Washington

Washington State is a premium wine producing region located in the northwest corner of the United States with over 36,000 (31,000 vinifera) acres of vineyards.  Incredibly diversified climate and ideal geography offer perfect conditions for producing quality wines, year in and year out.   Grapes are Washington’s fourth largest fruit crop.

Washington is the nation’s second largest wine producer and rated among the world’s top wine regions though it is a relatively young wine industry.   According to Washingtonwines.org, the first wine grapes were planted at Fort Vancouver by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1925.  By 1910, wine grapes were growing in many areas of the state.  Hybrid varieties arrived in nurseries in the Puget Sound Region as early as 1854, and by 1860 wine grapes were planted in the Walla Walla Valley.

While grapes were being grown in Washington, it was not until large scale irrigation from runoff of the melting snows of the Cascade Mountains, was winemaking in the east kicked into high gear in the Yakima Valley. As Italian and German varietals began to be planted in the Yakima and Columbia Valleys, wine grape growing rapidly expanded.  While prohibition in 1920 may have put a damper on commercial production, it created an interest in home winemaking.  As Prohibition ended, the first bonded winery in the northwest was founded on Puget Sound’s Stretch Island, A few short years later in 1938 there were 42 wineries to be found throughout the state.

Large plantings through the efforts of early producers like Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Winery in the 1960’s  attracted the attention of wine writer and historian, Leon Adams and famed winemaker Andre’ Tchelistcheff, who in turn gave their stamp of approval to this new area .  Rapid winery expansion occurred in the 70’s and continues today.

To promote their wines, Washington State founded the Washington Wine Commission, a marketing and trade organization in 1987.  The Commission also established a Washington Wine Quality Alliance in 1999 to develop industry standards in winemaking and labeling.  Washington is the first state in the U.S. to define standards for reserve wines.  In 1999, the Washington Wine Quality Alliance (WWQA) was formed by a diverse committee of wine industry members within the state to spearhead development of industry standards in winemaking and labeling.  Under the WWQA umbrella, the nation’s first definition of the term “reserve” was defined.   In Washington this will translate to no more than 3,000 cases or 10% of a wineries’ production as a reserve wine and indicates the winemaker’s designation of this wine as higher quality than most wines from the winery.

Wines labeled as being from Washington State must be 95% from the state or a Washington American Viticultural Area (AVA) 85% or the label must identify the percentage of wine from each source.  Varietal labeling will require that wines contain at least 75% of that varietal.  In addition, the generic use of Champagne, Burgundy, Bordeaux and Chablis on labels will be disbanded.  Participation in the WWQA by Washington wineries is voluntary and began with the 2000 vintage.  Wineries following WWQA guidelines are identified by use of the WWQA logo.

Washington produces more than 30 different wine grape varieties about 52 percent white to 48 percent red in its 14 different AVA’s (American Viticultural Areas – the TTB {Alcohol, Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau} defines an AVA as “a delimited grape-growing region distinguishable by geographic features {in order to} allow vintners and consumers to attribute a given quality, reputation, or other characteristic of a wine made from grapes grown in an area to its geographical origin.”)

The AVA’s are:

