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Echolands Winery

Vintner – Taylor Oswald

Note: Answers provided by co-owner Doug Frost.

1. What is your/your family’s story around your winery?
Echolands Winery is owned by two families: the Bergmans and the Frosts, both residents of Kansas City. Brad Bergman’s family has been in the tree nursery for generations, and his expertise in the agricultural industry has been crucial. Frost, one of only three individuals in the world to hold the titles of Master Sommelier and Master of Wine, was born in nearby Portland, Oregon. His grandfather was raised in Wenatchee, his mother in Tacoma. Their first land purchase was fifty acres in the SeVein Water Project; the vineyard is named after his maternal grandfather whose last name was Taggart.

2.     How long have you been making wine in Washington state?
We are just concluding our fourth harvest.

3. What is your favorite part of being a part of the Washington state wine community?
To a great degree, Walla Walla Valley was chosen because of the community there. We have greatly enjoyed the support of more experienced winemakers and growers in the valley.

4. What do you think the future holds for Washington state wine? Where are we headed or what trends are you seeing?
Washington state is in a favored position, especially as climate change challenges so many regions in wine country. Its placement in northern climes offers an opportunity to craft wines of lower alcohol and fresher fruit – it is this that drew me to the state. This aligns with the trends among wine drinkers around the country and around the world.

5.     What is your favorite wine and food pairing?
I am an observer of many flavor “collaborations” between food and wine – each appeal to differing people. So, I try not to make too much out of food and wine matches out of concern that some will find these prescriptive when the joy of food and wine is in the personal discovery of them.


General Manager, North Slope Management – Sadie Drury

1. What is your/your family’s story around wine grape growing?
While growing grapes isn’t in my family, Seven Hills Vineyard is planted less than a mile from the apple orchards my mother’s parents and grandparents owned and farmed, and only two miles from the Cucumber farm my dad’s grandmother owned. I can’t help but feel like I landed in the place where my roots were meant to grow. Agriculture has always intrigued me; my first jobs were on farms, and I have loved wine since I started drinking it. Deciding to start a career growing grapes was a very easy and natural decision for me.

2. How long have you been growing grapes in Washington state?
2021 is my 14th vintage working in vineyards. I spent five years on Red Mountain learning from a few of my amazing mentor and I’ve been in Walla Walla for the last 9 years.

3. What is your favorite part of being a part of the Washington state wine community?
My favorite part about being in the Washington state wine community is the actual community itself. Everyone I meet in the Washington wine industry is amazing.  This is a community of people who build each other up and help each other out. The wines in Washington are outstanding because of the collaboration that happens between everyone in the community. I have felt welcomed and at home since my first job in the industry.

4. What do you think the future holds for Washington state wine? Where are we headed or what trends are you seeing?
Washington wine is here to stay, and its future is bright. Washington continues to offer wines that are high quality and more affordable than other regions. I think Washington will only become more and more well-known and we will continue to see growth. One trend that I am seeing in the industry right now is winemakers and growers are becoming more confident playing with new-to-us varietals. I think that consumers will see and embrace that Washington is good at almost everything we produce and that it’s a strength, not a flaw. Cabernet will always be king but there’s also room for those odd-ball varietals that many consumers haven’t heard from.

5. What is your favorite wine and food pairing?
I like almost all wine and food, so my favorite food and wine pairings completely depend on the season. In the winter it’s comfort food, like tomato-based pasta and Sangiovese or meatloaf and Cabernet. In the spring you can find me with on the patio with Merlot, fresh asparagus, and a veggie burger. In the summer, it’s seafood and Sauv Blanc or Rose. In the fall, we eat my parent’s freshly butchered Lamb with Syrah.


Vineyard Crew Supervisor – Carla Negrete

1. What is your background, how did you come to work at the vineyard?
I began working for Garcia’s Contracting in 2011 as a vineyard worker and moved up to supervisor prior to leaving two years ago.

Currently 10 years working as a supervisor for both Garcia Contracting and I currently work North Slope Management and Seven Hills Vineyard.

2. How long have you been working in this capacity?
I have over 12-years of experience planting and growing grapes.

3. What is your favorite part of being a part of the Washington state wine community?
My favorite part of my job is working with the different crews and ensuring that I continuously keep them motivated and happy so that they produce the best grapes for our Washington wines.

4. What do you think the future holds for Washington state wine. Where are we headed or what trends are you seeing?
Washington will continue to be recognized and awarded for producing the best wines! The industry is growing throughout the state, and I believe that it will continue to grow. I also believe that Washington wines will continue to be recognized as the “best”! We will continue towards being number one!

5. What fact can you share about your job that wine-drinkers might not know?
Information I can share about my work that wine drinkers don’t know would be that each vine is treated with extreme care and individually worked from pruning to harvest to ensure that it produces the highest quality grapes for the wines they are tasting.

 

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