This is how we make our wine.

While the steps below are only a glimpse into the process and time it takes to produce a great product, we hope you find this both interesting and enlightening.

Step 1: Planning

The first step of our winemaking process is to plan. Grape variety and their anticipated yields must be thought of well in advance to produce the highest quality wines. Weather monitoring and vineyard sampling help to inform our vineyard decisions, which in turn determines how many pounds of fruit we will likely yield and ultimately what wines will be available that vintage. Additional factors like weather, disease and vine age also play a key role. Only after all this consideration do we finally pick our first grapes.

Step 2: Harvest

We hand pick from local and estate vineyards, no funny business.

Step 3: Crush

 Once the fruit comes in from the vineyards, we immediately destem and crush the fruit leaving only the berries. Depending on the style of wine we are making we may or may not include skins in the fermentation. If we are including skins, the crushed grape slurry is fed directly to its fermentation vessel; if we are not including skins the crushed grape slurry will be pressed into juice and fermented.  Generally speaking white wines have no skin contact and reds have full skin contact. Rosé wines are red grapes without skin contact and “orange” wines are white wines with skin contact

Step 4: Primary Fermentation

We will then send the processed fruit to the fermentation tanks, where we will add our proprietary nutrient blend to ensure a healthy and complete alcoholic fermentation. We typically add a laboratory “cultured” yeast that has been selected to highlight that specific grape varietal. Our whites and Rosés will steadily ferment over the next 2-3 weeks at a cool 53°F. This will help to lock up all of the beautiful aroma that white wines are known for.  Our reds and “oranges” will ferment on skins between 70°F and 90°F.  This results in a much faster fermentation but also allows for higher levels of alcohol and extraction from the skins.

Step 5: Secondary Fermentation

For the on skin fermentations, after all the sugars are fermented into alcohol by the yeast we drain off all the liquid wine.  We then press the skins, seeds and solids to retain more wine. After this is done these solids will be returned to the vineyard. The pressed wine will be stored in oak and undergo secondary fermentation (often called “malolactic fermentation”) during which a beneficial bacteria will convert any of the malic acid present into lactic acid. This process will reduce the sourness and harshness of the wine. The oak presence will facilitate healthy bacteria populations and impart distinct flavors. Most white wines will not undergo this process.

Step 6: Aging and Maturation

We will then age in oak for 8-14 months for reds and 3-6 for oaked whites. Some whites and roses’ receive no oak aging and are sometimes aged in stainless steel vessels.  Our Winemaker personally selects the oak profile for each wine and tailors them to highlight that vintage and varietal. We will periodically monitor the chemistry of the wine and adjust when necessary. During this period the wine will gain much of its oak profile and will evolve from a rocky tannic experience to a more mellow and approachable tone.

Step 7: Fining and Bottling

We will remove the wine from oak once it has matured and begin fining and clarification. This means adding ingredients that will make the wine stable in bottle and help make an overall more consistent and appealing end product. Our wines are both heat and cold stable and have been tasted and adjusted by hand to deliver a high quality product. Once our staff is certain the product meets our rigorous standards we begin the bottling process by sterile filtering it to remove any potential microorganisms.  The wine will undergo a final resting period to recover from the shock of the bottling process after which the wine will be released to you!

Try our wine.

Now that you’ve read about how we like to do things, give our wine a try and let us know what you think!

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Come visit us!

Come visit us at our tasting room located in downtown Kennewick's Public Market. Or, stop by for a tour of our growing facility and chat in-person about how we can help you enjoy your Washington wine experience.