Arts and Crafts Were Never This Fun

Sparkle and Fade

A Cabernet Experience

Exploring Terroir with Forgeron Cellars

Oregon's French Connection

Maison Louis Jadot's Résonance

The French Connection

Rhone to Columbia Valley: The Syrah Doctrine

C'mon Get Happy

New Growth at Matthews Winery

Who We Are

The staff of the Northwest Wine Anthem, we're good

Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Find, January 31st

Each Friday we highlight a wine from the Northwest that we think is a real "find." By find we might mean that it's a steal, as all of these wines we'll feature weekly are at or under $20. We might also mean "Hey, you really need to go find this" and it might be a wine that we feel not enough people know about. In any case, with the weekend pending we're hoping to help you "find" a wine to kickoff the weekend right. We'll tell you a little bit about the wine and try to help you track it down here in the Northwest.

She's an indie rocker, nothings gonna stop her, her fashion fits... -Archers of Loaf

Indie, independent, the unconstrained, unfettered and maybe, maybe, unconventional. I took a firm stance on the whole 1183 situation here in Washington, coming down firmly on the #1183Sux side of things because I like the indie joints, the independently owned wine shops and retailers. I saw the big box influx that was sure to result as a threat to the growth and success of those independent shops. I dig these places because they're about people and relationships, not about markdowns and blow outs and bottom lines. The folks who own independent wine shops have gone into this business out of their love of wine. They're not looking to become these wealthy robber-barons. What exactly is a robber-baron anyways? 

My favorite shops in Seattle are owned by people not conglomerates, or corporations. Jon and T own and operate Bin 41 over in West Seattle. It's right there in the junction and it's a personal touch that Jon and T offer that separates them from the big box joints. They ask you what you like, and can certainly find wines that fit that bill, but they also have a wide selection of wines and might suggest that you explore some of the wine unknown. That kind of touch is also evident at picnic in Phinney Ridge. Jenny and Anson Klock run a place that features some top notch selections. They're the only ones in Seattle carrying the Bow & Arrow wines, they'g got great Grower Champagne, and a deli counter with cured meats, awesome cheeses and some eat in or take out options.  I recently came across Liner & Elsen in Portland, sweet Jesus that's a great wine shop. Amazing variety and selection and some of the most unique Oregon wines out there.

This week one of my favorite indie guys in the wine business, Paul Zittarelli of Full Pull Wines was named Independent Retailer of the Year by the Washington Wine Commission. This is particularly outstanding when you consider Paul's business model. Full Pull is a mailing list based retailer. Each day you receive an offer from Paul that focuses on anywhere from one to four or five wines. The emails are written in a way that certainly pique your interest and might just open a door to a whole new wine producer here in the Northwest. Recently I bought some stuff from off the radar Oregon producer Ovum that Paul had written about. I mean, it's Oregon, and I'd never heard of them?!?! Respect.  It's my hope that here on the Anthem we talk about wines you've never heard of before, and in doing so, we help you discover some of the hidden gems of the Northwest. Paul has certainly done that for me. 

Paul also has access to small parcels, older bottlings and sometimes obscure Washington gems based on his relationships with winemakers, and winery folks.

Paul got his start as a wine blogger, and he's turned that love of wine into a very successful and still relatively young and up and coming business. Oh, Paul's also a hell of a nice guy. That's important to me too. You can't say, "Yeah, get my wines at QFC, that QFC, great guy, awesome family." Or, "Costco is one of those guys he'll look out for something particularly for you." That's what indie wine merchants mean to me. And Paul has great hair. I bet BevMo has really bad hair, but in fairness I've never met him.

In honor of Paul and his award today's Friday Find is a wine that I bought from him not too long ago. The 2011 II Vintners Columbia Valley Syrah. From Paul's offer :I’m racking my brains, trying to think whether I’ve tasted a more compelling sub-$20 Syrah out of Washington this year. What makes it so compelling is that it answers an age-old question in Washington Syrah: What do you get when you add YakFunk to RocksFunk?" That "YakFunk" that he's referring to is the savory, sometimes funky Syrah that is often the signature of Boushey Vineyard. In my opinion the greatest New World source of Syrah on the planet. This Syrah is mostly from Boushey as well as Olsen Vineyards and includes fruit from the famous Rocks area of Walla Walla where the funky Syrahs from Cayuse and Reynvaan come from. 

