Good Fruit Grower

December 2012

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A view from the vineyards of White Heron Cellars, which overlook the Columbia River and Crescent Bar resort. The vineyards are part of the new Ancient Lakes appellation. Cameron Fries, owner of White Heron Cellars, spent many hours on the Ancient Lakes petition process. He had help from other area growers and wineries—Cave B Estate Winery's Alfredo "Freddy" Arredondo, Ryan Flanagan, Jones of Washington's Victor Palencia, and Mil- brandt Vineyards owners Butch and Jerry Milbrandt. Washington State University soil scientist Dr. Joan Davenport also contributed. White Heron Cellars is the oldest continuously oper- ated winery in the area. Fries, the owner and winemaker, made his first wine in 1986 and planted his first vines in 1991. But White Heron wasn't the first in the area. Champs de Brionne winery was the region's first winery, starting in 1984, but it shut down for several years, reopening as Cave B Estate Winery in 2000. Ancient soils and lakes The Ancient Lakes AVA encompasses nearly 163,000 Jim Penning 509-577-8335 800-741-6135 Yakima, WA Stacy Griffin 509-826-4227 800-313-4228 Omak, WA Wayne Larson 509-525-9106 Walla Walla, WA Paul Koethke 509-765-9259 800-689-9259 Moses Lake, WA Laurie Mooney 509-663-3800 Wenatchee, WA acres in Grant, Douglas, and Kittitas counties. Primary towns in the AVA are Quincy and George. Boundaries are the Beezley Hills to the north, Frenchman Hills to the south, the western shores of the Columbia River near West Bar to the west, and the manmade Winchester Wasteway to the east. Already, the AVA has a handful of commercial wineries and more than 1,500 acres of wine grapes, including part of the new 180-acre Spanish Castle Vineyard, a venture of the Flanagans and Milbrandts, planted last spring. The appellation is named for some of the state's most 1112-017 dramatic and unique landforms created some 15,000 years ago by the Missoula Floods. As flood waters rushed westward from the Quincy Basin, they scoured the topsoil down to the basalt bedrock and left behind troughs and pools, creating Quincy and Ancient Lakes (three small lakes) and an area called Potholes Coulee. Centuries later, winds blew in sand and silt, now layered above caliche and fractured basalt, to create fast-draining, low-nutrient soil ideally suited for growing premium wine grapes. Cool region Fries has been involved with the industry in the INC. Representing Over 30 Leading Nurseries in the U.S. and Europe 1-800-421-4001 2014 SPRING DELIVERY Apple Rootstocks Available for Bench Graft Projects Price per Tree $ 4.75for Orders of 10,000 or More * Royalties Not Included * Ancient Lakes area since the mid-1980s. After studying viticulture and enology in Switzerland for five years, the Washington native returned to his home state. Fries was winemaker for several years at Champs de Brionne winery before launching his own winery and vineyard. Fries says the area is influenced by a unique set of climatic conditions—moderating temperatures from the waters of the Columbia River, sloping landforms to the river that allow for air drainage, and a regional pocket that collects cold air from the central part of the state. "We often have snow here when there's no snow in Moses Lake," he said. "We'll get snow when other AVAs don't." He believes that the region's cooler temperatures keep the vines in dormancy longer. When growers in other regions suffer 20 to 50 percent bud damage from arctic temperatures, he says he'll have only slight damage, around 2 percent. "I learned the importance of finding a good vineyard site for ripening when I studied in Switzerland," Fries said. "In Washington, site selection is not so important for getting the grapes ripe, but for surviving winter and cold temperatures." Ancient Lakes is a cooler region than the Wahluke Tel: 503-538-2131 Fax: 503-538-7616 58 DECEMBER 2012 GOOD FRUIT GROWER FREE Slope that's just 30 minutes south. Heat units accumu- lated during the growing season average 2,500 to 2,700. The cooler temperatures allow grapes to ripen slowly and develop bright aromatics, said Fries, adding that the area has proven to be exceptional for white varieties like Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris. Fruit from the Milbrandts' Evergreen Vineyard, a 950-plus-acre vineyard planted in 1998, is used by Chateau Ste. Michelle to make Eroica, a high-end Riesling wine made in conjunction with Germany's Dr. Ernst Loosen. But the Ancient Lakes AVA is not just a white wine region. Services are to growers

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