It takes an incredible amount of effort to produce outstanding grapes, so we at DeLille Cellars would like to thank these dedicated viticulturalists. We thank them not only for their first rate contributions to our own wines, but for all they have done for the Washington wine industry. Everyone here regularly toasts their health and goodwill because we couldn't do it without them.
DeLille Cellars long-term goals have always been to create our own vineyard, so that we have the proper control of the fruit we use to make our wine. Ultimately, this control is vital to making fine wine. We also believe that it is imperative to wait for the finest vineyard site opportunities.
Grand Ciel in the Red Mountain AVA is DeLille Cellars' first owned vineyard. In partnership with Jim Holmes of Ciel du Cheval Vineyard (see below), we developed this site as a "state-of-the-art", no expense spared vineyard. Grand Ciel Vineyard was designed to produce great vintages with the best of both worlds - namely concentration and hang-time complexity. With the French grape clones we chose; along with high density planting and traditional Guyot-trellising, this vineyard slows everything down. Our first harvest from Grand Ciel Vineyard was the 2004 vintage.
Dick Boushey's vineyard is near Sunnyside. It is a cooler site and therefore perfect for merlot, which often ripens too quickly at other sites. Because Dick combines his cool site with lower yields and a stingy use of water, his merlot harvests well into October. This long hang-time gives the wines great expression and depth. Dick Boushey is also producing some of the best syrah in the state as well, which is an important part of our Doyenne.
Jim Holmes is the owner of this great Red Mountain vineyard. Here, over 20 year-old vines of cabernet sauvignon and merlot produce wines with the best grip and structure anywhere. This vineyard has always been a major part of the Chaleur Estate. The added bonus is that Jim's vineyard is also a Grand Cru vineyard for Syrah. It is the dominant force for our Doyenne.
The vineyard, planted in 1962, has the second oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines in Washington State. In 2009, Harrison Hill became part of the Snipes Mountain AVA (lying within the boundaries of the Yakima Valley AVA), Washington State’s 10th official viticultural area. Snipes Mountian AVA is distinctive with an elevated topography and unique soils not found elsewhere in the Yakima Valley AVA. Snipes Mountain is the second smallest AVA in Washington, bigger only than Red Mountain.
Owner Steve Newhouse makes certain the yields are of the lowest in the state. The resulting wines are complex, expressive and exhibit "Somewhereness". This, coupled with its elegant black cherry signature, compels us to bottle it as a single-vineyard wine. Five acres of cabernet, merlot and cabernet franc are grown here.
This vineyard is perhaps the most respected in the state. Wine & Spirits Magazine has named Klipsun Vineyard one of the Top 25 vineyards in the world. On your first visit to Klipsun Vineyard, you can see that this is one of the best -maintained vineyards - a tribute to David and Patricia Gelles and their vineyard manager, Julia Kock. Klipsun cabernet and merlot are famous for their superior ripeness and jammy plum nuances. They also produce some of the most ripe and powerful sauvignon blanc in Washington. (klipsunvineyard.com)
Sagemoor historically has played a lead role in the Washington State wine industry. Todd Cameron, vineyard manager, now carries on that tradition. Simply stated, Sagemoor provides us with the oldest and some of the finest sauvignon blanc vines. The wines from here tend to have a nice combination of power and crisp, natural acidity. (sagemoorfarms.com)
Stillwater Creek is a family owned vineyard on the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills in Washington State. The Thomas Alberg family has combined the talents of two of the most experienced people in our industry with winemaker Mike Januik and vineyard manager Jerry Bookwalter. The vineyard is distinguished by its unique soil composition, a combination of sandy to silty loam mixed with large amounts of fractured basalt. The vineyards are south facing and are planted on some of the steepest slopes in Washington- up to 22 % grade in many parts of the vineyard. (stillwatercreekvineyard.com)
Red Willow vineyard is one of the oldest vineyards in the state with Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted in 1973 that are still in production today. Red Willow is the results of 4 generations of farming dating back to the 1920's growing potatoes alfalfa and hay. In 1971 Mike Sauer enlisted renowned WSU viticulturist Dr. Walter Clore to start planting wine grape on the slopes where his other crops wouldn’t grow. Here the elevation is at 1,300 ft. which places it above the Missoula Floods and escapes the deep soils that it created. Here the soils are poorer ancient soils which as Mike discovered, is perfect for wine grapes. (redwillowvineyard.com)