Wednesday, April 23, 2014/lk
Mosier is now home to one of the Columbia Gorge’s newest wineries.
Analemma Wines opened its tasting room April 5 in the Mosier Valley at 1120 State Road. it is open weekends through Oct. 5.
Founders Steven Thompson and Kris Fade moved from Walla Walla to the Gorge to farm the Atavus Vineyard in White Salmon, one of the oldest vineyards in the Pacific Northwest, formerly known as Dragonfly Vineyard.
“That’s been the foundation of our wine business the last couple of years,” Fade said Tuesday. The vineyard includes some heritage vines planted in the late 1960s and dry farmed at 1,800 feet in elevation.
“It’s one of the highest vineyard sites in the state of Washington,” Fade said. It was established under consultation with Walter Clore, now considered the father of the Washington state wine industry. “It’s neat that this one individual touched so many locations in the state.”
Clore helped site the vineyard and choose the varietals.
Thompson earned a degree in enology and viticulture from Walla Walla Community College and worked at several Walla Walla wineries in various capacities as vineyard manager and winemaker, before he and Fade moved to the area.
They found their Mosier property in 2011 and liked its prospects for wine grapes. The land was planted in cherries and they have so far planted seven acres in syrah, grenache and tempernilo vines.
They’ve also remodeled an old tractor barn into a modern wine production facility with a small tasting room.
“It feels quite comfortable,” Fade said. “With the glass double doors, it means people can look into the production facility.”
Thompson and Fade use 100 percent Columbia Gorge American Viticulture Area grapes. That means all of the grapes are grown within the boundaries of Hood River, Wasco, Skamania and Klickitat counties.
“We’re just excited about what this growing region can provide,” Fade noted.
Thanks to its varying topography climate, the Gorge is known for having a wide range of terroir, or growing microclimates.
As a grower-producer, Fade and Thompson play a role in all of the farming and production of wine. Their grapes are all-organic, Fade said, though they haven’t quite achieved organic cherry farming due to the pests that put the crops at risk.
Analemma is currently selling four wines: a 2013 rosé of pinot noir, a 2012 Atavus gewurztraminer, a 2013 Oakridge gewürztraminer produced from vineyards near Husum, and a 2011 Oakridge pinot noir.
Vintages from the Analemma vineyards won’t be available until the fall of 2016, Fade said.
“We’re excited about this property,” Fade said. “It has a unique, south-facing slope with Missoula flood deposits in the form of cobble stones on the site.”
Find more information and directions to the winery online at analemmawines.com.