Well, true to his word, Paul picked a winner. The wine is stupid good. Lots of earthen aromatics, a hum of blue fruit, a touch of meatiness and a tang of Montmorency cherries. I've also become quite fond of the II Vintners stuff and find them to be reliably one of the Washington wines that is consistently better on day two. So, go indie this weekend, you can sign up for Paul's Full Pull list here, or go to your local independent retailer and ask for this superb wine.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Minimus Wines: Forget What You Think You Know

In the Jean Paul Sartre novel Nausea (La Nausee) the protagonist, Antoine Roquentin comes to terms with his own existence. No longer able to subscribe to the conventional ways through which our lives are supposedly given meaning, Roquentin confronts the possibility that there is no meaning to life. This realization nearly drives him insane, but in the end, he's found that in this realization lies mankind's true freedom. Our life has the meaning that we make for ourselves. It is a frightening freedom and one that compels us to act in meaningful ways or find ourselves leading a meaningless life.

Chad Stock may or may not be the greatest existentialist winemaker that there is. Frankly, he may not even be an existentialist, but Chad's project, Minimus certainly eschews wine-making convention. And like Sartre's Roquentin, Chad seeks to make his own meaning through a completely experimental set of wine-making rules.

I came upon the wines of Chad Stock by accident. I found No. 1 in a Carlton wine shop. The label looked like a technical journal, and it simply said No. 1 Robinia pseudo acacia and below that in parentheses (Black Locuse.) I didn't know what the hell that even meant. I asked the store clerk, "What's this about?" "Man, that is just cool. Acacia barrels, it's Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc." Eyebrow raised.

The wine was weird, and it was so delicious. Completely unique. The aromatics were full of fruit, flowers and a kisses of acacia wood. The wine was unlike anything I'd ever had from Southern Oregon, lean and angular at some moments, round at others.  It was in a way, kind of bizarre, but it was undeniably wonderful. What little I was able to find out about the wine was that the winemaker had wanted to tinker with acacia wood because it was used in some of the wines he favored from Austria. He sourced the fruit from a little known Stella Maris vineyard in Southern Oregon.

I reached out to Chad the evening I had the wine. It took some digging, Minimus didn't have its website yet, but he was eager to talk about his project and I was eager to hear more. It would be about six months though before I would have the opportunity to pay him a visit.

Chad is a stout guy, with close cropped hair and a goatee and he's the kind of guy who wear shorts in the cold. I say that because the day he and I met it was cold, and he was wearing shorts. At the winery where he works in the Willamette, Chad is employed as a general manager, but he also gets to work on his own project there.

Minimus is about Chad Stock's development and education as a winemaker.

With Minimus; Chad hopes to sort of leave behind the trappings and conventions of wine and wine education that he grew up with and in and see if there isn't a more pure and personal approach to understanding wine. Something unfettered by convention or what has become the American wine-making tradition. "I don't pay attention to trends, and really I try not to read much about what's going on in wine-making. I don't want to be influenced by something that isn't really personal." For his wines, each numbered in order they're released he just starts with an idea, something he wants to try and then he tries it. That's it. Once he feels like the wines are ready, they're bottled and then subsequently released. There are no measurements taken in the process, it's all done by taste and a sort of feel. (When wines are bottled all analysis is completed and compared along side what Chad thought the numbers might be.)

Chad is very measured, he's quietly intense and intellectual. He doesn't make off the cuff bombastic remarks, he's not the least bit self congratulatory. He appreciates all that he's learned and those who have taught him. He doesn't mean to slight any of the hard work that has been done by the pioneers who came before him, or disrespect those who have taught him so much. His pedigree, schooling, experience and resume are very impressive. Big names and prestigious producers in Napa and some of the rising cult wines of the Willamette Valley. Minimus though, isn't about cashing in on Chad's track record.

"I appreciate everyone who taught me, but I'm not sure the traditional academic approach really prepares you to make wine." Minimus is instead pure experimentation, there is no other agenda, simply learn by doing. Chad's production is minuscule at this point with some wines resulting is as few as 20 cases, so hardly a huge money making endeavor. Chad wants to learn as much as he can and he's not concerned with what convention tells hims he should and should not do. There is no style, each bottling is a single experiment, it will not happen again.

