When people think of Washington State, they think of Seattle; of coffee and hipsters…and rain. Lots and lots of rain. Steady drizzle, cats and dogs, moss-is-our-state-flower kind of rain.
A surprise to many, it’s a different story as you make your way through the Columbia River gorge, east of the Cascades — the volcanic mountain range that divides the state in two. The landscape turns cowboy movie dry and dusty pretty quickly. Here, about 140 miles and a totally different climate away from Seattle, lies Red Mountain, rising gently from the desert floor, where a scant 5 inches of rain falls annually.
The stinginess of Mother Nature may seem unforgiving, but it’s her gift to our winemakers; one of control over irrigation which forces the grapes to struggle — a necessary penance on their journey to becoming rich, bold, intense reds. Our home gets 300-plus days of sun, including an hour per day more than Napa and Bordeaux. (Music to a viticulturalist’s ears.)
The results are intense notes of fruit in our complex and highly structured Chasing Rain Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Blend, and Merlot. One slow sip will instantly reveal our obsession with the craft of winemaking. You see we’ve always believed that we could make 100,000 bottles of a wine.
Or we could make something special.
THE MAGIC OF RED MOUNTAIN
It’s clear that Mother Nature loves a good red wine, for she bestowed upon the Red Mountain AVA a confluence of idyllic conditions that winemakers typically only dream of.
The region was formed over 10,000 years ago, the result of receding glacial floods and severe weather that deposited a combination of nutrient-rich soil and layers of sand and silt — perfect for growing grapes. Situated in the far corner of Washington’s Yakima Valley, Red Mountain has already made a name for itself by consistently producing award-winning, 95 to 100-point vintages.
Red Mountain’s inherent nature is a gift to winemaking. Marry that with Chasing Rain’s blend of traditional and modern methods, an old-world reverence for the land, and a time-honored process that values craft and quality over speed and volume, and the potential for legendary wines is boundless.
The best ones all have it. A deep, heart-felt affinity for the land, that is. A reverence for even the soil lodged under their fingernails and ground into their calluses. Soil they analyze, evaluate, and worship. Some even talk to it.
Gianfranco Farimbella and Joshua Maloney are two such people. Our vineyard manager and consulting winemaker, respectively, whose understanding of soil, sun, wind and rain, along with a passion for crafting great wine was evident from early on. It’s what led Franco to master innovative irrigation practices and canopy management — creating smaller grapes that yield more intense flavor. And Joshua to become an expert at shepherding the journey from vine to bottle, carefully exercising his craft with a surgeon’s confidence and skill that can only be the product of years of experience.
The truth is, who’s guiding the process makes all the difference in the world. And when you have people who talk to the dirt, it’s a good bet you’re going to end up with some exceptional wine.