After decades of high-profile expansion into Oregon’s Willamette Valley by Burgundy producers, Grace Evenstad of Domaine Serene, in Dundee, turned the tables, purchasing Domaine Christian Confuron et Fils in June. The sale includes parcels in Nuits-St-Georges and Chambolle-Musigny, and in Bonnes-Mares and Clos de Vougeot.
In early August, Delicato Family Wines completed the acquisition of Francis Ford Coppola wines, a collection of brands under the Francis Coppola line, their facility in Geyserville, and the 13-acre Archimedes Vineyard in the Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak AVA.
In late July, Larkmead Vineyards promoted Avery Heelan to winemaker, where she had assisted for two years. Dan Petroski is leaving the position after 13 years to concentrate on his own brand, Massican.
In July, Beringer Vineyards promoted Ryan Rech to Chief Winemaker. Rech has worked with the brand since 2016.
In Washington State, three more Columbia Valley sub-appellations have been approved by the TTB, all in the southern-central portion of the Columbia Valley, as the regions around Red Mountain and the Horse Heaven Hills get more closely scrutinized for their unique characters. The Burn, a triangular wedge on the north side of the Columbia River, just west of the Horse Heaven Hills, is a warm and windy region planted to red varieties; currently, Chateau Ste. Michelle is the region’s sole grower. Goose Gap, also planted to red varieties, lies just northeast of the Horse Heaven Hills, forming a wedge between it and Red Mountain. White Bluffs, lying between the Red/Candy Mountain AVAs and the Wahluke Slope to the north, at a place where the river runs north-south, is already home to several established vineyards, including Bacchus and Dionysus vineyards, planted in 1972.
Patrick J. Comiskey covers US wines for Wine & Spirits magazine, focusing on the Pacific Northwest, California’s Central Coast and New York’s Finger Lakes.
This story appears in the print issue of October 2021.
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