In 2012, W.T. Vintners formed a new partnership with Stoney Vine Vineyard in one of the world’s most unique vineyard areas, the Walla Walla Valley’s sub-region known as “The Rocks District.” Unlike the dominant soils of Washington’s flood affected vine growing areas, the soils from “The Rocks District” are an ancient alluvial fan of river tumbled basalt cobblestones formed by the Walla Walla river. “The Rocks District” area shares its soil structure with only a couple very rare and special regions, evoking visions of Chateauneuf-du-Pape in France’s Southern Rhone Valley or New Zealand’s Hawkes Bay sub-region known as the “Gimblett Gravels.” While Chateauneuf’s famous “galet roulés” are largely just surface stones, the Walla Walla Rocks are deep, well over 200 feet in some spots.
The lower hanging fruit benefits from the radiant heat being absorbed by the cobblestones throughout the sunny days. More importantly, the heat that is absorbed by day continues warming the root system and assisting in ripening well into the night. The resulting flavors from the region are decidedly very different from anywhere else in Washington/Oregon. Flavors and aromas of wild game, earth and deep heady fruits pervade the wines made from fruit grown in this small area, regardless of varietal. It is truly a special place and worthy of the critical honors the region’s wines continue to garner each year.
Weather at the Vineyard