Winemaking

Every winemaker knows that great wines are made in the vineyard and that he or she should do everything possible to work with the vineyard owners to produce premium grapes.

Three Rivers Sources Grapes from Columbia Valley Among Others

Columbia Valley Terroir Offers Exceptional Growing Conditions

Terroir

Winemaker Holly Turner has been fortunate to have worked with fruit from nearly all parts of the vast Columbia Valley Appellation, thus developing a winemaking philosophy which is well suited to our area.

Each growing area in the Columbia Valley has its own unique characteristics that contribute to making the wines distinctive. The French use the term “terroir,” which refers to the factors at each growing site that contribute to making the wines unique. These factors include the soil type, irrigation management, canopy management, cropping levels, and overall climate. Occasionally, the grapes from an individual vineyard will be of such superb quality that they warrant being bottled separate from other vineyards to showcase the resulting wine.

Wine Blending

Holly strongly believes that the blending of grapes from several different vineyards will most often result in the most superb wines possible. At Three Rivers Winery, we utilize blending to maximize wine quality whenever warranted.

Blending of wines is analogous to cooking with herbs. When used alone, fresh herbs can enhance the flavor of most foods, but when several herbs are used in combination they can result in a superb culinary dish.

Holly Turner Blending Three Rivers Wine in the Lab

Winemaker Holly Turner Blending Three Rivers Wine

Winemaker Holly Turner Sampling Wine Grapes

Winemaker Holly Turner Sampling Grapes

The Best Fruit

Three Rivers sources grapes from many different areas within the greater Columbia Valley, including high-quality vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley and Red Mountain AVA. We continue to source grapes from a wide array of vineyards in several diverse geographic zones to deliver the highest quality wines.

Learn More About Our Vineyards

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Learn More About Our Winemaker

We source from the following vineyards:

Artz Vineyard

Located in the Red Mountain AVA, Fred Artz's eponymous vineyard was planted in the mid-1990s and lies directly north of Klipsun on the western border of the AVA. Artz Vineyard is planted primarily to Bordeaux varieties and is prized for producing wines of profound concentration, color, and character.

Bacchus Vineyard

Under common management of the Sagemoor group, Bacchus is located outside of Pasco on southwest-facing hillsides with dramatic views of the Columbia River below. Three Rivers’ actively participates in viticulture decision-making within our preferred blocks to ensure the quality of our own personal flavor profile goals. Some of our finest Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot come from Bacchus.

Gamache Vineyards

When Gamache first planted in 1982 there were less than two dozen wineries in Washington State. Nearly 30 years of grape growing has given the brothers an appreciation for the unique expression of the site. By gently nurturing their vines in keeping with the climate, soil, and rhythm of the seasons, Bob and Roger grow grapes with pure varietal character and a sense of place. Three Rivers receives Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Malbec from Gamache Vineyards.

Les Collines Vineyard

Les Collines (The Foothills) is one of the higher vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley sitting at the base of the Blue Mountains, with an upper elevation of 1,380 feet. Soil Moisture and weather data is recorded around the clock, producing high-end Merlot for Three Rivers.

Minnick Hills Vineyard

Minnick Hills Vineyard lies 2 miles north of Walla Walla at the point where the valley transitions to rolling hills. This is a perfect site for some of our red varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot because of the soil diversity which includes volcanic ash that was deposited following the eruption of Mt. Mazama thousands of years ago.

Pepper Bridge Vineyard

Pepper Bridge Vineyard is one of Pepper Bridge Winery's two estate vineyards located in the Walla Walla Valley Appellation. The original 10 acres were planted in 1991. Pepper Bridge Vineyard has gained an outstanding reputation with winemakers throughout the state of Washington and especially the Walla Walla Valley. Tom Waliser has been the Vineyard Manager since its inception. Three Rivers receives Syrah and Merlot from them.

Sagemoor Vineyard

When one thinks of the vineyards which have contributed to the success of the Washington wine industry, Sagemoor Vineyard is on everyone’s list. Having grown vinifera grapes for many years, this vineyard has contributed to many wines, some of which have received worldwide acclaim. Three Rivers receives Chardonnay and Malbec from Sagemoor.

Seven Hills Vineyard

Seven Hills was one of the first commercial vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley AVA, first planted in 1980 and then expanded in 1989, which now covers more than 200 acres. The yields of the vines are strictly controlled to assure ultra-premium quality. Some of our Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot come from these highly regarded vineyards.

Summit View Vineyard

Summit View Vineyard is planted to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, and a mix of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Malbec, Grenache, Petit Verdot, Carménère, Petite Sirah, Tempranillo, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Riesling. The vineyard is trained to Vertical Shoot Position system, at 1300 plants per acre. Heat units for the site average 3000-3300 units annually and precipitation averages 6-8" annually.

Weinbau Vineyard

Also managed by the Sagemoor group, Weinbau is located on the Wahluke slope above the Columbia River near Mattawa. Three Rivers gets some of our Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes from Weinbau and we are assured it is produced at the highest of qualities.

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