An Authentic Northwest Adventure
As legend has it, explorers Lewis and Clark noticed a ridge resembling an overturned canoe on their historic 1805 Columbia River journey. Today, that landmark is known as Canoe Ridge Vineyard, the namesake location of one of Washington state’s most recognized wine producers. Established in the Horse Heaven Hills in 1989, followed by a Walla Walla based winery in 1994, Canoe Ridge showcases wines to reflect the natural beauty and terroir of the Pacific Northwest.
Canoe Ridge Vineyard went from dream to reality driven by the passion of some of Washington’s best-known winemakers (with the cooperation of area farmers), on faith that the Horse Heaven Hills would become a promising grape-growing region. Designated an official American Viticultural Area in 2005, the territory sits perched high above the Columbia River on a breathtaking ridge. Vines are planted on original rootstock in bone-dry desert soils ranging from 425-740 feet in elevation, embedding themselves deep into the sandy loam earth. Situated at a similar latitude to Bordeaux and Burgundy, vines soak up more than 17 hours of sunshine during peak summer days, while cool nights and upriver winds provide ideal temperature control. The resulting grapes showcase intense flavor and supple tannins with excellent sugar-to-acid balance. Suave structure and deep concentration are characteristics that put Canoe Ridge Vineyard on the map, synonymous with the most acclaimed wines in the Northwest.
At the helm of Canoe Ridge Vineyard is winemaker Bill Murray. Originally hailing from Napa, California, Bill has been making top-tier Bordeaux varieties and Chardonnay wines for more than 20 years. A close friend of longtime former Canoe Ridge Vineyard winemaker John Abbott, Bill took the helm in 2011 to focus on what the winery does best: Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, Bill works primarily with French oak to subtly complement the structure of grapes from the Horse Heaven Hills.
Featured Canoe Ridge Vineyard wines at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits:
The Expedition Cabernet Sauvignon
Spiced floral aromas lead to layered juicy flavors of red currant and smoky plum, with a deep, velvety finish.
The Expedition Merlot
Gorgeous dark berry aromas mix with flavors of currant cherry, and a hint of candied violet on the long, silky finish.
The Expedition Chardonnay
Scents of butterscotch and honeysuckle mix with flavors of ripe pear and honeydew for a rich, elegant texture on the finish.
Today’s blog post is courtesy of Canoe Ridge Vineyards.