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Woodward Canyon Winery
by
Terry Sullivan

Woodward Canyon WinerySummary: Woodward Canyon Winery is the first winery visitors will encounter as they approach Walla Walla from the west. Established in 1980, it is an example of a winery achieving sustainable practices. It is internationally certified for sustainability.

Woodward Canyon Winery is located on Highway 12 in Lowden, Washington. The site has a tasting room, event facility and winery. Estate vineyards are three miles away. The tasting room is a short distance from the L’Ecole No 41 Winery. The L’Ecole winery tasting room is in an old schoolhouse dating from 1915. The Woodward Canyon Winery tasting room is in a house that was once the schoolmaster’s residence. It also provided lodging for some of the school’s teachers. Rick Small and Darcey Fugman Small are the owners of the winery. According to Darcey, Rick remembers attending school at L’Ecole No 41 and walking over to the residence to watch a World Series game on television.

Sustainability

Woodward Canyon Winery is involved in following sustainable practices. They believe and practice the sustainability concept of the triple bottom line. The triple bottom line includes economics, environmental and social. For economics the winery is making a profit. For environmental it uses minimal and safe chemicals and for social it prides itself on being a good neighbor and employer.

In the winery, cardboard, wine bottles and corks are recycled. Biodesel fuel is used in several vehicles. Environmentally safe methods are used in the vineyards to control pests and disease.

Woodward Canyon Winery received third-party sustainability certification. They are certified sustainable through the Oregon LIVE (Low Input Viticulture & Enology) program that also certifies them as Salmon-Safe. In addition they have sustainability certification through the International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC). Together with other Walla Walla wineries, they formed the group VINEA, a voluntary group of winegrowers that embrace economic, environment and social sustainability.

Woodward Canyon WineryVineyards and Winery

The vineyards were planted in 1977. Today, the 42 acres of vines include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Grapes are also sourced from Charbonneau Vineyard, Champoux Vineyard, Sagemoor Vineyard and Celilo Vineyard. Rick and Darcey are joint owners of the Champoux Vineyards. The winery is on the same property as the tasting room. The aroma of the barrel aging room had the unmistakable scent of a winery that brings smiles to faces. Barrels are stacked four high. Several have soft wood rings around the barrel head.

 

Tasting Room and Art Series

The cozy tasting room is on the first level of the house. Four visitors can easily taste wines at the tasting counter at one time or amble through the room and observe the art work. Many works of art are also used on the wine bottles for the "Artist Series" of wines. Gifts available for purchase include wine bottle carriers, books, Riedal glassware and Artisan Hors D'oeuvres.

Woodward Canyon Winery     Woodward Canyon Winery

Woodward Canyon WineryWines

Several wines were tasted. The 2008 Estate Sauvignon Blanc had a citrus aroma. There was also citrus on the taste with peach and apricot nuances. The wine had a hint of minerality. The finish was crisp and fruity. The 2007 Dry Riesling offered a floral and mineral aroma. The taste was rose petals and stone fruit. There was a lingering stone fruit aftertaste on the crisp finish. The 2008 Chardonnay had an apple and pear aroma and taste. The velvety mouth feel had a crisp fruity finish with caramel notes.

The 2007 Columbia Valley Merlot was a dark red purple color that had dark fruit especially black cherry aroma. There were dark fruit and spice notes on the taste. The crisp finish had tannins and was fruity. The 2008 Walla Walla Valley Cabernet was a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Merlot and Petit Verdot. It had a black fruit and spice aroma and taste. There were tannins on the fruity finish. The 2006 Estate Red Reserve was a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Verdot. The wine was dark purple with a ruby rim. The aroma offered dark fruit and cedar. The smooth fruity taste had bold tannins on the finish. The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Artist Series #16 was dark purple. The wine had a blackberry aroma and taste with bold tannins on the fruity finish.

Enjoy a visit to Woodward Canyon Winery where the owners, Rick and Darcey, have respect for the grape and want to produce wines that will age well and pair well with food.

Woodward Canyon Winery
11920 W. Highway 12
Lowden, Washington 99360

GPS: N46º 03.393’ W118º 35.009’


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Copyright: Terry and Kathy Sullivan 2006-2014