Avennia

Winemaker – Chris Peterson

What is your/your family’s story around your winery? How did you first become involved in the wine industry and what has your trajectory looked like?
I was part of the inaugural class in the wine program at Walla Walla Community College, graduating in 2003, and went on to work at DeLille. There I met Marty Taucher who was a harvest intern at the time. In 2010, we formed Avennia, which was our attempt to get our vision of a purely Washington expression of some of our favorite wines from the Old World, specifically Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley.

How long have you been making wine in Washington state?
Full time since 2003.

How did you first begin working with the grower?
Dick Boushey was good friends with Stan Clarke, the original instructor at the Walla Walla wine program, where we frequently tasted together. Then during my time at DeLille, we worked with him and his fruit quite a bit.

What excites you the most about the wines you’re making?
I enjoy the diversity among Avennia’s portfolio. It’s great to make quite a few different wines in different styles, and still have them show their own expressions.

What is your favorite part about the Washington state wine community?
I love the camaraderie of the industry and how everyone is always willing to help each other out.

What excites you the most about what the future holds for Washington state wine? Where are we headed or what trends are you seeing?
I think that Washington wines will only continue to improve and shine on the world’s stage. It remains one of our biggest challenges to get more of the world to see the full extent of what we’re capable of here.

What is your favorite wine and food pairing?
Oysters and a crisp Sauvignon Blanc.


Vineyard Manager, Avennia Estate Vineyard – Dick Boushey

What is your/your family’s story around wine grape growing? How did you first become involved in the wine industry and what has your trajectory looked like?
I started farming in the Yakima Valley in 1975 growing apples, cherries, and Concord grapes.  We eventually planted wine grapes and have continued to grow with the industry ever since.

How long have you been growing grapes in Washington state?
We first planted wine grapes in the Yakima Valley in 1980.

How did you first begin working with this winery?
I sold grapes from Boushey Vineyards to Avennia Winery when they first started in 2010.  I became the manager of Avennia’s estate vineyards when they bought the property in 2021.

What excites you the most about the grapes you’re growing or the techniques/equipment you’re using?
The location of the estate vineyard is what excites me.  It sits at the end of Sunset Road on Red Mountain near the top of the hill in beautiful dirt.  I get to work with both older vines and newer vines that are being planted. Ultimately, it is the people at Avennia that make me excited about the grapes I’m growing and to see the beautiful final result in the bottle.

What is your favorite part of being a part of the Washington state wine community?
The industry has always shared in each other’s successes and challenges collectively.  My favorite part over the past 40 years is witnessing the level of success of the Washington wine industry as a whole and the incredible quality of the wines that we are producing here.

What do you think the future holds for Washington state wine? Where are we headed or what trends are you seeing?
We will keep getting better and better and continue on course to being one of the great wine growing regions in the world.

What is your favorite wine and food pairing?
Syrah with duck breast, wrapped in bacon, and barbecued.


Farm Foreman, Avennia Estate Vineyard – Elias Barboza

What is your background, how did you come to work at the vineyard?
I came to the United States in 1979 from Jalisco, Mexico near the city of Guadalajara. My father, who had a green card to work in the United States, had always worked in vineyards.

How long have you been working in this capacity?
I started working for Dick Boushey in 1985 and have been with him ever since.

What excites you the most about working in the vineyards?
Working with the crew and the winemakers to pick and deliver good fruit. While harvest can also be an incredibly challenging time, it is also the most rewarding.

What is your favorite aspect of your job?
When we wrap up with harvest! It’s an incredible feeling after months of work we put towards tending to the fruit, to see them packed up to become wine. I also love working with our crew. A lot of the employees have been with us for many years, and it makes our collective work a bit easier having done it with the same group of people.

What do you think the future holds for Washington state wine? Where are we headed or what trends are you seeing?
Every year seems to be more challenging than the last, but we continue to adapt and evolve with the times. My hope is that with all the knowledge we are accumulating year over year, that we can put that towards our long-term success.

What fact can you share about your job that wine-drinkers might not know?
We work with lots of wineries and winemakers, but I actually do not consume any alcohol.

Another fact that people might not know is that I am also a leader in my church, and we help lots of farm workers that come from Mexico and Central America.

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