: Old Vines, Treasured Wines

At TERO Estates, it is our goal to produce small lots of estate wines that reflect the ultimate expression of Windrow Vineyard.

Reviving and improving this historic property allows us to follow our passion for creating treasured wines while showing respect for the vines and the people who tend them.

21 Grams ~ An artistic Collaboration

Each vintage, this exclusive 100-case bottling is made from the finest lots of Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon

21 Grams is an artistic collaboration between Waters Winery and artist Makoto Fujimura that reflects the inspiration of the soul in creating fine wine and fine art.

Each vintage, this exclusive, 100-case bottling is made from the finest lots of Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon from the cellars of Waters Winery. The final blend from each vintage renders exquisite balance, intensity, layered complexity and a long finish. The label changes with each vintage, and showcases Fujimura’s modern abstract art using the ancient Japanese technique of Nihonga.

Waters Winery donates proceeds from the sale of each bottle of 21 Grams to the International Arts Movement, a non-profit organization created by Fujimura to gather artists and creative catalysts from around the world to address the deep questions of art, faith and humanity.

The TERO Winemaking Philosophy

TERO Estates sits in the middle of the oldest commercially planted vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley AVA, Windrow Vineyard near Milton-Freewater, Oregon.

All estate fruit is hand-harvested and immediately delivered to our crush pad at the top of the hill, where it is gently destemmed, sorted, and placed into fermentation bins. The must is then cold soaked for two to five days before yeast is added to start the fermentation. The cap is “punched down” by hand three times a day.

When the fermentation is complete, the “free run” wine is siphoned into barrels and the remaining must is placed into our hydraulic basket press. Pressing off the skins and pulp is done gently and checked frequently to avoid bitter tannins. This “press fraction” is barreled separately from the free run.

At TERO Estates we use 95% French oak (70% new). Our focus is on Vicard with some Taransaud barrels and Gamba 2000 liter casks. Additionally, we use 5% Hungarian oak. Our Cabernets are aged in 90% new barrels while Merlot generally ages in 50% new barrels.

Once the wine is in barrel it is disturbed only when absolutely necessary to rack and clean the barrels or for topping. It is our belief that wine ages most gracefully when left quiet. Our barrel room is surrounded by other rooms of our newly constructed winery enhancing temperature stability. Typically our blending is done at about 18 months. Wines are left to age in barrels for 20 to 30 months. Bottling decisions are made when the wine shows us that it is ready, not before.

Once in bottle our wines age for a further 10 to 12 months before release. We believe the extra aging time allows the tannins and acidity to better integrate. This time also brings the nuanced subtleties of a wine to the forefront, something that younger vintage wines aren’t able to demonstrate. With bottle age the explosion of fruit calms down and perfumes, florals, spices and leathers come through, creating a wine that is much more diverse, elegant and a pleasure to drink.

A tale of two terriors

Brief paragraph summary about how Mendoza and Walla Walla are related and what drives Flying Trout's passion for making Malbec and other classicly Argentinian releases.

Walla Walla, Washington, U.S.A.

Vitis vinifera, wine grapes, were originally planted in Washington in Fort Vancouver near Oregon in 1825 with plants brought over from Europe.  Second only to California in the amount of wine produced in the U.S., Washington is much smaller but has grown tremendously in the past 20 years.

Washington State is unusual in that it has two very different growing climates from one side of the Cascade mountain range to another.

The Eastern part of the mountains is comprised of many small appellations, or AVAs, and an “umbrella” appellation called the Columbia Valley that encompasses many smaller AVAs such as Horse Heaven Hills, Wahluke Slope, Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Rattlesnake Ridge, Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Gorge. Recognized in 1984, the Columbia Valley extends from the Cascades in the west to the Palouse formation in the east, from the northern Oregon border to Lake Chelan in the middle of Washington.

Formed 12,000 years ago, what was once in the area was crushed and devastated by a massive glacial flood based in Missoula, Montana.  The “Missoula Floods” created Lake Lewis and widened the Yakima, Columbia and Snake Rivers.  The floods deposited an unusually thick layer of nutrient rich lacustrine topped over the centuries by wind blown silty loess.

Recent freezes occurred in 1991, 1996 and 2004.  Cold weather helps keep the insect population down and though it is occasionally credited for the lack of phylloxera in the valley, it is more likely due to our sandy soils and low humidity.

