Gorman Winery is a Washington State garagiste. In the spirit of young, innovative winemakers in Bordeaux and California, Chris Gorman makes small-batch wines from purchased grapes. His winemaking facility is in Woodinville, a suburban area east of Seattle that is now home to many tasting rooms and artisanal winemaking cellars which are often housed in converted industrial parks and warehouses. Gorman worked for more than a decade for wine importers and distributors, also making wine for himself. In 2002 he founded his commercial winemaking enterprise and today runs it with two assistants. Gorman Winery makes 8,000 bottles annually, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah based wines, though since 2006 he has also produced a Chardonnay. Reviewers have given the wines ratings in the mid-90s, and Wine Spectator named Gorman one of ten rising starts in American winemaking in 2008.
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.
One of the most widely grown grape varieties, it can be found in nearly every wine growing region. A cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a hardy vine that produces a full-bodied wine with high tannins and great aging potential.