We squeezed in a trip to Prosser not long ago for an afternoon of wine tasting. This small town has numerous wineries (we have only begun to explore them) of which we chose three for this trip.
To begin with: Gamache Vintners, co-owner Bob Gamache was serving as he manages the winery side of the business since its opening in 2005. Brother Roger oversees the vineyard management of their 185 acre farm since 1982; an early vineyard here in Washington State. Charlie Hoppe has been their wine maker since 2005. He has a long history with many of Washington’s wineries as wine maker or consultant, especially in the Red Mountain area. The Gamache Vineyards are east of Red Mountain, north of Pasco (TriCities) in the Columbia Valley AVA.
The choice to make wine with their own grapes, about 8% of the grapes grown, came from the desire to show the quality of their fruit – vineyard specific, varietal specific, minimally intervened wines. They do use some grapes from Champoux and Ciel du Cheval vineyards as well in their Heritage wines. Various northwest, LA and Finger Lakes awards indicate the success of this decision over the years.
We were treated to their flight of open wines: Riesling, Merlot, Syrah, Malbec and Cabernet Franc while chatting about farming, motorcycles, and wine. We came away with two Malbecs to share with friends during this holiday season. Their wines are available on-line and have a limited distribution. The tasting room is lovely, but I was remiss in taking photos during our visit.