Phylloxera find their way from one vine root to another though cracks in the soil, something that extremely sandy soils do not produce.  Phylloxera, therefore, do not die of cold, but rather, from not being able to find their way from one food source to another.  In the few spots in Eastern Washington where the soils are clay ridden enough to shelter Phylloxera, their ability to migrate is yet again mitigated by their inability to enter the winged stage of their life cycle in a dry environment.

Occasional freezes, powdery mildew, leaf hoppers and mites are some of the biggest threats to Columbia Valley vineyards.

Rainfall averages about 10 inches per year in the Columbia Valley.  Temperatures during the growing season can vary up to 45°F from morning to night in the same day.  The Columbia Valley is situated between the 46th and 47th parallels in the northern hemisphere and about 118° West longitude.

Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Syrah are the most commonly grown grapes in the Columbia Valley, though due to the success of Syrah in the area, more Rhone varieties, such as Cinsaut, Grenache, Mourverdre and Counoise are being planted.  Other odd and recent plantings include Carmenere and Malbec.

Washington wines tend to have earthy yet fruit forward flavors with strong tannins, decent alcohol content and are full bodied.

Though it depends on the varietals, these wines tend to have a cellar life of about seven years.

Please feel free to contact us for questions regarding orders, hours of operation, the wine making process, associated vineyards, anything Argentina related, or if you would just like to tell us about a great place where you enjoyed some Flying Trout wine.  We would love to hear from you.

Also, if you would like to be included in our email database, we will be sending out periodic emails with updates on new releases, exciting accolades and fun adventures

Mendoza, Argentina

Situated at the foot of the Andes, between the 31°58’ and 37° 33’ latitude south and between the 66° 30’ and 70° 36’ meridian longitude west, Mendoza is the principle wine producing region in Argentina.  Its viticultural history began in the early 20th century with the massive European immigration.

Known as a rain shadow, an effect found in few parts of the world, the Andean mountain range prevents the humid air that originates in the Pacific ocean from reaching Mendoza, east of the barricades.  The humidity is released over Chile, allowing only hot, dry air into Mendoza.  This produces a warm temperate, desert climate.  Sporadic and torrential precipitation occurs during the summer months, averaging only 8 inches per year, characterizing the area as a semi-desert.  During the summer months, Mendoza receives approximately 14 hours of light while the winter tends to bring about 10 hours of sun per day.

The vines are cultivated at the foothills of the mountains at altitudes varying from 1,650 feet to 4,920 feet above sea level.  There can be up to a 59°F difference throughout the day.  The major whether problems that tend to affect Mendoza vineyards are the hail storms during the summer and the late freezes in the southern zones.

The vineyards in this oasis are irrigated by the different rivers that cross the province.  Irrigation systems are organized according to the density of the soil.  The main forms of which are drip irrigation, flood irrigation and furrow or rill irrigation Soils vary from the west to the east due to alluvium deposits.  In the mountain foothills, the land is comprised of both shallow and deep layers of rocks.  The ground in the west tends to be rockier and drains water easily.  As you descend toward the east, the soil tends to be more heterogeneous and is generally finer, sandier and siltier.  Due to the young age of the Andes, this soil makeup tends to be relatively new and therefore has some organic matter deficiencies, totaling less than 1% of the soil composition. Nitrogen and Fosforus are low but Potassium levels are high.

Climatic conditions evade vineyard plagues such as Phylloxera.  Other problems, such as Oidium, Downy Mildew and Botritis, exist in the rainy years but are easily treated when caught early enough.
The common varietals in the province differ from one oasis to the next.  In the north, they cultivate red, white and roses made from Cereza, Criolla Grande, Moscatel Rose, Pedro Ximenez, Bonarda, Tempranillo, Chenin and Syrah.  In the northern zone by the Mendoza River, they make fine wines primarily from Malbec, but also from Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin, Merlot, chardonnay, Syrah, Trebbiano and more.

In the eastern Mendoza one finds Criolla Grande, Moscatel Rose, Perdro Ximenez, Cereza, Malbec, Bonarda, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Barbera, Trebbiano, Merlot and Syrah.  These grapes are used to make a wide range of wines, from table wines to early drinking wines, and from fine wines to concentrated musts.  This zone is responsible for the majority of Mendoza’s wine production.