  1. Puget Sound – offers a temperate climate with rare freezes and long mild and dry summers. The core of this AVA has a drier and sunnier growing season that many of the classic wine regions of Europe.  Precipitation averages about 15 inches, mostly falling in the winter, with a growing season of over 180 days.  Madeline Angevine, Siegerebbe and Muller-Thurgau are the predominant varietals and Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir seem to do well here, too.
  2. Columbia Gorge – includes areas in Washington State and Oregon; it is located sixty miles east of Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington. The Columbia Gorge Wine Region is defined by the Columbia River Gorge, a narrow passage that marks the dramatic transition from eastern desert to cool maritime as the Columbia River cuts it way through the Cascades to the Pacific.  The region encompasses the corridor flanking the river in both Washington and Oregon and includes the Columbia Gorge and the southwestern part of the Columbia Valley American Viticultural Areas (AVA) .   The different microclimates are perfect for growing every grape from Albarino to Zinfandel.   As you travel from east to west, the rainfall increases while the sunshine decreases , dramatically.  Eastern vineyards have a continental high desert climate with just 10 inches of rain per year to ripen varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel and Barbera.   Western vineyards have a cool marine climate where it rains 40 inches a year.    This is a haven for cool climate varietals like Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling.  Other varietals grown in the Columbia Gorge include Albarino, Aglianico, Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Dolcetto, Gamay, Grenache, Gruner Veltliner, Lemberger, Malbec, Marsanne, Merlot, Mourvedre, Muscat, Nebbiolo, Pinot Blanc, Primitivo, Rousanne, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Tempranillo, Viognier, White Riesling and Zinfandel.
  3. Columbia Valley – is Washington’s largest viticultural region, it represents one third of Washington Sates land and contains the AVA’s of Horse Heaven Hills, Rattlesnake Hills, Red Mountain, Snipes Mountain, Yakima, Wahluke Slope and  Walla Walla within its designation.  The vast size of this zone allows for a number of different micro and meso climates.  Merlot is the most widely planted grape by Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Syrah.  Their growing season runs about 180-200 days.
  4. Lake Chelan – is the 11th AVA located completely within the large Columbia Valley AVA. However,     Lake Chelan has a higher elevation and more temperate climate than the more southern AVA’s contained in the Columbia Valley.  The AVA includes the southern and eastern portions of land surrounding the lake and shares a northern border with the Columbia Valley.  The soil of Lake Chelan is distinctive due to the ice age glaciers that formed the lake.  This AVA is distinguished by “lake effect” which creates mild and favorable temperatures, resulting in a longer growing season and reduced risk of frost.
  5. Horse Heaven Hills – is bounded in the north by the Yakima Valley appellation and on the south by the Columbia River. Located in the Southeast, this area represents approximately 26% of Washington’s total grape production.  Predominant varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling and Syrah with 37 total varieties planted.  The zones proximity to the Columbia River creates wind which moderates temperature extremes.  Elevations range from 1800 feet in the north to 300 feet in the south.  Grapes have been grown here since 1972.
  6. Red Mountain – was established in 2001 on the eastern edge of the Yakima Valley. It is  not really a mountain, but instead, a steep slope with a southwest exposure near the Yakima River.  Primary grape varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Sangiovese, Malbec and Petit Verdot.  The area has a desert clime with average rainfall of five inches a year.  During the growing season daytime temperatures average about 90 while night temperatures drop to below 50F.
  7. Snipes Mountain – was named after rancher Ben Snipes, who in the 1850’s bought a house and started a cattle operation on the Yakima Valley Mountain north of the Yakima River. It became known as Snipes Mountain.  Snipes Mountain AVA became Washington State’s 10th official AVA in 2009.  It includes its prominent landmark and its eastern neighbor, Harrison Hill as well.  Snipes Mountain is the 2nd smallest AVA in Washington.  Just slightly larger than Red Mountain.  Vineyards have been planted here since 1914 and Washington State’s second oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines have been producing grapes here for more than 40 years.  30 other different grape varieties also find a home here.    The uniqueness of Snipes Mountain comes from its elevated topography and unique soils found nowhere else in the Yakima Valley AVA.

Snipes Mountain was named after rancher Ben Snipes, who in the 1850’s bought a house and started a cattle operation on the Yakima Valley Mountain north of the Yakima River.  It became known as Snipes Mountain.  Snipes Mountain AVA became Washington State’s 10th official AVA in 2009.  It includes its prominent landmark and its eastern neighbor, Harrison Hill as well.  Snipes Mountain is the 2nd smallest AVA in Washington; Just slightly larger than Red Mountain.  Vineyards have been planted here since 1914 and Washington State’s second oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines have been producing grapes here for more than 40 years.  30 other different grape varieties also find a home here. The uniqueness of Snipes Mountain comes from its elevated topography and unique soils found nowhere else in the Yakima Valley AVA.

