Pride moment: In 2005, Weinbau’s Miguel Rodriguez was honored with the Erick Hanson Memorial Grower of the Year Award. Especially sweet for us, as the late Erick Hanson was our GM at Sagemoor Farms. (Oh, hey, Sagemoor Vineyard’s Servando Rodriguez—who is also Miguel’s younger brother— earned the award in 2012.)
Weinbau Vineyard is one of five vineyards managed by Sagemoor Vineyards. It’s in the excellent Wahluke Slope AVA, 12 miles east of the town of Mattawa WA, with 460 acres of wine grapes.
In 1981 Weinbau was planted to Riesling, Chardonnay, and Gewurztraminer. Over the last 35+ years with experimentation, and feedback from our winery partners, we’ve altered Weinbau’s focus a bit. We still have some original Riesling and Chard vines from that 1981 planting, but we also now grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec, Mourvedre, Merlot, Carmenere, Grenache, and Cabernet Franc. Incidentally, Weinbau has one of the largest Cab Franc crops in Washington.
Weinbau has a view of the Rattlesnake Mountains to the south, and the Saddle Mountains to the north. The land slopes gently south, with elevation ranging from 710-950 feet. Weinbau is a warm site with excellent air drainage, and soil is dominated by Kennewick silt loam with 2-5% slope. The consistency of soil type shows up in vine growth and subsequently in the wines.
In 2009, Weinbau expanded by 100 acres. The expansion’s plantings use innovative row orientation and block layout to minimize direct afternoon sunlight, decrease sunburn potential, and coax more even ripening.
Fun fact: When we first acquired Weinbau’s new parcel of land, we dug over 100 holes to deepen our knowledge of the soil types and changes below ground. The experiment informed what we would plant there.
Weinbau receives water from the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project, a secure water source. Weinbau has drip irrigation which allows us to use Regulated Deficit Irrigation (RDI). With RDI and soil moisture monitoring we’re able to constantly fine tune and improve quality.
Several individuals have been responsible for the success of Weinbau, but none so much as Vineyard Manager Miguel Rodriguez. Miguel started at Sagemoor as a teenager in 1979, and a few years later at the young age of 23 he began taking care of Weinbau. He raised his family on this land. He’s grown the acreage from 260 to the 460. His love, care, and understanding of the vineyard’s quirks and needs are evident in any conversation he has. Weinbau’s original client list of one winery has grown to over 50 happy winemakers under Miguel’s management. We dare say the Washington wine industry as a whole is better for having him. Cheers to you, Miguel.
To inquire about availability of Weinbau grapes, contact Kent Waliser, Director of Operations firstname.lastname@example.org