Iconic vineyards each telling a unique story

Red Willow

The Stephenson/Sauer family have been farming at Red Willow since the 1920s and first planted wine grapes in 1973. Patriarch Mike Sauer is one of the true pioneers of the Washington Wine industry and worked with Walter Clore to plant some of the first Syrah in Washington. The vineyard is located west and slightly south of Yakima and is famous for their iconic stone chapel, built by the family on a peak in the vineyard. The part of the vineyard where we source our fruit is shaped like a saddle, which allows for many different vineyard aspects and elevations. Most of the vineyard lies above the Missoula flood plain, and features poor, rocky soils on the west side of this saddle, the source of our Sestina Bordeaux style Red Blend and Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon varietal wine. On the east facing slope, more clay is found in the soil, ideal for the Merlot they planted there, which lends important savory notes and core red fruit flavors to our Sestina Left Bank Bordeaux-style red wine blend.  Another section of the vineyard, named Les Vignes de Marcoux, lies about a mile west of the original site and features a deeper, sandier soil. Perfect for our Oliane Sauvignon Blanc.

Varieties and year planted:

Cabernet Sauvignon – 1985, Merlot – 1985, 1989, & 1991, and Sauvignon Blanc – 2006

Soils:

Ancient with mix of sand, clay, sandstone, and river rocks from Missoula Floods.

AVA:

Yakima Valley AVA

Elevation:

1000 ­– 1250 Feet

Vineyard Owners / Managers:

Mike and John Sauer

Boushey Vineyard

Dick Boushey was the very first grower with whom we partnered and remains a vital key to Avennia’s voice.  We source 3 different varieties from him, which go into making 3 of our flagship wines.  He is best known for his Yakima Valley Syrah and Avennia is the only winery that uses both of his oldest blocks of this coveted fruit. The older, called Grand Cote (meaning "great hillside”), produces wine that is piercingly pure and focused, with meaty and mineral aromas backing up its deep blackberry and damson plum fruit flavors.  Wines from the second block, Factory Road, show richer body and feature savory cured meat notes, along with orange peel, and a distinct iron note. The combination of these two Syrah blocks composes one of our signature wines that we’ve been making since our very first vintage, the Arnaut. We also source Merlot from a part of his vineyard planted on fractured basalt. The result is a beautifully expressive wine that is medium garnet in color, with ethereal notes of red fruits, crushed white stone, flowers, and a hint of mint which is the backbone of our Right Bank Bordeaux-style red blend, Valery.  Dick’s Sauvignon Blanc is planted on a nearby south facing slope. This rich, citrus and peach-tinged wine matches perfectly with the Red Willow block to form our Oliane.

Varieties and year planted:

Syrah – 1994 & 1996, Merlot - 1986, and Sauvignon Blanc - 2004

Soils

Mix of fractured Basalt, silt and wind-blown loess

AVA:

Yakima Valley AVA

Elevation:

900 — 1150 Feet

Vineyard Owners / Manager:

Dick Boushey

Sagemoor Vineyard

Sagemoor sits on a largely west facing slope just north of Pasco, right next to the Columbia River. Here, location is everything, and we’ve made every effort to lock up the best fruit that matches our style for our Sestina and Gravura Bordeaux-style red blends.  The newer Dionysus Cabernet Sauvignon block is planted on a gently west-facing slope near the river. These old vines, planted in 1973, provide a great expression of complexity, including blackberry and cassis fruit, some earthy tones, and an unmistakable bay leaf note that sets it apart.  The nearby Bacchus block, planted in 1972 to Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, is startlingly different, at a higher elevation, up on a weather-exposed promontory.  The fruit from here is very elegant, often almost medium-bodied, but beautifully nuanced and complex. Black cherry and red currant form the backbone, but there is a wide array of savory complexities, including fresh loam, saddle leather, fresh tobacco, mountain flowers, and a sweet minerality.

Varieties and year planted:

Cabernet Sauvignon 1972-73 and Cabernet Franc – 1997

Soils

Mix of Royal and Warden fine sandy loam, Ottmar-Schloner complex

AVA:

Columbia Valley AVA

Elevation:

550- 900 feet

Vineyard Owners / Managers:

Kent Waliser and Lacey Lybeck

Champoux 

Champoux Vineyard LLC 
Horse Heaven Hills AVA

This iconic vineyard, producer of countless high-scoring wines, was planted and managed by Paul Champoux for many years until he recently retired. Dan Nickolaus has taken over, and the vineyard looks as great as ever. Their Cabernet Franc was planted in 1997 and has been featured both in our Valery Right bank Bordeaux-style blend since 2012, and a new single vineyard varietal wine starting in 2015. Wines from here are very complex, with wild aromas of huckleberry, cherry, tobacco and tea leaf, baked clay, cocoa, and mountain wildflowers and silky and palate-coating flavors of dark strawberry, earthy tobacco notes, rich chocolate, and hints of violet.

Discovery Vineyards 

Milo and Key May 
Horse Heaven Hills AVA

We started making Syrah from this picturesque site in 2014. Discovery Vineyard is a 37 acre vineyard that overlooks the Columbia River from a high promontory. The views are sweeping, which also allows for great air drainage to prevent freezing. It was planted in 2005, largely to Cabernet and Syrah, and has turned out to be a site of great distinction for both varieties. This syrah makes up our Le Corbeau varietal wine, distinctive for its blackberry and black olive notes.

Kiona Heart of the Hill 

Scott Williams 
Red Mountain AVA

Managed by Scott Williams , son of the original owner, Heart of the Hill is a west facing portion of Kiona Vineyard, slightly uphill from the main winery and vineyard. We chose this warm site for the heat-loving Mourvedre and the result is a very structured wine that features black fruits, and a savory, meaty character that lends weight and complexity to the Justine Rhone-style blend.

Klipsun 

Terlato Wine Group 
Red Mountain AVA

Klipsun is a legendary vineyard, planted originally in 1984 on Red Mountain by David and Patricia Gelles. Their fruit is found in a large selection of Washington’s greatest and most well-known wines. We use a few barrels of this inky dark, structured Merlot each year in the Gravura Bordeaux-style blend, to give it more weight and flesh.

Upland 

Newhouse Family Vineyards 
Snipes Mountain AVA

We sourced Grenache from this site for the first time in 2013. Planted in 1999 on a steep, south-facing slope on Snipes Mountain, the soil here has great drainage, with fractured basalt underneath. While younger Grenache can be overly fruity and simple, this older fruit stood out immediately as a revelation in Washington’s potential with this variety. It brings beautifully pure red fruits flavors, along with savory herb and crushed rock notes on the nose and palate.  It is the core of our Justine Rhone-style blend.

Vineyard sources for Avennia Wines