  1. Wahluke Slope – is bounded by the Columbia River to the west and south, by the Saddle Mountains on the north and on the east by the Hanford Reach National Monument. The Wahluke Slope AVA lies entirely within the Columbia Valley        The most important grape varieties of the zone include Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. The zone represents almost 20% of the total wine acreage in the state.  Wahluke Slope has one of the driest and warmest climates in the state.
  2. Walla Walla Valley – grape growing began here in the 1850’s as Italian immigrants began planting grapes and producing wine. Cabernet Sauvignon is the leader here while Merlot, Chardonnay and Syrah are other widely planted varietals.  A wide range of other varietals including Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Grenache, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Viognier also find a home here.  Precipitation averages about 12.5 inches while the growing season runs from 190 to 220 days.
  3. Yakima Valley – Yakima Valley was Washington State’s first federally recognized appellation. Today this AVA contains over one-third of the state’s vineyards.  The most    widely planted grapes in this zone are Chardonnay followed by Merlot and then Cabernet Sauvignon.  Riesling and Syrah do also represent significant acreage. Precipitation averages 8 inches and the growing season is approximately 190 days.
  4. Rattlesnake Hills – is located approximately four miles southeast of Yakima and offers varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Riesling. Rattlesnake Hills AVA lies within both the Columbia Valley and Yakima Valley Appellations.  The zone begins at 850 feet and rises to 3085 feet, making it higher in elevation than the surrounding Yakima Valley region.  Vineyards tend to be located on airy ridges and terraces thus irrigating late spring and early fall frosts and winter kill.
  5. Naches Heights – located on a volcanic plateau west of Yakima town in Washington, becomes the state’s 12th
  6. Ancient Lakes of the Columbia Valley – In the dramatically sparse landscape of Washington’s Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley AVA, scoured and scarred by the titanic forces of the ancient Missoula Floods, all that grows without human intervention is bunchgrass and sagebrush. And yet, despite the desolate beauty of its high windswept plateaus, sheer basalt cliffs, severe coulee drops, wine grapes are being grown here, and thanks to the attention of focused wine-farmers and winemakers, these grapes are producing some of the best-known wines in Washington and the Northwest.

It is located within the Columbia Valley appellation and includes the towns of Quincy and George, with most of the appellation in Grant county, while portions lay in Douglas and Kittitas counties of WA. The three lakes that comprise Ancient Lake are at an elevation of 821 feet, one of the lowest areas of the appellation. Interstate 90 runs through the middle of the growing region.

The appellation is bounded by the Columbia River to the west; the Winchester Wasteway to the east; the Beezeley Hills to the north and the Frenchman Hills to the south. Elevations range from highs of 1,600 in the north to 1,900 feet in the south with considerably lower lying areas in the middle.

  1. Lewis-Clark Valley – According to Washington Wines.org. “Lewis-Clark Valley was established in 2016.  It is formed by the Snake and Clearwater rivers, the Lewis-­‐Clark Valley AVA consists of canyon side and bench lands and is 306,658 acres in size.  About 72% (219,838 acres) of the Lewis-­‐Clark Valley AVA is located in Idaho, the rest in Washington.

Known as the “banana belt,” the Lewis-­‐Clark Valley is known to be a temperate climate within the colder surrounding regions-­‐-­‐this produces high quality fruit trees such as peaches, apples, wine and table grapes. Currently, the Lewis-­‐Clark Valley AVA is home to 16 vineyards growing more than 81 acres of grapes. The AVA is be the first and only AVA in Idaho or Washington to be nestled in the unique mountainous backbone of northern Idaho, the Bitterroot Mountains.

◦14 varieties of red wine grapes and nine varieties of white wine grapes are currently grown and sold in the vineyards of the AVA.

