VineLines Dispatch: 6 Vineyards at Work

By on February 2, 2021
The first harvest by JM Cellars of much-anticipated Shaw Ridge Vineyard on Red Mountain. (Richard Duval Images)

From Red Mountain through Columbia Valley to Walla Walla, resident photojournalist Richard Duval spent most of October capturing harvest action in some of Washington’s finest vineyards. This column is Dispatch #6, entitled 6 Vineyards at Work.

Shaw Ridge Vineyard

Planted four year ago on the southeast side of Red Mountain, Shaw Ridge is latest estate vineyard of JM Cellars, managed by Marshall Edwards of Shaw Estates. October saw the vineyard’s first harvest – Grenache and Syrah – eagerly anticipated by John Bigelow, owner/winemaker of the Woodinville-based brand.

With soil composed of fracture basalt with a few inches of topsoil, Shaw Ridge offers a knee-shaking 35 degree slope, high winds, and a southern exposure — ideal growing conditions, not to mention the staggeringly beautiful view of the Red Mountain valley.

Four Feathers

Between the Wahluke Slope and Sunnyside, Four Feathers is one of the stellar vineyards owned by the Zirkle Fruit Co., and managed by accomplished grower Tom Merkle, named Honorary Grower in 2017 by the Auction of Washington Wines.

Elevation Vineyard

Scaling between 1,500 and 1,700 feet above sea level, Elevation Vineyard – one of three estate plantings for Tertulia Cellars — covers 23 acres in the Walla Walla Valley.
Aptly named, Elevation is one the steepest vineyards in the Pacific Northwest.

Lodmell Estate Vineyard

The estate vineyard of Walla Walla-based Lodmell Cellars is nestled deep in orchard country just north of Prescott near the final bend in the Snake River.
Merlot was the pick from this 30-acre vineyard, led by owner/winemaker Kristie Lodmell.

Sagemoor Vineyard

Much in demand for its consistently excellent grapes, Sagemoor Vineyards north of Pasco, Wash., consists of five distinct sites near the Columbia River and spanning more than 1,100 acres.
This day’s harvest was Cabernet Sauvignon from the prized Bacchus Vineyard nestled alongside the Columbia River.

Red Willow Vineyard

The vineyard at the westernmost edge of the Yakima Valley, Red Willow is the site of Washington’s first planting of Syrah, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Mourvèdre and an early planter of Cabernet Sauvignon. The beauty of its 140+ acres is underscored by the iconic Monsignor Chapel built by the Sauer family in the mid-1990s on a hill planted mostly to Syrah in homage to the many chapel vineyards in France.
Red Willow Vineyard’s final pick of Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2020 vintage was for Barrage Cellars and Patterson Cellars, both based in Woodinville.

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About Richard Duval

Contributing wine photojournalist Richard Duval captures vivid wine imagery for Great Northwest Wine, Wine Press Northwest and other regional and national wine media. His images are found in wine marketing guides throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho and used by a growing number of wineries in the Pacific Northwest. From his studio in Woodinville, Wash., Richard creates bottle shots and captures the occasional portrait of wine personalities. His “Art from the Vine” fine art exhibit has been displayed in restaurants, hotels, wineries and wine centers throughout the region. He markets wine work, which includes a line of personal greeting cards, online via WinePix —

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