Vineyards: Ten acres in the northern Yakima Valley, all farmed organically. Contracted Vineyards: Rosa Hills, Yakima Valley; Red Willow, Yakima Valley; Andrews Vineyard, Columbia Valley
Staton Hills Winery opened in its high dessert setting just south of the city of Yakima in 1984. The facility is a 25,000 square foot winery with 1,000 French and American oak barrels, 180,000 gallon total storage capacity, 1,000 case per day bottling line and 75 tons per day crushing capability.
Staton Hills wines available in U.S. 35 states and exported to Japan.
Peter Ansdell joined Staton Hills Winery in 1992 as President and CEO. Born and educated in England, Peter worked for many years with the Sebastiani family in California's Sonoma Valley, helping them reestablish the winery after the death of August Sebastiani in 1980. He also worked as a consultant in the Napa Valley, helping to establish several elite boutique winery properties.
In 1989 they had a satelite tasting room in downtown Seattle's famous Pike Place Market, on Post alley.
In 1999 the winery was purchased by the Chalone Group, and the name
has been changed to
The Wines: Current releases (Spring 1996)
Of special note:
The cool, dry climate of this rain-shadow valley is an important part of the winery's terroir, or growing environment. Along with the unique soil profiles of the area, sunny days and crisp nights combine to produce grapes and wines with plainly European character. That European style is especially apparent in the rich and balanced Cabernet Sauvignons of Staton Hills.
The distinctive Staton Hills style also comes from the vines themselves. Unlike their cousins in other wine growing areas, Staton Hills grapes are all planted on their native roots, not grafted onto exotic rootstocks. Additionally, the entire Staton Hills estate vineyard is farmed organically, without the use of synthetic chemicals or pesticides. These two factors, working together with the Valley's terroir, allow the natural balanced components of the vineyard to interact and favorably influence grape flavors.
Staton Hills' multinational winemaking team -- made up of specialists from France, Washington and California -- understands how to vinify and blend wines to allow the consistent character and flavors imparted by vineyard terroir to stand out. They understand that their wines benefit from extended aging in the bottle to allow flavors to develop and marry. Staton Hills Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, is aged for up to three years in the bottle before release. The result is a finely crafted, European style wine that has enough forward fruit character to be enjoyed immediately upon release, and enough balance to continue maturing for many years.
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