◦The geology of the AVA has good planting areas that are easy to develop and contain air drainage characteristics, ideal for wine grapes. They also contain steep sides with shallow stony surficial cover for more classic and exotic vineyard sites◦ The Lewis-­‐Clark AVA is Washington’s fourth cross-­‐state AVA (others include Columbia Valley, Columbia Gorge and Walla Walla Valley)The Lewis-Clark Valley AVA’s soil is comprised of decomposing perennial grasses and grass roots with capacity to hold water. The majority of soils contain loess, or wind-deposited, nutrient-rich silt. The region has good planting areas that are easy to develop and contains air drainage characteristics that are ideal for wine grapes. It also contains steep sides within shallow, stony surficial coverage for both classic and exotic vineyard sites.

 

Pacific Rim & Co is: Pacific Rim,  Rainstorm, Silver Totem, Thick-Skinned etc. brands all designed to be leaders in their categories and created to inspire brand loyalty. We bring HOT brands to the HOTTEST categories.

Our wines inspire our customers with their affordable quality. Our brands excite our customers with differentiated programs. And our online efforts engage our customers with industry leading concepts.

Our mission statement is simple:

We get people hooked on Pacific Northwest wines by consistently delivering really good wines, meaningful brands and fresh, new ideas.

Our goal is to continually elevate the perception of Northwest wines while delivering the highest quality at the most affordable price points. Our success is rooted in artful winemaking and diligent vineyard management. And we create innovative and meaningful brand experiences that convert our customers into brand loyalists.

We’re Pacific Rim & Co.  A VERY different and dynamic wine company.

 

PACIFIC RIM

First released by Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard in 1992, Pacific Rim Dry Riesling quickly gained a loyal following among Riesling lovers. Known for its fresh and bright characteristics, the wine was a welcome alternative to over-oaked, one-dimensional white wines. As the American palate evolved in recent years toward wines with greater complexity and crisper acidity, the popularity of Pacific Rim Dry Riesling grew.

Demand and enthusiasm for Pacific Rim Dry Riesling continued to gain momentum — and the excitement around the wine inspired a radical idea… the creation a winery exclusively dedicated to Riesling. In August of 2006, a small band of Bonny Doon expats moved to the Northwest from California with a common desire to craft the best Riesling in America… thus, Pacific Rim became its own winery.  In 2010 the Mariani family purchased Pacific Rim.

At Pacific Rim, we are passionate about Riesling (in fact, nearly 90% of Pacific Rim’s production is comprised of Riesling wines); we are passionate about crafting world-class Riesling; and we are passionate about extolling the wondrous virtues of Riesling. Explore our website and — if you haven’t already had the pleasure — try our wines. If you’re not presently a Riesling zealot, we’re certain that you, too, will soon discover the marvels of our favorite variety…Riesling.

At Pacific Rim, we are committed to walking the walk regarding sustainable practices…no corporate “green washing” here. We believe that making beautiful wines should not compromise the beauty of our planet.

  • Banned non-sustainable vineyard practices, from hard herbicides to heavy watering
  • Founder and active member of Wine Wise, a Washington State wine producers’ sustainability group
  • Founder and leader of a sustainability grape growers group
  • Winery built to optimize electrical and water usage efficiency
  • Exclusively use wild yeasts — no commercial yeasts
  • Switched to low weight glass to reduce our glass use and our carbon footprint
  • We do not bottle any wines above 100ppm total Sulfites — 1/3 of the legal limit
  • We compost 100% of our pomace weight (a bi-product of grape crush)
  • All promotional materials are printed on post- consumer waste/recycled paper

Riesling Zealotry

Why are we obsessed with Riesling? Riesling simply is the most versatile, complex and food-friendly of all the noble grapes. If you enjoy discovering new wines and inspiring your palate, then Riesling is your ideal wine. No other varietal can be crafted to express so many different and wondrous characteristic — from bone dry with floral aromas to dessert sweet with spicy aromas. There’s no end to Riesling’s versatility.