"The first wines I made were scientific experiments." This includes, No. 1, No.2 Co-Pigmentation, (which sadly I did not get to try) was an experiment fermenting Tempranillo with Viognier skins. No. 3 19 Days & No. 4 43 Days, ( I found them at a shop in Portland but have yet to open.) No. 3 is a Viognier that was left in contact with the skins for 19 days and bottled with lees. The experiment was conducted to understand skin contact and white wines. Given the hot vintage and the lack of acidity in the Southern Oregon Viognier, Chad also used skin tannin to test a hypothesis he had. That tannin can sometimes mimic acidity. No. 4 was to further push the boundaries of skin contact and challenge the convention that skin contact could diminish varietal character.

"The next set of wines I'm releasing are social experiments." No. 5 Reduction,  which Chad and I tasted on my visit is a blend of Pinot Noir and Blaufrankisch (Lemberger) from Johan Vineyards. When a wine is referred to as reduced, it is often considered flawed. In production Chad had encountered a reduction taking place in one of his fermenters that he frankly really enjoyed and so he let it take its course. The reduction which he had analyzed upon bottling, is 15.7 ppm of dimethyl sulfide is commonly found in aged red Burgundy. The wine was a wonderful combination of earthen aromatics classically Willamette and fresh red fruits. Chad sent me home with the sample bottle, over the next couple days it transformed in such a way that it could have easily been confused with a wine that has been cellared for ten years. To steal a quote from Chad from the video below. "Who cares if it's flawed if it's delicious."

Chad Stock & Minimus Wines from roboshow on Vimeo.

Perhaps the wine Chad is most known for is his Brettanomyces fermented Viognier (even more interesting considering it hasn't been released). Crazy idea? He doesn't think so. What is crazy was the wine's production, the barrel sat alone in the woods away from the winery through fermentation. (The video above captures this, and the Minimus story wonderfully.) Brett as it's called; is commonly used in brewing beers, but it's so maligned as a flaw in the wine industry. Brett is a mark of shoddy wine-making or a lack of sterility, so conventional wisdom holds. Chad's inspiration came from both beer production and pushing against that taboo of Brettanomyces to better try to understand it. The wine is fizzy, in a Pétillant naturel kind of way. This process in contrast to the production of most sparkling wine does not involve any additions of sugar or yeast. It's a bit sweet, a bit tart and a bright, opaque, yellow. Oh and completely fascinating, reminiscent of an Italian limonada soda. Chad shared that frankly, he wasn't sure when it would be ready, or released. (It's finished with a bottle cap, rather than a cork.)

There are other "social experiments" in production that include a flor yeast fermented Sauvignon Blanc, an unusual technique found in Jura or Sherry, as well as a "natural" Syrah. That seeks to question the definition of that term which is the current darling of the wine world. The releases have yet to be decided upon and so the numbers are not assigned. (I do know that No. 6, Dijon Free. Is soon to be released and it's an Oregon Chardonnay.)

Chad is also experimenting with various fermenters, he has wines in acacia wood, concrete and when I visited him he was putting some Gruner Veltliner into a freshly made clay amphora. The original wine fermenter of the ancient Greeks and Romans. This one crafted in the Willamette Valley by Andrew Beckham of Beckham Estates.

A lot of thought goes into the pricing. "I believe the price of the wine communicates something." Chad is very careful about that perception, and his pricing. All of the wines are priced in and around the $20-30 range. In the same vein Chad does not seek to have the wines scored, or even reviewed necessarily. He does not submit them to wine writers. I bought his wine in a shop and eventually tracked him down, he didn't reach out to me. All of those things, the price and certainly number scores or reviews associated with the wines create preconceptions that could cloud the experience that is tasting the wine. In Chad's estimation, that can get in the way.

Wine is seen, rightfully as a combination of science and art. Chad, in Minimus falls firmly into the latter category. He draws inspiration from winemakers who were innovators, like Paul Draper, the late Didier Dagueneau as well as Walla Walla's Christophe Baron. I haven't met those guys, but Chad Stock is easily the most imaginative person I've met in the wine industry. If you like safe and predictable, keeping it in between the lines, these wines are not for you.  If you're dogmatic about what you think a wine, or a region or proper wine-making should be, these wines are also, not for you. 

