Goose Ridge hires Peter Devison as winemaking consultant

By on November 18, 2020
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Peter Devison, a Canadian winemaker with a résumé that includes Tsillan Cellars, Precept Wine, EFESTĒ and Cadaretta, has been hired as a consultant at Goose Ridge Estate Winery and Vineyards in Richland. (Richard Duval Images)

Family-owned Goose Ridge Estate Winery & Vineyards in Richland, Wash., has hired Peter Devison, one of the state’s top winemakers, as a consultant for director of winemaking Andrew Wilson.

The Monson family operates one of the Northwest’s largest winery production facilities, and the centerpiece is its 2,200 acres of vineyards. They have asked the federal government to establish the planting to be nested within the proposed Goose Gap American Viticultural Area. Public commenting on their petition ends Dec. 22.

“This is an exciting time at Goose Ridge, and we’ve already hit the ground running to execute a renewed vision for our wine program,” Wilson said in the news release announcing the addition of Devison. “His passion and rich experience working with esteemed vineyards throughout Washington brings a welcomed perspective and energy to the cellar.”

According to the Goose Gap petition, spearheaded by acclaimed geologist/vintner Alan Busacca, Wilson and his team crushed more than 7,000 tons of grapes during the 2017 vintage, and the winery produced approximately 50,000 cases of wine.

Devison left EFESTĒ for Walla Walla in 2017

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Peter Devison analyzes Red Mountain fruit within Angela’s Vineyard, an estate site for EFESTĒ. (Richard Duval Images)

Devison grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and attended the University of British Columbia before graduating with a winemaking degree in 2005 from New Zealand’s acclaimed Lincoln University. Dr. Bob Jankelson hired him at Tsillan Cellars in Chelan. Devison went on to spend five years producing wine on a much larger scale at Precept under its Apex Cellars brand. He then earned the praise of critics during his six vintages for buzz-worthy EFESTĒ in Woodinville, taking over for Brennon Leighton.

In 2017, Devison moved to Walla Walla and made wine at Cadaretta, replacing fellow Canadian talent Kendall Mix. Since the Middleton family shut down Cadaretta in 2019, Devison and his wife, Kelsey Malm Devison, have been focused on their two-year-old Devison Vintners label and his Land 2 Hand Consulting business. 

At Goose Ridge, he will help the Monson family and Wilson with their Goose Ridge Estate tier as well as their g3 brand and Cascadian Outfitters canned wine program. He’s been at the forefront of the native fermentation movement in Washington, especially at EFESTĒ and more recently under Devison Vintners, making that expertise a part of his consulting work.

“I’m impressed by what the Monsons have cultivated in the Columbia Valley,” Devison said. “Their 2,200 acres of estate vineyards enable the winemaking team to create wines that truly reflect the varying and distinct terroir throughout the property. The Monsons have a story to tell, and I’m excited to be working alongside Andrew, his team and the Monson family, sharing in their commitment to make great Washington wines.”

Goose Ridge, Napa producer form partnership

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Goose Ridge Vineyard spans 2,200 acres and is the centerpiece of the proposed Goose Gap American Viticultural Area. (Photo by Robert Marple, Jr./Great Northwest Wine)

Last month, Goose Ridge announced a partnership with Roots Run Deep Winery in California’s Napa Valley to develop a Cabernet Sauvignon for vintner Mark Albrecht as part of a new retail brand — Truth Be Told — that will be launched nationally. Roots Run Deep winemaker Macario Montoya will collaborate with Wilson and Devison on that project.

Goose Ridge was founded in 1997 by the late Arvid Monson, a cattle rancher from Selah who acted on the advice of historic viticulturist Walter Clore. When Monson wondered where he should establish vines across his 3,500 acres west of Richland, Clore suggested planting where sagebrush grows tall. The family’s Tall Sage brand is a tribute to that advice from the Washington State University researcher.

Those vines feed five brands, including the entry-level StoneCap. While the original Goose Ridge Estate Winery tier stands atop and alone, the other four and their Vido Vodka operate under their Destination Brands company in Benton City.

The family holdings across Goose Gap include apple and cherry orchards that go into an estate cider program. The Monsons also were the first in the state to operate four tasting rooms, which include Walla Walla, Woodinville and Leavenworth.

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the President and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest magazine with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for a decade. He is a frequent wine judge at international wine competitions throughout North America and orchestrates 10 Northwest competitions each year.

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