And no other varietal so purely expresses terroir…And Washington’s Columbia Valley — home of Pacific Rim — provides the ideal soils and climate for growing Riesling. Purity is at the core of Pacific Rim’s winemaking philosophy. We exclusively use stainless steel tanks, allowing the true character of Riesling to speak for itself. Our wines are fresh, vivid and elegant with delicate yet complex aromas.

Riesling’s crisp, vibrant characteristics are a fresh alternative to heavier, oak-laden white wines. Riesling’s balance between acidity, sweetness (or dryness) and moderate alcohol makes it the perfect food wine for cuisine as varied as Asian to European to Middle Eastern to Fusion.

Our Vineyards

Washington’s Columbia Valley provides ideal conditions for growing Riesling. We work closely with our growers to promote and ensure sustainable practices from vine to glass. The result…award-winning wines that we’re proud to say is among the best expressions of Riesling in the world.

Sustainability from Vine to Bottle

Our winery is centrally located within fifty miles of all our vineyards, reducing freight and therefore reducing our carbon footprint.

Skylights offset demand for electrical lighting. And energy-efficient alternatives are employed throughout our winemaking process. Additionally, the package is 100% recyclable.

Purity and Winemaking

For all our wines, we exclusively use stainless steel tanks to preserve the complex character of the Riesling grape. No oak barrels or malolactic fermentation are used in our winemaking.

Our Riesling displays aromas of jasmine and citrus. The subtly sweet profile is balanced by bright and refreshing acidity. We’ve crafted a wine to pair with the foods that today’s wine lovers place on their dinner tables. Our Riesling beautifully complements all manner of Asian cuisines, spicy fare and flavorful, fresh, local foods.

Sweet Riesling – The wine is pale gold with a nose of honey, pear and orange blossom.  The taste is sweet, bright acidity with pineapple and white peach.

Riesling is born in the Columbia Valley, Washington.  The wine is pale straw with hints of jasmine, pear and apple.  The taste offers a blend of apricot and jasmine with a balanced sugar level.

Dry Riesling is produced in the Columbia Valley, Washington.   The wine is pale straw with notes of jasmine on the nose.  The taste is citrus, white peach and minerals.

Vin de Glaciere is made with organic grapes grown in the Columbia Valley from 100% Riesling.  We pick the organic Vin de Glacière Riesling grapes at around 22.5% sugar in order to preserve the natural acidity of the grapes. The grapes are then frozen and pressed frozen, resulting in a concentrated press juice (about 36% sugar) and a low yield (about half our yield compared to non-frozen grapes). The concentrated juice is fermented until we reach 18.5%. The wine is pale straw in color with a nose of pear, jasmine and honey.  The taste is rich, luscious with hints of allspice and honey.   Alcohol Content: 9.5%.

Twin Vineyards Gewurztraminer – is born in the Twin vineyards in the Yakima Valley.  The Gewurztraminer juice remains on the skins for 12 hours to extract and unleash its exquisite varietal aromas.  20% of the wine is fermented on the skin actually picking up a light orange color.  The remaining juice is fermented for 20 days with native yeasts at cool temps and then fermentation is arrested when the desired sugar level is achieved.   No oak or malolactic fermentation takes place.  The elephant symbolizes power.  This Gewurztraminer portrays a powerful bouquet of roses and lychee with lovely flavors of passion fruit and melon.

Hahn Hill SV Chenin Blanc is sourced from the venerable Hahn Hill vineyard home to some of the oldest vines in the Yakima Valley.  The Chenin is fermented at cold temperatures for 30 days and then aged in stainless steel for 8 months.  To preserve the fresh and bright profile of this wine, it sees no lees or wood ageing and it does not go through malolactic.  The peacock on the label symbolizes the vibrant elegance of this wine.  The wine offers bright flavors of key lime and melon balanced by elegant floral aromas.   

