Wallula is the largest vineyard we source grapes from representing about 40% of all our Riesling grapes. It is also our only Biodynamic Vineyard (the first in Washington and the largest). It is the source of our Single Vineyard Wallula, a large contributor to our Riesling made from Organic grapes and a good contributor to our Sweet Riesling. I was there two week ago to check the development of our growing season. The vineyard looked good, appropriate crop level, good growth etc… Below is a picture of how things look like:
Of course one of the pleasure of walking at Wallula is to spot the sheeps. We use them to weed the rows (remember we don’t use any herbicide or pesticides for Biodynamic farming). Here they are between the rows:
Wallula is a special place from many different propectives. First is is a high elevation vineyard (1,300 feet) above Missoula flood levels (click here for the story of the flood) and that is very interesting for a higher mineral content. It was also planted biodynamically from the get go and the farming practices are very unique and highly sustainable (see earlier post on biodynamic farming). The density is high for Washington (1613 vines/ac) resulting in less crop per vine. The trellis is also very peculiar – it is a sort of a modified lyra with a tall vine (the fuit zone is 5 feet off the ground) – promoting lots of shading which protects the clusters from too much sunlight and provides a cooler environment. Finally we have a few buried drip lines that promote more root exploration enhancing mineral content. There are very few vineyards in the world that are so complex and advanced. Below is a picture of a vine so you can picture the whole thing.