Good Fruit Grower

August 2013

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Grapes A sense of place Clay Mackey and Kay Simon saw opportunity in the Yakima Valley and Prosser. C lay Mackey and Kay Simon, the married partners of Chinook Wines, decided from the start that Yakima Valley would define their wines. They could have established a winery anywhere, but say they chose Yakima Valley and their Prosser location because of opportunity. As her first job in Washington State's wine industry, Simon worked for Chateau Ste. Michelle. She started in 1977, working on Ste. Michelle's winemaking team at the newly renovated facility in Grandview. At the same time, her husband, Mackey, worked on the viticulture side of Ste. Michelle as the company's eastern Washington vineyard manager. His job took him to all parts of eastern Washington where wine grapes were being grown. "We saw opportunity in Yakima Valley and Prosser," said Mackey. "We liked the Prosser community, and with it being the county seat and home to Washington State University's Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center, it has a diverse population." They purchased an old cherry farm near a freeway interchange and converted the home and buildings into a winery and tasting room. Cherry trees were eventually replaced with a small block of Cabernet Franc wine grapes. The Chinook winery, enduring for 30 years through market cycles, industry expansion and recession, is as much a testimony to staying focused on crafting premium wines as it is in keeping together a successful marriage/business partnership. Simon, with extensive winemaking experience, is Chinook's winemaker, and she produces about 3,000 cases annually. Mackey, a trained viticulturist, takes care of their small estate vineyard, works closely with growers in sourcing grapes and scheduling harvest, and handles their direct wine sales, making weekly deliveries to retail accounts in Seattle. These days, they have plenty of winery neighbors near the freeway interchange in Prosser. Hogue Cellars, Kestrel Wines, and Mercer Estate Wines are less than a mile away and Vintners Village, with its dozen or so wineries, is within a few miles. But when they crushed grapes for their photo by melissa hansen by Melissa Hansen Clay Mackey says their Cabernet Franc vineyard survived the cold temperatures in late spring. FRUIT AND VEGETABLE KERIAN SIZER GENTLE: Separates without damaging peaches, apples, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes ACCURATE: Precisely grades grape tomatoes, cherries, nuts, and small berries, maintaining that accuracy for larger products including cantaloupes and pineapple FAST: Thirteen standard models customdesigned to meet your needs sort from 1,000 lb/hr to 100,000 lb/hr SIMPLE: Effective but simple design provides a rugged, low-cost, low-maintenance machine at a high value to our customers. It can even be used in the field! VERSATILE: Specialized rollers allow for the accurate sizing of round products (potatoes, onions, and citrus), long products (carrots, russets, and cucumbers), and irregular products (bell peppers, jalapeños, and garlic) KERIAN MACHINES, INC. 1709 Hwy 81 South, P.O. Box 311 Grafton, ND 58237 701-352-0480 • Fax 701-352-3776 • 46 AUGUST 2013 GOOD FRUIT GROWER

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