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McKinley Springs Winery
by
Kathy Sullivan

McKinley Springs WinerySummary: McKinley Springs has two thousand acres of grapes and a winery. The McKinley Springs farmland has been in the family for generations having been bought after World War II. In the latter part of the twentieth century, the family members decided to change to growing vineyards and then added wine as a value added aspect of farming and as a way to feature the grapes they produce.

McKinley Springs is a must visit winery and vineyard. Traveling to the vineyards is delightful with extended open views of vineyards and farmland in every direction. A visit provides awesome views and a perfect place for painters and photographers. Wine enthusiasts will welcome the opportunity to sit on the deck or patio of the tasting room facility and enjoy a glass of McKinley Springs wine.

McKinley Springs WineryMcKinley Springs WineryThe Beginning of McKinley Springs

The vineyard land was owned by the family beginning in the 1940s. Prior to that time the land had been used as a training area during World War II. Even earlier the land had been used for sheep grazing. After buying the land it was first used for cattle. The beginning of the vineyards started in the 1980s. Gradually more vineyards were added and eventually reached 2,000 acres. Rob Andrews is the winegrower. Today there are a few acres of Concord grapes for juice and the rest are planted with wine grapes including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Mourvedre, Syrah and Chenin Blanc. While some grapes are harvested by hand other grapes are machine harvested. Grapes are sourced to Chateau Ste. Michelle and more than twenty smaller wineries. Wineries that buy grapes from McKinley Springs have their own designated rows. The McKinley Springs winery was established in 2002 to feature the grapes. Today the winery produces 6,000 to 7,000 cases of wine from its own grapes under the hard work of winemaker, Doug Rowell.

McKinley Springs has developed a program to help protect the vineyards against frost. Doug Rowell noted that the program includes limiting the water to the grapes around harvest time. After harvest the vines are heavily watered for several weeks. The water is then limited. This helps to harden off the vines.

Tasting Room

The tasting room was opened in 2006. The floor is of dark wood. Three bistro tables are available for visitors. A large corner fireplace adds ambience. Adjacent to the tasting room, a beautiful deck with steps leads to a patio. Visitors will enjoy views of the vineyards.

McKinley Springs Winery     McKinley Springs Winery

McKinley Springs WineryWhite Wines

McKinley Springs produces four white wines including Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Confluence and Heaven’s Reward. Confluence was a blend of Chenin Blanc and Viognier. Heaven’s Reward is a dessert wine. We were able to taste the Viognier 2009 which was a straw color. Notes of yellow stone fruits were on the aroma and taste. The finish was crisp and fruity.

Red Wines

The winery produces five red wines including Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec, Bombing Range Red, and Petit Verdot. They also make a Rosé of Barbera. The Bombing Range Red was a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot. This wine was produced as a tribute to the use of the land for World War II training and the United States troops.

McKinley Springs WinerySyrah 2007 was a dark purple. The wine had notes of dark fruits with a slight hint of minerality. The crisp finish was fruity with crisp tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Horse Heaven Hills AVA was a dark purple with a light purple rim. The aroma was of dark fruit and the taste had notes of blackberries. Tannins were on the fruity finish. Petit Verdot 2008 Horse Heaven Hills was a dark purple to black with a light purple rim. Dark fruit notes were on the aroma and the taste had black cherry and blackberry nuances. The finish was crisp and fruity with tannins.

Journey into Horse Heaven Hills AVA to enjoy the large expanses of land of which many acres are covered with grapevines. Spend time at the McKinley Springs tasting room exploring their wines. Enjoy the ambience and the friendliness of the Andrews family.

McKinley Springs
1201 Alderdale Rd
Prosser, Washington 99350

GPS: N46º 00.085’ W119º 54.964’

 


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