Why we make Chenin: Chenin was the second Pacific Rim wine, actually it was introduced under the bonny doon years (first vintage was 2004). We kept making it in Washington because we have access to great old Chenin Blanc. Most of our Chenin now comes from a vineyard in the heart of the Yakima Valley that was planted in 1972 (same year than Solstice by the way) – so the vines are now 38 years old! Old vines Chenin do not produce much and they give us a more aromatic style compare to most Chenin.
Grape sourcing: Our Chenin comes now exclusively from the Yakima Valley around Prosser. We have two vineyards but one (Hahn Hill) is by far the largest. Since those vines are old they are on an old trellis system (call the fan) that is not used anymore. Below is a picture of that system:
Our style: we use to make the Chenin a bit sweeter but with time passing we have settled for a drier style, closer to a Loire Valley style rather than a CA Chenin. Those wines usually change in the bottle going from a tight and fruity (pear, melon) style to a more exuberant (hay, passion fruit) style after 2-3 years in the bottle (I prefer them with some bottle age to be honest). I believe our Chenin totally rocks. We make 100% Chenin Blanc, no blender.