Spring Creek Vineyard SV Gruner Veltliner – our Gruner Veltliner is sourced from the cool Yakima Valley at our Spring Creek vineyard.  The wine is aged in old German wood casks and the lees are stirred for five to six months.  The fox on our label symbolizes curiosity.  Gruner with is floral and white pepper aromas balanced by flavors of white peach and citrus is ideal for wine lovers with a curious spirit.

Wallula SV Dry Riesling – is crafted exclusively Riesling grapes grown in one of our most prized vineyards, Wallula, located in the Horse Heaven Hills.  Wallula is fermented with native yeasts at cold temperatures for thirty days and then aged on the lees in stainless steel tanks.  No wood or malolactic takes place.  The lion on the label symbolizes strength of character.  The wine is complex, with bright citrus flavors and aromas of pear and jasmine.  The taste offers great balance and a beautiful vein of acidity.

Selenium SV Dry Riesling – Our Selenium Vineyard Dry Riesling is crafted exclusively with ungrafted Geisenheim clone 239 Riesling grapes, famous for their citrus characteristics. We pick our grapes relatively ripe (22-23 Brix) in late October. The Riesling juice is fermented with native yeast at cold temperatures for thirty days to dryness, and then aged on lees in stainless steel tanks. We stir the wine on lees once or twice a week for five months to create a textured and full mouth feel. To preserve the wine’s fresh and bright profile, there’s no oak or malolactic fermentation.The lion symbolizes strength of character. Our Dry Riesling portrays complex character balanced by bright citrus flavors and aromas of pear and jasmine. Ideal with Asian & European cuisines and a wide variety of seafood, cheeses and cold meats.

Solstice SV Riesling  – is born in the Yakima Valley, Washington.  The wine is 100% Riesling.  Our 2010 Solstice from the Yakima Valley is the purest expression of Washington Riesling.  The vineyard was planted in 1980, some of our oldest vines. The grapes mature at the highest elevation with a southwest exposure.  The vines grow in shallow (18 inches) wind-blown loess deposits sitting on the top of the basalt bedrock. This is a poor, minerally driven terroir, perfect to produce a Riesling with rich complexity.  Our Solstice Riesling grapes are handpicked and fermented with its native yeasts and aged sur lie for 6 to 12 months. The Solstice has concentration and all the elegance of a great Austrian Riesling. The wine is truly cellar worthy and will age for a very longtime (10 plus years).  It is pale straw in color with a nose of jasmine, peach & wet stone.  This light Riesling feels dry, with a hint of tangerine on the finish after a nice hit of peach, apple and floral flavors.

THICK SKINNED – Is a project in the spectacular vineyards of Red Mountain.  It is a special wine from a special spot. A distinctive expression of Red Mountain from Pacific Rim Winemakers. Standing apart from the surrounding hills, Red Mountain’s southwest facing slopes encourage the grapes to ripen and develop their deep, dark skin color. It is during the fermentation process that these thick, sun-ripened skins reveal the distinctly lush textures and flavors locked inside.

Thick Skinned is a Bordeaux style blend of bold character blending Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Thick Skinned represents everything that Red Mountain has to offer including windblown loess from the heart of Red Mountain’s southwest facing slopes.

Separate handpicked lots from Kiona’s “Heart of the Hill” vineyard are fermented in 3-5 ton fermenters. Each varietal is barrel aged in 50% new French oak for 6 months prior to blending. The wine is then returned to barrel for an additional 12 months of barrel aging. After bottling the wine is given a minimum of 12 months bottle age before release.

The nose is ripe with cocoa, sweet coconut, dark berry, vanilla and cherry fruit.   Bright cherry followed by chocolate with hints of caramel and toast envelope the palate. Firm mouth-filling tannins coat the palate. Try with sausage and peppers or truffle risotto.

SILVER TOTEM 

Silver Totem Cabernet  – The grapes for Silver Totem come the Wallula vineyard located in the Horse Heaven Hills.  The soil consists of wind-blown loess on basalt bedrock.  The wine is predominately Cabernet with small amounts of Malbec and Syrah.