The southeast of Mendoza city contains Valle de Uco, where the highest quality vineyards and grapes are cultivated.  There they grow Tempranillo, Barbera, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, and Bonarda.  Among the white varietals, Semillon does excellently, as does Torrontes, Pedro Ximenez, Chardonnay and Chenin.  While grapes such as Pedro Ximenez are used to produce bulk wine, Torrontes is a white varietal that has proven itself worthy of much more, though few know it yet.

Toward the south of the province there are Malbec, Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Chenin and more Pedro Ximenez grapes, used to produce both fine wine as well as more common table wines.

Jamie Brown, Winemaker

Few on the Washington Wine scene can claim ‘rockstar’ status. However, if you delve into our winemaker’s not-so-distant past, indeed you would find him holding a Stratocaster in one hand and a mic stand in the other. The connection between wine and music is indisputable—just ask Jamie.

As Jamie Brown will gladly concede, his love and knowledge of making music has helped him become an intuitive winemaker. “Just as songwriting to me means anticipating a melody without changing its natural direction; winemaking entails appreciating what nature gives you in order to shape the way a wine is made.”

Being raised in Walla Walla, Washington, means the same to every graduating senior—time to move! Jamie was no different. He immediately began his pursuit of music, landing in Seattle in the midst of a wave of alternative sound (aka grunge). After opening and operating a successful music store, his clients became his teachers. Some of them paid with wine, very fine wine.

With a nose for great, ‘old world’ wines and a desire to learn more, Jamie was drawn back to the Walla Walla Valley to study the art of winemaking alongside winemakers such as Rusty Figgins (Glen Fiona), Eric Dunham (Dunham Cellars), and Jean François Pellet (Pepper Bridge, Amavi), before earning his first reviews as the winemaker at James Leigh Cellars.

Since its beginning, Jamie Brown’s talents have facilitated the successes of Waters Winery as well as its subsequent endeavors, 21 Grams and Wines of Substance, both collaborations with winemaker and Master Sommelier, Greg Harrington (Gramercy Cellars). As Jamie would attest, wine is indeed made in the vineyard. Jamie has overseen the development of Waters’ three estate vineyards and works closely with Waters’ partner vineyards.

Waters’ unique single vineyard Syrahs are a testament to Jamie’s appreciation for the unique expressions each vineyard and vintage bestows.

Besides wine, Jamie continues to play music though his audience tends to be a bit closer to home. He’s a full time dad to Gavin and depending on the season, you can find them biking, hiking, skiing, watching baseball, and definitely playing video games!

History

What they found was beyond all expectations! A mature vineyard, full of history, on rolling ground with unobstructed views of the Blue Mountains.

TERO Estates is a partnership between longtime friends Mike TEmbreull and Doug ROskelley (TERO). The idea began over dinner at an Italian restaurant in 2006. Doug was talking about making wine and Mike mentioned that a friend had seen a vineyard for sale in the Walla Walla area. Wouldn't it be exciting to make wine from an estate vineyard! Doug and Jan traveled to Milton-Freewater, Oregon to see Windrow vineyard. What they found was beyond all expectations! A mature vineyard, full of history, on rolling ground with unobstructed views of the Blue Mountains. The purchase was finalized on June 1, 2007.

Windrow was part of the original Seven Hills Vineyard planted by Dr. Herb Hendricks and Dr. James McClellan in 1981. It was the first commercial vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley. In 1994 the vineyard was split and the eastern part was sold along with the name Seven Hills. The remaining vineyard was renamed Windrow. The wines that have been made from this vineyard is a Who's Who of Walla Walla Valley. Leonetti Cellar used Windrow grapes in their Cabernets from 1983 to 2000. "Windrow Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon's have been made by L'Ecole (1995), Walla Walla Vintners (1997), Bunchgrass (2006) and Cooper (2006).

Seven Hills Winery has sourced fruit from Windrow since their inception. Today several Walla Walla wineries, including Seven Hills Winery, Walla Walla Vintners, Waters and Glen Corrie, as well as wineries in Woodinville, continue to make exceptional wines from Windrow Vineyard grapes. It is this vineyard (worked by the hands that have cared for it for over 16 years) that we, TERO Estates, rely on for our outstanding estate fruit.

In early 2010 we were able to bring Flying Trout Wines to TERO Estates. Flying Trout brings wonderful malbec and malbec blends, perfect fits for the cabernets, cabernet franc, merlot and blends that are our specialty.

Our downtown Walla Walla shop opened on February 11th, 2011. Please visit our home page for open hours.