A lot goes into making wine here at Belle Roche Vineyard. In case we had not yet named our vineyard on your last visit, it's Ducleaux Cellars first Estate Vineyard. We are making wines honoring our newly discovered terroir, working with what Mother Nature deals us every growing season. This year is the perfect study of what we are given and what choices we make to bring out the best characteristics of each variety.
We are located in The Rocks District of Milton Freewater, a six square mile sub-AVA of the Walla Walla Valley AVA. It is a distinct, very promising viticulture area, challenged with the repercussions of growing grapes in a sometimes hostile environment.
The start of the 2022 growing season was notably cool and wet, which delayed flowering and fruit set. We had guests staying in our vineyard cottage this April. We didn't think we'd need to warn them the frost fan might go off in the middle of the night. Who would have guessed temperatures would have dropped to freezing in April? FYI, a wind fan sounds like the President is landing in a helicopter in your back yard. It's not something you might sleep through, unless you're my sister. She could.
But, wait! There's more!
In August, we had a rogue wind and hail storm rip through a small section of The Rocks District. Our Belle Roche Vineyard and our 1921 historic home suffered significant damage. Our roof was retrieved from the neighbor's field and damage was assessed. We suffered significant damage to some blocks, but we are extremely grateful we were spared the destruction neighboring vineyards suffered. We have a plan and can't wait to share this crazy vintage with you! You just never know.
Stay hopeful and stay healthy.
And come see us. 💕🥂
Chris + Toby