Reynvaan Family Vineyards in the Walla Walla appellation was founded in 2004 by Mike and Gale Reynvaan. Mike Reynvaan is a Seattle lawyer with an interest in wine and the couple purchased 37 acres in the Walla Walla valley. They planted their first 16 acres in 2005 and have continued to plant parcels year by year. Reynvaan specializes in Rhone-style red and white wines, and acclaimed Walla Walla winemaker Christophe Baron of Cayuse Vineyards was a consultant on their early vintages. Reynvaan’s first commercial vintages were their 2007s, and in 2008 their three Syrah-based releases earned remarkably high scores from reviewers, including Wine Advocate, which awarded the three wines 95 or 96 pts. Reynvaan also produces a white blend of Marsanne and Viognier. Wine Spectator rated the estate’s 2010 Stonessence Syrah at 98 pts.
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.
This grape is grown in milder climates and produces a medium-to full-bodied wine. It is also known as Shiraz, but should not be confused with Petit Sirah, which was developed by crossing Syrah with Peloursin.