Silver Totem’s style leans towards Europe over CA by nature of who we are what we like. Silver Totem strikes a beautiful balance between Old World influence (the wine is aged for 20-24 months) with New World impact (site selection, American oak regime, high ripeness level)

Washington State’s volcanic and mineral driven soils create the ideal environment for Cabernet Sauvignon to develop its full aromatic potential. The consistently warm summers and cool evenings of the Pacific Northwest preserve the natural acidity of Cabernet and produces a solid tannic structure. The grapes are machine harvested with the latest Pellenc harvester technology guarantying that only perfect berries are picked. The grapes are then fermented in stainless steel tanks at our winery. The fermentation was conducted at high temperatures (85F) for a short period of time (7 to 10 days) to avoid extracting too many tannins. Half of the wine is then aged in oak barrels and the other half in tank for 14 month prior to bottling.

Silver Totem Cabernet is deep ruby red with a perfume of cherry, cedar and violet. Its taste offers currant and blackberry.

Silver Totem Red Blend – Symbolizing the culture and evoking the spirits of its origin, Silver Totem  Red Blend is an artfully crafted wine of distinctive character and true sense of place. Windblown loess intermixed with glacial silt on fractured basalt.

The grapes for our Silver Totem Red Blend take advantage of the best the Columbia Valley has to offer. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec are fermented separately, allowing each grape to fully express itself. The wines are pressed and aged in a mix of stainless-steel tanks and barrels for threes months developing depth while maintaining purity of fruit. Each cuvée is evaluated prior to making the fi nal blend, then returning to tanks and barrels, with a dash of toasted oak for nuance. This additional aging brings the wine together with one harmonious voice.

The wine is lusciouc with wild berries, tobacco leaf and toasted oak in the nose while round tannins provide the structure and support for the core of sweet fruit and vanilla finish. Grilled meats and hard cheeses are just some of the fare this delicious wine pairs well with.

Silver Totem Malbec (keg) is 100% Malbec from Horse Heaven Hills, Wallula Vineyard, Washington. The soil is composed of wind-blown loess on basalt bedrock.

Wallula Vineyard’s volcanic and mineral driven soils create the ideal environment for Malbec to develop its full aromatic potential. The consistently warm summers and cool evenings of this site preserve the natural acidity of Malbec and produces a solid tannic structure.  The wine is deep ruby red with a nose of cherry, cedar and plum. The taste offers silky tannins and blackberry.

Silver Totem Red Blend – the totem poles found throughout the Pacific Northwest symbolize the cultural blend of artistry and diligence that goes into every bottle of Silver Totem wines.  Washington State is where industrious red grapes go to work hard and become the best possible wines.  Our vines have to struggle to dig through the earth to mine the minerals and water they need.  Theses difficult conditions lead to wine with intensity and complexity.  Silky red with deep ruby that portrays aromas of cherry, cedar and violet with lush flavors of currant and blackberry.

Silver Totem Chardonnay  – 100% Chardonnay from vineyards in Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington.  The cool nights and warm days of the Yakima Valley produce grapes that express true varietal character while maintaining natural acidity and balance. To enhance this character our Chardonnay is inoculated for fermentation using the traditional “Pied de cuve” technique, in which a small amount of fruit is harvested early and gently crushed, allowing the fermentation to start with the natural yeast on the grape skins. The fermenting juice from this small fermentation is then added back to inoculate the main fermentation. Upon completion of the primary fermentation, 1/3 of the wine goes through a second, malo-lactic fermentation adding texture and depth. The remaining wine is oak aged, further enhancing the character of the fruit. The individual cuvees are blended together creating our Silver Totem Chardonnay.   Distinctively crisp and refreshing with a thoughtful oak influence shows off the varietal character offered by Columbia Valley’s mineral driven soils. Juicy and vibrant with bright fruit flavors, a core of velvet and a lingering finish.

 

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