Sheridan Vineyard is just outside of the town of Zillah, above Yakima Valley. It was started in 1996 when Scott Sheridan decided to leave his career in finance and buy the 76-acre site that would become Sheridan Vineyard. Greer still oversees all farming and winemaking. The estate’s first release was a 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc blend called L’Orage, and the L’Orage remains the estate’s most acclaimed wine. Sheridan also produces Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay. Sheridan’s wines have earned scores in the high 90s. Wine Advocate has noted that the “intense Scott Greer is one of Washington’s rising stars. His wines are all sourced from estate vineyards which are just now starting to come into maturity…. There is really no mystery as to what Scott Greer is doing at Sheridan; total attention to detail, a great vineyard, impeccable farming, and non-interventionist winemaking.”
Yakima Valley AVA was the first AVA created in Washington State. The valley, a 600,000-acre area in south central Washington, was granted AVA status in 1983. In 1984 Columbia Valley was given AVA status, and Yakima Valley was enclosed within the Columbia Valley AVA. Nevertheless, Yakima Valley remains home to the largest concentration of vineyards and wineries in the state. There are more than 60 wineries and some 16,000 vineyard acres, and nearly 40% of Washington wines are made with Yakima Valley grapes. The most frequently planted grape is Chardonnay, followed by Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Winemaking here dates to 1869, when a winemaker from Alsace planted grape vines. Vineyard planting and wine production plodded along slowly until the early 1980s when numerous modern pioneers started making well-reviewed Yakima Valley wines. Some of the state’s newest, most closely watched appellations, including Red Mountain AVA and Horse Heaven Hills AVA, are contained within Yakima Valley.
This is a parent grape to Cabernet Sauvignon. It most likely originates from Basque country. It is an excellent blending grape, known for making the exquisite Cheval-Blanc. Franc is a little hardier on a vine than Sauvignon, but drinks smoothly at the table.