Designating the vineyard source for a wine — a practice that was once virtually unheard of — has become an increasingly important part of the wine label.
As Washington wine production has increased, so has the knowledge and sophistication level of wine consumers. Not content to know only what they’re drinking, they want access to other information, such as production notes, varietal composition, barrel aging and vineyard designation.
Knowing where the grapes are grown can be extremely important because, simply stated, each vineyard produces wines with unique characteristics, aromas and flavors.
With more than 2,000 planted acres, McKinley Spring Vineyards represents about 5 percent of all the state’s plantings. The first vineyard was planted in 1980, and 22 varieties of grapes are now grown there. Another 600 acres of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and syrah will be added over the next three years, according to Vineyard Manager Rob Andrews.
The vineyard also produces 18 percent of the wine grapes grown within the Horse Heaven Hills Appellation, where it is located. That includes wines bottled under their own estate label, McKinley Springs Winery, in Prosser, which turns out around 6,000 cases of wine annually.
Here are my tasting notes on three McKinley Springs Winery wines I recently enjoyed:
For more information on the McKinley Springs Vineyard and Winery, including ordering wines, go to mckinleysprings.com.