Gamache, acquired in 2016 from brothers Bob and Roger Gamache, is the newest addition to the Sagemoor Vineyards family. It sits up on the white bluffs overlooking Basin City to the east in the Columbia Valley AVA, with 180 acres of wine grapes.
The acquisition was a natural step for Sagemoor, as many of our winemaker clients also source grapes from Gamache, and all parties have always shared the same goal: Custom-grown grapes to fit varying winemaker styles.
When the Gamache brothers located the site in 1980, they asked the grandfather of Washington wine industry, Dr. Walter Clore, to walk the property. “There’s absolutely no reason you can’t grow good quality wine grapes here,” he declared. Deeming the land sufficiently blessed, the Gamaches moved forward. There were only about 10 bonded wineries in WA state at the time.
In 1982, Gamache planted 20 acres each of Semillon and Chenin Blanc. Riesling was 1983. These days Gamache still has the original Riesling, plus Chardonnay, Roussanne, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cab Franc, Syrah, and Malbec.
The highest elevation is 960 feet. A gentle, mile-long southwestern slope ends at elevation 840 feet. Bordering the east side of the vineyard is a 300 foot drop to the valley floor, towards Basin City.
Gamache soil is primarily Warden sandy loam, with a little Kennewick sandy loam. There’s caliche (a hardened natural cement of calcium carbonate) about 12 inches down in the northern part of the site. It does show itself in a couple of other smaller areas as well.
Fun fact: The spring migration of sandhill cranes led the Gamache brothers to discover the vineyard sits right under a thermal. When the cranes come through, they play around in the air just above the vines. They circle around and float up up up, never using their wings. They go up as high as they want, and then scoop back down closer to land and ride the rising heat up again. It’s a fun sight to see.
Gamache gets water from the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project, a secure water source. Additionally, we have individual valves at each block so we can fine-tune as needed.
To inquire about the availability of Gamache grapes, contact Kent Waliser, Director of Operations. firstname.lastname@example.org