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Quilceda Creek Winery Boosts Stake in Champoux Vineyards

Champoux Vineyards, located in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. Photo courtesy Quilceda Creek Winery.

Snohomish's Quilceda Creek Winery recently announced that it has increased its majority holding in Washington state’s Champoux Vineyards, the primary source of grapes for Quilceda’s touted Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

Quilceda Creek has acquired an additional 22 acres of the vineyard, increasing its majority ownership to 79 percent. This totals to 133.5 acres, according to a news release.

Quilceda Creek was founded in 1978 and has been sourcing fruit from Champoux since 1986.

Champoux is based in Columbia Valley’s Horse Heaven Hills, an American Viticultural Area (AVA) that is among 19 geographically defined wine grape growing regions in the state. Horse Heaven Hills had its first plantings in 1972 at what is now Champoux Vineyards, “and vineyard designated bottles, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, from this site are some of Washington’s most coveted and expensive wines,” according to the Washington State Wine Commission website.

“This is hands-down one of the best sites in Washington, and we farm it to the utmost precision,” Paul Golitzin, president and director of winemaking for Quilceda Creek, said in the release. “It is an honor to increase our stake of this historic vineyard as we celebrate our 40th vintage of the Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon this year.”

Champoux Vineyards is one of the oldest vineyards in Washington. Under Paul Champoux’s management from 1989 until 2014, it became one of the most acclaimed vineyards in the world, according to the release. Quilceda Creek has almost exclusively used the site for its Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon since 2001.

Champoux Vineyards LLC was created in 1996 by the Champoux family with a small group of wineries that were customers, including Quilceda Creek. In 1997 Quilceda Creek purchased its first portion of the vineyard, 15 percent, and increased its stake over the years. The winery’s latest purchase of 22 acres was from Rick Small of Woodward Canyon Winery, who will retain 3 percent ownership. The remainder of the vineyard is owned by two other family-owned wineries, the release said.

Under Quilceda Creek’s direction, Champoux Vineyards recently completed a 22-acre replant through individually planting 43,500 vines by hand.

“It is a cold vineyard in a hot AVA and the diurnal shift is huge,” Golitzin said. “As such, the fruit ripens while retaining great freshness. The fruit from this vineyard offers incredible aromatics. It is like someone added perfume to the grapes.”

In addition to Champoux Vineyard, Quilceda Creek also owns the Galitzine Vineyard in the Red Mountain AVA and the Palengat Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA.