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Amavi Cellars
by
Kathy Sullivan

Amavi CellarsSummary: Amavi Cellars’ new tasting room is a delightful place to visit with its dynamic views and quality wines. While the focus of the wines is on Syrah, other wine varieties are available. The wines offered are crafted from all estate grown grapes.

Amavi opened its new tasting room and facility April 30, 2010. Syrah wines are the focus of the winery however they also produce other varietal wines. Norm McKibben commented that the tasting room offers a good price to quality value. He wants people to know that the tasting room offers the best view of the wine country from the tasting room deck.

Amavi CellarsFor Norm McKibben, as a Partner, Amavi is the fourth winery he has built. After viewing the winery top to bottom, it appears that Norm has thought of everything to make the winery and tasting room efficient and people friendly. The name Amavi is taken from Latin. Amavi is a combination of ‘amor’ for love and ‘vita’ for life.

The location of the Amavi tasting room is delightful with views of the vibrant green acres of vineyards contrasting with acres of wheat fields. The Blue Mountains provide an excellent backdrop. One can gaze at this scenic view for hours and it becomes even more delightful with a glass of Amavi in hand.

The tasting room is a modern built facility built with sustainability in mind. Large windows at the very top of the winery allow light to filter into the tasting room over the tasting counter. The tasting counter of stainless steel provides a nice contrast with the light wood flooring and ceilings.

A wall of windows reaching from the ceiling to the floor, while allowing plenty of light into the tasting room, provides a dynamic view of the scenic views. A deck with numerous chairs is inviting. Consider purchasing a bottle of wine to share and enjoy the ambiance from the deck. Adjacent to the tasting room a room offers a place for meetings or small events.

Amavi Cellars     Amavi Cellars

Norm wanted to make Syrah and discussed if it should be incorporated into the Pepper Bridge Winery portfolio or to build a new winery to showcase the Syrah. Wanting to keep the price range for the wines at under $30, it was decided to create the Amavi Winery.

All grapes are sourced from estate vineyards. Les Collines Vineyard with 220 acres includes Syrah, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Malbec and Petit Verdot.

Amavi Cellars is surrounded by the Pepper Bridge Vineyard.
Amavi CellarsCurrently the wines are sorted and crushed at Pepper Bridge Winery, Amavi’s sister winery. The winemaking crew is the same for both wineries with Jean-François Pellet as the head winemaker. Amavi Cellars produces 7,500 cases annually. There are future plans to crush and ferment at Amavi Cellars.

Below the tasting room, bottled wines are in storage. A full size kitchen is available for caterers. Anyone planning an event at Amavi can choose a caterer from a list of five caterers. Another building a few hundred feet away is the temperature and humidity controlled barrel room.

Amavi CellarsWines

While talking with Norm, we enjoyed tasting several of the Amavi wines. We began with the Semillon 2009. This wine was a beautiful slightly dark straw color. The aroma offered floral and citrus nuances. The crisp finish had citrus notes with faint peach hints. Semillon was refreshing. Syrah 2007 was a dark opaque purple with a light purple rim. There were black fruit nuances especially black cherries. The crisp finish had mild tannins with fruit yielding to mineral hints. Syrah 2007 Les Collines Vineyard was an opaque dark purple to black color with a purple rim. The aroma was like a meat flavor with black fruit nuances. The taste had black fruit notes. The finish was crisp with light tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 had a dark purple rim with an aroma of blackberries with slight floral hints. The taste had an explosion of black fruit especially black berries. There were bold tannins on the fruity finish.

Enjoy a visit to Amavi Cellars. Take time to enjoy a glass of quality wine or share a bottle of wine on the deck enjoying a photographic view of the scenery.

Amavi Cellars
3796 Pepper Bridge Road
Walla Walla, Washington 99362

GPS: N46º 00.992' W118º 23.169'

 


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