If you believe that wine can be eye opening and has the ability to teach us about people, and nature and if you think it's possible for things that are weird to also be delicious. Well in that case, I urge you to find the Minimus wines, you'll enjoy the hell out of them.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Reflecting on Fifteen Years of Red Mountain: Ben Smith of Cadence

From Lucha Vino (Marty Sparks)

Ben Smith, one of Washington state’s finest wine makers, keeps a pretty low profile. You don’t get many chances to visit with Ben at his Cadence winery in South Seattle. So, when Ben hosts an open house you need to take advantage of the opportunity.

Cadence was open for a holiday open house on a recent December Saturday afternoon. Ben had his current 2010 releases open for tasting as well as two wines from his first commercial vintage – 1998. This was a perfect opportunity to take a bit of time to talk with Ben and reflect on his wine making journey as well as explore how some of his creations have aged.

All of Ben’s current wines are made with grapes that are sourced from Red Mountain AVA vineyards. That includes Cara Mia, the Cadence estate vineyard. Obviously, for Ben, there is a certain allure to Red Mountain. What attracted Ben to focus on this unique AVA? It is really quite simple – the grapes grown on Red Mountain are superb, the fruit is high quality with plenty of tannin and acidity. The three go together to help build wines that are made for longevity. From Ben’s perspective Red Mountain possesses quality fruit, tannin and acidity “in spades!”

The 1998 Tapteil red is a fine example of that Red Mountain magic. This wine is 15 years old and represents Ben’s first commercial vintage. It is still showing plenty of the power you would expect from a Red Mountain wine. This wine is dark and bold with loads of currant and black cherry with some light pepper notes. The finish features classic dry dusty tannin along with cocoa powder and coffee bean tinged spices.

In addition to Tapteil, Cadence also offers a Ciel du Cheval vineyard designate red blend. I was curious to learn why Ben had chosen these vineyards and how he manages his vineyard designate wines. Tapteil and Ciel du Cheval are two vineyards very close to Ben’s heart. He started experimenting with both vineyards as a home winemaker.By creating vineyard designate blends he was able to get his foot in the door with these two “in demand” vineyards. As it turns out, Cadence became the first winery to make Bordeaux style blends as vineyard designated wines in Washington.

Completing Ben’s Red Mountain triumvirate is Cara Mia, Ben’s estate vineyard. The vineyard was planted in 2004, with the first harvest in 2006. The vineyard is planted to 40% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot.Cabernet Franc is one of Ben’s favorite grapes due to the complex and interesting aromas as well as lovely textures.

With all three vineyards Ben goes for a profile that he believes best represents the site. Ben described the dominant characteristic of each vineyard in the following manner.

Tapteil was a no-brainer. According to Ben it screams Cabernet Sauvignon.

Ciel du Cheval was a little more difficult to figure out. For his Ciel du Cheval blend Ben focuses on Cabernet Franc.

Finally, the Cara Mia estate vineyard features two blends. These were the most challenging to determine. You can imagine why. Learning the profile of the vineyard was not possible until the vines began to yield fruit. The Bel Canto blend is focused on Cabernet Franc while the Camerata is primarily Cabernet Sauvignon.

Ben works to keep his four wines consistent with the intended character from one vintage to the next. At the same time he appreciates the variation that each vintage has to offer and works to capture the vintage’s uniqueness while staying true to each wine’s style. He recognizes the tension this introduces to his wine making. Just like a vine struggling to produce high quality fruit, the tension in Ben’s wine making process leads to some fantastic results.

Prior to his wine making venture Ben was an engineer. That background still shows through in Ben’s approach to making wine. He realizes that everything in the process is a feedback loop and he consistently looks for opportunities to learn and improve. For example, prior to the 2013 harvest Ben opened all his 2003 wines because he felt like the 2003 conditions were a close match for 2013. He wanted to see what he could do better a decade later. Not like he was disappointed with the 2003 results, Ben
just recognized the opportunity to learn and get better.

Over the years Ben continues to work with adjustments such as refining pick dates, changing the trellising system at the Cara Mia vineyard (three times!), vineyard yields and experimenting with yeasts. Ben’s drive for improvement is reinforced by his attitude that “I don’t keep doing things the same way just because that is the way I have always done it."

