The Idaho wine pioneer,
Bill Broich, bought
15 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vines from
Chateau Ste. Michelle when
they decided that 15 acres in the middle of Concords was not
economically viable. These vineyards were, supposedly, the oldest
tract of Cabs in the state, being planted half in 1961 the remainder
in 1964. This vineyard (again supposedly), provided the stock for the
majority of Cabs planted in Washington, as of 1980. It is on a ledge
overlooking the Yakima River on the opposite side of Benton City from
Red Mountain. So Bill got into financial trouble and we bought it in
1980. The vines were so old and the soil so good, CA vintners thought
the grapes were from CA.
Some interesting trivia:
Haviland is my wife's middle name.
The "Manor" on the first labels was an artists rendering of a cross
between the Beringer house and other San Francisco styles.
Our first vintage, 1981, grapes were in short supply. We got a little
of everything. We had one barrel of Sauvignon Blanc which went to the
Atlanta Wine Festival (their 1st year also) and won a Gold and Best
American Wine. It was runner-up to Best in Show to an $85 burgundy.
(I'd have preferred the burgundy also.)
Haviland won the first "platinum" medal from the state of Washington.
Platinum tastings were where the Gold medal winners from most "major"
festivals were tasted against each other. Our 1982 barrel fermented
Chardonnay won in our varietal group.
Back to the vineyards; In 1984 Haviland bought out the surrounding 40+
acres, ripped out the Concords and planted 20 acres of Chard and 20
acres of Merlot. Not all "plants" "take" the first year and these
"misses" in the Merlot tract were replaced with Malbec, leaving this
Merlot tract to produce some Bordeaux-style distinctiveness as a field
We were initially very successful; both in tastings and in the market.
We were "in the black" in our third year. This, according to Napa
Valley Bank, is twice as fast as normal.
"My" last bottling was the 1985 Cab, which was unlabeled and sold to
Cascade Crest Estates as their first red offering; but the cork was
Our Riesling was made at Langguth: one
of the first contract winery operations after they discovered they
couldn't sell 300,000 gallons of riesling.
The Woodinville facility was designed to be a 50,000 gallon winery
specializing in Meritage-type wines, both red and white. (I never got
to run a crush from there.) Columbia wanted the location, but the
facility was too small for their operations. They split production
between facilities until they could add the "box" where we had
intended a croquet court. There was a "catering" kitchen: dock high
loading and carts to move the prepared food to the warming ovens. (We
did not want to be a restaurant, but we wanted to provide a locale for
hospitality. I understand that without weddings, Haviland would have
been bankrupt sooner; so we must have done something right.)
In 1986, with a large infusion of capital, a distinctive building was
put up, directly across the street from
Chateau Ste. Michelle in
Woodinville. Management problems arose in 1987 and DeJarnatt left the
winery. George says that at this time there were numerous wineries
anxious to get the Haviland grapes, including
Hedges Cellars, whom he thinks bought the
In 1989, Haviland filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the
winery closed. The building was snapped up by the present tenants,
Columbia Winery. The last of the
Haviland wines were sold under the Haviland label there at Columbia
[email exchange with George DeJarnatt, Aug,Sep-2005]