Desert Wind Vineyard (Wahluke Slope AVA)
Located at the foot of the Saddle Mountains, the Desert Wind Vineyard lies within Washington State's Wahluke Slope AVA. The Fries family
began planting the 540-acre vineyard site in 1993. Today, plantings include large blocks of Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah; the vineyard also contains smaller plantings of Viognier, Semillon, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc, Barbera, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo, and Gewurztraminer. The vineyard is planted using 9 x 6 vine spacing with a total of 806 plants per acre.
The premium fruit from this vineyard site and from the family's Sacagawea Vineyard is bottled under the Duck Pond label as well as under a label for the family's other winery, Desert Wind Winery
. Several other Northwest wineries purchase fruit from Desert Wind Vineyard for their own winemaking; they often refer to this site as "Fries Vineyard" on their labels.
The vineyard lies on a slope and ranges in elevation from approximately 800 - 1,000 feet. The rocky soil is topped by shallow topsoil, which places the extra stress on the vines, forcing them to put their energy into producing quality fruit instead of excessive vegetation. The fruit from this vineyard is highly pigmented with firm tannins that lend structure to the finished wine.
Sacagawea Vineyard (Wahluke Slope AVA)
Located a short distance from the Desert Wind Vineyard, the Sacagawea Vineyard lies at approximately 600 feet elevation. It is planted using 9 x 5 spacing and includes approximately 20 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 acres of Syrah, and four acres each of Barbera, Sangiovese and Riesling. The vineyard was planted in 2000 by the Fries family and produces around 210 tons of fruit annually.
The Sacagawea Vineyard site has sandy soil, providing excellent drainage for the vines. Its east-west orientation is unusual for the area, but lessens the impact of the wind on the grape canopy, resulting in less cane stunting.
This vineyard site produces fruit with softer, fruitier flavors than that from Desert Wind Vineyard, where the fruit tends to be more structured. The combination of the two vineyard sites provides the winemaking team with a wide variety of fruit for crafting premium wines.
for a detailed location map