Ben is experimenting with fermentation temperatures this year. He explains that when you do make changes in your wine making you need to approach the change slowly. No big changes, just continuous small improvements. His engineering influence shows through again as he explains that you “must control the experiment.”

I must say that Ben is conducting a highly delicious, and successful, experiment at Cadence!

2010 Vintage Tasting Notes

Ciel du Cheval : Medium bodied with logan berries and currants blending with hints of mint and cedar spices. The finish is bold and dry with great tannin spices.

Tapteil: Darker with savory notes and some floral top notes rounding out with some earthy spices and light smokiness. The tannin show through on the finish here too with spicy dry cocoa powder notes.

Camerata: Spicy and savory with dark cherry and clove spices that are followed by a dry tannin fueled spiced finish.

Bel Canto: Earthy mix of cranberry and currants followed by dry spices, heather and cloves that give way to a dry cocoa and coffee bean on the finish.

All the 2010 Cadence wines are tasting great right now and will continue to get better with age.

The “odd man out.” The 1998 Spring Valley Red Blend is from Walla Walla. Don’t overlook this one!

The Spring Valley vineyard is located about 10 miles North of Walla Walla. It is interesting to note the subtlety of this wine. I always associate Walla Walla wines with power (with a capital ‘P’). Whether it is the 15 years of age, the location of the vineyard, Ben’s winemaking style or all three, this wine is tasting great too.

The Spring Valley shows red berries, pine needles, forest floor and leather followed by a savory, tart finish that features notes of white pepper.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Find, January 10th

Each Friday we highlight a wine from the Northwest that we think is a real "find." By find we might mean that it's a steal, as all of these wines we'll feature weekly are at or under $20. We might also mean "Hey, you really need to go find this" and it might be a wine that we feel not enough people know about. In any case, with the weekend pending we're hoping to help you "find" a wine to kickoff the weekend right. We'll tell you a little bit about the wine and try to help you track it down here in the Northwest.

Where do you find good music these days?

Seriously? As a high school and college kid, music was my life. Well, music and girls, but that was college. Girls wouldn't give me the time of day in high school. That's another story for another time, but what marked my days as an adolescent, besides the acne, was music. A combination of hip hop, grunge, punk and alternative music weaved a tapestry of sorts, a kind of soundtrack to my life back then. These were the days of the mix tape after all. And then later the compact disc. 

Music and it seemed good music was ubiquitous then. Discovery of not only what was new, but what came before you. Stumbling upon Nirvana in 11th grade, and then being exposed to the greatness that was Led Zeppelin. And hip-hop, so much good hip hop. From the Beastie Boys, to De La Soul, to Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, The Roots; on and on it went. Going to see "shows" was just a regular routine, whether it was Pharcyde, Wu Tang Clan, The Rollins Band, Fishbone or Rancid. It was just what I did.

High school turned to college, where I was a radio dj and had endless access to new music. That  turned to graduate school and then it was time to get a job. Eventually I landed in Seattle and the I was able to continue going to shows, even in my advanced age, of my mid-20s. I discovered bands like Thursday and The Shins, The Blue Scholars, Common Market, Death Cab and Feist. (I went to see Feist at the Showbox, she opened for the Brunettes and she was so unknown that I actually bought the cd at her merch-table from her.) At some point though, it seemed to stop. Maybe I just got old?

These days I don't really discover much in the way of "what's fresh on the scene." If I do, it's almost solely the responsibility of John Richards over at KEXP. I like that he has an h in his name. Seems like much good music, Johns with an h are fleeting. It's comforting. But anyways, I digress. Over the years it seems I'm drawn back to those bands I discovered in highschool, and in college. 

Lucky for me, some of those bands, and thankfully favorites like The Afghan Whigs and the Pixies have gotten back together and are releasing new music and touring. This creates a new quandary. As a guy in his late 30s with a toddler, I tire early. I enjoy going to see these favorite bands of mine, but I could really use a nap before, or maybe a couch to sit on during the show. The musicians themselves are older, sober now too and sometimes the shows even have an earlier start time. I suppose this is just part of getting old, all of us.

