|The Vineyards||| Print ||
In 1867 pioneers William S. Frazier and his wife Pauline Rachael arrived in the Walla Walla Valley and settled in what is now known as the Milton-Freewater area. Their granddaughter Anna Marie, a pillar of the local community, was introduced to Earl and Lorraine Brown, who settled in the valley during the mid 1950’s. It was inevitable that these two families should come together through the marriage of their children, and the modern-day Browns honored this union by naming their first vineyard Anna Marie. The Anna Marie vineyard was planted in 2001, above lower Dry Creek and has a commanding view of the Walla Walla Valley. Anna Marie’s commitment to family, her tireless work ethic and her strong environmental awareness are perpetuated in the Browns' farming operations. Subsequently, three additional vineyards, McClellan Estate, Watermill Estate, and Dugger Creek, have been established in close proximity to the original plantings. Each of these vineyards has unique distinguishing characteristics and has produced unrivaled wines in the Valley.
Anna Marie Vineyard
The Anna Marie vineyard is a combination of the sediments from the Lake Missoula floods overlaid by wind blown loess. Its well-drained, sandy loam is ideal for wine grape production. This soil type, together with hot days and cool fall nights, results in superlative terroir allowing the production of premier wines, which has been recognized by prestigious vintners across the Walla Walla Valley, including Chateau Ste. Michelle’s North Star Winery. The original plantings concentrated on the noble cultivars Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, but additional plantings include Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. All these vines are trained to a single cordon, spur-pruned, vertical shoot position.
The McClellan Estate vineyard, planted by the Brown family in 2003, sits adjacent to Seven Hills Vineyard and borders the acclaimed Windrow Vineyard. The well-drained, silt-loam soils of the McClellan Estate are highly suitable to Bordeaux style grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Grapes from these vineyards, grown on a Geneva Double-cross training system, have produced unmatched wines, including those of critically acclaimed Saviah Cellars and Seven Hills Winery.
The Watermill Estate, located across the road from Cayuse Winery, was selected due to its alluvial nature and planted in 2006. These well-drained, rocky soils are home to Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo and Mourvèdre varietals, trellised on a vertical shoot position. Grapes from this outstanding vineyard are major constituents of Saviah Cellars and Watermill Winery wines.
The latest of Browns' vineyards, Dugger Creek was planted in 2009. Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, the Browns planted their first blocks of Sangiovese, Barbera, Nebbiolo and Grenache, bringing the number of estate-grown varietals up to 12. 2012 marks the first harvest from Dugger Creek.