Five Vines in the Yakima Valley AVA

Join five Yakima Valley grape growers as they monitor and post growing and ripening patterns of five Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted in the Yakima Valley AVA. Each grape vine is located in a different micro-climate or Sub AVA within the appellation.

Growers from each of these vineyards will be sharing a monthly photograph and brief overview of the stage of growth the vine is in. The growth patterns will be monitored and posted monthly to this blog.  Major  updates such as bud break, veraision, and harvest will be posted as they happen.

Larry Pearson, Owner Tapteil Vineyard

Larry Pearson, Owner Tapteil Vineyard


Larry Pearson, owner of Tapteil Vineyard located on the far east end of the Yakima Valley AVA in the Red Mountain AVA will share the progress of a Cabernet Sauvignon vine planted in 1985 at an elevation of 850 feet.  The vine is grown in Warden silt loam soil. Heat summation is 2390—average growing degree days, Base 50 F, April 1-October 31, 2009-2013. The slope is southwest at 6% and the row direction is north-south. This vine is part of the initial 3 acres of Tapteil Vineyard planted in 1985 and now sits in a 30 acre parcel.  This vine produces intense dark fruit, dusty spice with firm tannins.

The vine has been pruned for the 2014 vintage.

Hugh Shiels, Owner DuBrul Vineyard

Hugh Shiels, Owner DuBrul Vineyard

Hugh Shiels, owner of DuBrul Vineyard, located in the center of the Yakima AVA will be watching a Cabernet Sauvignon vine planted in 1992. This vine  grows in shallow Scoon soils, wind-driven loess and heterogenous rocks from the ancient Columbia River, which cover the underlying basalt promontory. The planting is at 1,300 feet elevation on an 8-15% pitch with a south facing slope. Heat units average 2765 GDD from 2009-2013. The vineyard totals 45 acres with a north-south row direction.  The fruit from this vine produces wines with deep garnet color. Typical flavors include cherry, cassis, blackberry, exotic spice, and black tea.  Abundant tannins are bold yet refined, adding texture to the extended finish characteristic of this vine.

The ladies of DuBrul Vineyard are pruning the vines in anticipation of budbreak.  This block of Cabernet will be pruned next week.

Todd Newhouse, Manager of Upland Vineyards

Todd Newhouse, Manager of Upland Vineyards

Todd Newhouse, Manager of Upland Vineyards also located in the center of the Yakima Valley AVA, inside the Snipes Mtn. AVA. Todd will be monitoring a Cabernet Sauvignon vine planted in 1989 at an elevation of 900 feet. The vine grows in shallow, sandy loam soils mixed with basalt. Heat units are high due to moderate to steep southwest slope and by being surrounded on the north and east by basalt cliffs. This vine is part of a 5 acre block with a north-south row direction.

The vine has been “pre-pruned.” Hand crews will come through and cut another 75% of what is shown in the close up picture above.

Jonathan Sauer, Owner Red Willow Vineyard

Jonathan Sauer, Owner Red Willow Vineyard

Jonathan Sauer, owner of Red Willow Vineyard, the furthest western vineyard within the Yakima Valley AVA.  This 5 acre block of Cabernet Sauvignon was planted in 1999. Predominately a southwestern slope.  Rows are oriented east-west with soils classified as Sagemoor sandy loam.  Around 1,175 feet in elevation.  On average heat units reach 2,750. Presumably clone 8 Cabernet.  These vines are on an acreage contract to Owen Roe winery.

Paul Portteus, Owner Portteus Vineyard
Paul Portteus, Owner Portteus Vineyard


Paul Portteus, owner of Portteus Vineyard located in the western third of the Yakima Valley AVA and within the Rattlesnake Hills AVA will be following the progress of a Cabernet Sauvignon vine planted in 1982 and in volcanic burke loam soil.

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3 Responses to Five Vines in the Yakima Valley AVA

  1. Susan O'Hara says:

    A fascinating project. I look forward to comparing the results and reading any conclusions about the differences.

  2. Pingback: Yakima Valley vineyards in various stages of bud break | wineeyak

  3. Pingback: Next steps for the Five-Vines of the Yakima Valley | wineeyak

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