K Vintners is located in Walla Walla, in the heart of Washington State's wine country. Though the property was homesteaded as a farm in 1853, it became a winery only in 2001 when Charles Smith purchased the property and started making wine. Smith, a California native, had previously had worked as a manager for a rock band in Copenhagen. Smith taught himself winemaking and his Syrahs have attained something of a cult status. In 2009 Food & Wine Magazine named Smith American Winemaker of the Year. Robert M. Parker Jr. has written that "Charles continues to make some of Washington's finest wines....Charles knows where to find the great grapes...Almost all his wines are sourced from single vineyards." The winery also produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Viognier.
Washington State, with 59,000 vineyard acres, is the second largest producer of wine in the United States. Wine was made in the state as early as the mid-19th century, but Prohibition and, later, restrictive state laws killed the wine making business in the 20th century until the 1960s, when laws changed and large and small producers started making wines. An influential horticulturalist and agriculture professor name Walter J. Clore studied various grape clones in the 1960s to find the best ones for Washington, and by the 1970s Yakima Valley, Walla Walla and Columbia Valley had all become important grape growing areas. The best vineyards in the state are east of the Cascade Mountain range, where hot dry summers and cold winters are conducive to successful viticulture. Numerous grape varieties are grown, with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc at the head of the list.
Think leather and cherries together for Tempranillo wines. This wine looks lighter than it is. It can be medium or full bodied, but its thin-skinned, big grapes, give it a more transparent appearance. It is grown in Spain, Portugal, the U.S. and Australia.