Today's Friday Find is from Des Voigne Cellars, the label with a musical bent. When it comes to label art, this Woodinville Winery does some of the best in Washington. Many of them homages to great Jazz musicians. (Interesting side note, the main photo on their webpage was taken by me. I just discovered this.) The wine is big, it's oaky but it's also a bargain at the $20ish price point. Loaded up with smoky black fruit aromatics, and a velvety palate given it's oak influence The Groove 2010 is a bit of a kitchen sink blend, Syrah, Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. It's sourced from some of Washington's finer vineyards and it's a nice wine to pair with some heartier fare to survive this stereotypical Northwest winter we're getting hit in the mouth with this weekend.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Rocky Mountain High-The Story of Idaho's Telaya Wine Co.

"Comin' home to a place he'd never been before.  He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again.” 

It’s not too often that a song could describe something or someone (other than the songwriter or an ex of theirs) better than John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High describes the proprietors of Telaya. Telaya (Tetons + Playa = Telaya) is the union of college sweethearts Earl and Carrie Sullivan. 

Earl, a native of Kentucky, and Carrie, an Indiana suburbanite, met as juniors in college while studying tropical ecology on a fishing boat in the Galapagos.  The two continued to work together on various scholarly pursuits in places like San Salvador, the Bahamas, College Station, Texas (where Carrie enrolled in a masters program in molecular genetics, Nigeria, Angola and obviously, Columbus, Ohio (where Carrie earned a degree in veterinary medicine).  It was in 2002 that the couple ended up in Boise, Idaho for Earl’s career and it was in Boise that they finally had found their home.

During a vacation on the beaches of Cabo, the couple really started to reevaluate what it was that they felt compelled to do, what it was that they were truly passionate about.  They went down the list that included the logical answers like family, friends and providing a strong and morally sound upbringing for their two sons.  They also thought about how much they love to travel and of course, wine.  From tastings, to food pairings and the fact that wine production combines agriculture with science, they had decided what the next chapter of their lives would hold.

The Sullivans began to make connections with various winemakers in Washington State and it was through those introductions and conversations that they were able to form a partnership that would produce a product that the two felt would represent their brand the way they had always imagined.

The Sullivans with Kathryn House (pictured at right)
In the autumn of 2011, Telaya joined the 44th Street Wine Collective in the Boise suburb of Garden City.  The 44th Street Collective provided the Sullivans an urban ambiance that they were hoping for to host tastings, wine events but also the opportunity to learn.  Today, Earl and Carrie have a great mentor to learn from in Kathryn House, formerly the assistant winemaker of Betz Family Winery.

Telaya isn’t your typical Idaho winery as they originally sourced fruit from select vineyards in Washington State, but began making wines from Idaho vineyards in 2012.  The current offerings of Teleya are two vintages (2009 and 2010) of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and their proprietary blend called Turas (a blend of Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet).  In 2011, Telaya produced their first white wine, which was viognier from Gamache Vineyard that was aged for ten months in stainless steel and two months in neutral oak barrels.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Earl at their 44th Street location and try through some of the wines. The first wine that I tried was their 2010 proprietary red blend, Turas, which is Irish for journey.  Turas is comprised of 60% Syrah, %20 Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot.  The nose has bold aromas of sweet mountain berries, plum and white chocolate.  The palate is medium bodied with pronounced tannins, black cherries, dried tobacco, baking spices and black pepper.

The second wine I tasted with Earl was their 2009 Syrah.  Earl let this wine sit in oak for 31 months, nine of which were in neutral oak.  This wine had a lot going on with notes of tar, figs, raspberries, baker’s cocoa, blackberry pie, toasted almond and a kiss of oak.

The last wine that I had the pleasure of trying was Telaya’s 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon.  Sourced from Washington’s esteemed Weinbau Vineyard, this Cabernet is very true to site with notes of blueberries, bell peppers, white pepper and bold tannin without being heavy on the palate.

Telaya may not be your typical Idaho winery, but they are doing some special things and looking forward to the future.  Earl told me that although  they plan to always make wines from Washington state, they have shifted to sourcing 80% of their fruit from the Gem State for the 2013 harvest and will continue to showcase what Idaho has to offer, so be sure to keep an eye out for their upcoming wines as they have already begun establishing themselves as a key part in the future of Idaho’s wine industry.