Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tour of the Seven Hills and Ferguson Vineyards

Well here we are, another live blog post from my Walla Walla vacation! And today's early morning post (yeah I know 9:00 am PT isn't early, but I am on vacation after all!

Today, we are on a wonderful tour of the Seven Hills vineyard and the newly established Ferguson vineyard with Marty Clubb and Jaime Chalk of L'Ecole No. 41.

Our first stop on the tour was the Ferguson vineyard planted in 2008, but the difference between the soils and the microclimate make a huge difference in the fruit and wines. Ferguson is at a 1,450 foot elevation, however the major deposits of wind-blown loess ends at about 1,200 feet. So at the top of the hill there is only 1-2 feet of soil before you hit the basalt deposits. The basalt creates a great minerality to the wines, particularly an iron flavor which is really quite different that what comes from the Seven Hills vineyard. One of the interesting features to see at Ferguson is the basalt wall where there removed and crushed rock to build 10 miles of road through the vineyard. What that shows is the level of the rock and the thin layer of soil at the top.

Marty Clubb of L'Ecole talking to us about the basalt underlying the Ferguson Vineyard
The basalt wall showing the thin layer of soil on top.
Next stop down the hill to the gazebo at the Seven Hills vineyard where we learn about the history and varietals planted there and get to sample some wine! Now the gazebo is beautiful with grape vines at the top forming the roof making this a perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine. Now for the tasting, first a taste of the 2012 Estate Luminesce which is a very pleasant white, white which I am learning to appreciate! Then a glass of 2010 Perigee which I just love, it has a soft elegance to it that really highlights the beauty of the Seven Hills Vineyard. Finally another taste of the 2011 barrel sample of the Ferguson blend, which just has a minerality that is so different than anything I've tasted from the Walla Walla Valley.

The wind machines that blow on the vineyard to help combat pests.

The Seven Hills Vineyard with the Blue Mountains in the background.

The trellis as the roof of the Gazebo at the Seven Hills Vineyard

Overall it was a spectacular tour with a lot of great information (perhaps I'll share more o this in a future non-mobile post). A great way to spend a Saturday morning. And a bid thank you to Marty and Jamie for being such wonderful hosts!

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