literally pick the fruits of our labor… from the vines surrounding our house at our small farm on the north side of Walla Walla.

The day started before dawn. The kids came out, helped to raise a few of the bird nets and made the ceremonial first picks before they had to leave for school.

The win was not just ours. We’d hired 2 college-age brothers to be our “manual herbacide” through the summer, hoeing and weeding through the heat and dust. We also had our tasting room leaders, Lisa and Carl, on hand to help… primarily pulling bird nets off of the vines ahead of the true heros of the day: the men and women of the vineyard crew we brought in to do the highly skilled work of picking the grapes… with precision, speed, and an eye for what to use and what to leave. Truly, with hand-picked grapes, the first sorting takes place in the vineyard!

It’s a very unique vineyard site. We often see the largest diurnal shift (the change from the day’s low temp to the high) in the Walla Walla Valley. Ideal in many respects… but challenging when extreme weather is at play. It makes for a gorgeous, Old World style wine with great acidity and flavor. Although, there have been some years when those temperature extremes have kept us from being able to havest the vintage.

Typically, this fruit will be used in our Sally Mac Cabernet Sauvignon, which is blended from grapes grown at this and our Wheat Ridge Estate Vineyard, as well as Les Collines and other Walla Walla Valley Partner Vineyards.

To mark this special event, though, we bottled a small amount of this fruit all by itself. It is a very unique and superbly delicious wine. Cellar worthy, food friendly, remarkably well balanced. We only have 37 cases of this wine and I’m already wishing we had more. Cheers everyone. Enjoy! – Jen