Gramercy Cellars was founded in 2005 by Greg Harrington, a Master Sommelier, and his wife Pam Harrington, an investment banker. Greg Harrington spent his early career running the wine programs for some of the nation’s most legendary chefs, including Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck and Stephen Hanson. In 2004 he and his wife, then residents of Brooklyn, became intrigued with Walla Walla wines. A year later they were proprietors of Gramercy Cellars, which is dedicated to making Bordeaux and Rhone-style wines. The estate makes 8,000 cases annually with grapes from the Walla Walla and Columbia Valleys. Wine writers have been impressed. Wine Advocated wrote that “Master Sommelier turned winemaker Greg Harrington is fashioning some of the top wines in Washington from his base in Walla Walla.”
Columbia Valley AVA is larger than some states. At 18,000 square miles, or 11 million acres, the appellation covers almost half of Washington State and a small part of Oregon on the south side of the Columbia River. Established in 1984, Columbia Valley contains numerous sub appellations within its boundaries, including Yakima Valley AVA and Walla Walla AVA, both large and important wine districts. Columbia Valley AVA, generally called the Columbia Basin by Pacific Northwesterners, is in the Columbia River Plateau, and the AVA also includes a section of northeastern Oregon. There are dozens of microclimates within this appellation of about 7,000 vineyard acres. Many kinds of grapes are grown in the Columbia Valley, though the principal grapes planted are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, Syrah, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. Eastern Washington experiences very hot summers and cold winters, and the northern latitude means that Washington vineyards receive several more hours of sun in the summer than California vineyards. Grapes in Washington therefore have time to develop significant tannins and overall ripeness.