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THE WINE REGION
People tend to think of the Pacific Northwest as cool, green and rainy – not exactly your typical wine country. The cool, green and rainy parts of Washington and Oregon that most people think of actually lie on the west side of the Cascade Mountains along the coast. But the inland portion of the states, on the east side of the mountains, is sunny and dry. And to the great benefit of wine lovers, these inland regions also happen to lie in that golden latitude band (44 to 48 degrees) where most of the great wines of the world are grown. In the last 40 years this inland region has become one of the world's top wine-producing areas. Washington State alone now ranks as the second largest wine producer in the nation. The majority of wine grapes are grown in the vast (nearly 11 million acres) Columbia Valley AVA region in eastern Washington. Eastern Washington and northeastern Oregon are in the same golden latitude band as the famous Bordeaux and Burgundy wine regions of France and the north Tuscany region of Italy. It's not surprising then that the grape varietals of those European wine regions also thrive in these inland northwest vineyards. More specifically, the high drainage soils needed by the vines are present as a result of gravels and sediment deposited by ice-age floods. The climate at these latitudes provides long, hot days during the growing season, which averages 180 to 200 days. The characteristically cool nights concentrate flavors, aromas and colors. These conditions result in vinifera fruit that ranks with the world's best.
In the particular eastern-Washington location of our winery, the development of vineyards in recent decades has resulted in a total of more than 40,000 acres of vines, producing over 20 million gallons of wine each year. In turn, literally hundreds of boutique wineries, producing small lots of fine wine, have been launched over the past few years. However the major portion of the region's production comes not from the boutiques but from a number of high-quality, large-operation wine producers that provide a reliable source of wine for the several high-volume brands owned by some of the country's largest wine companies. At Nicola's Redmark Winery, we are fortunate to be able to source our wines from a broad selection of outstanding growers and producers of the region, which ensures a consistently excellent quality for each of our wines.
Click to see map of Washington AVA's
Nicola's Redmark Winery's production bottling and warehousing facilities are strictly working facilities for processing and handling of wine. As such they are located well off the normal wine tourist route – 15 miles north of Pasco. The overall objective is to produce consistently high quality wines with consistent and predictable flavor, aroma, and color. The methods used involve careful control of temperatures, chemistry and cleanliness as well as the winemaker's are of selecting, blending, aging and testing. The facility functional areas include a laboratory/office space, fermentation tank areas, outside tank storage, bottling building and humidified/temperature controlled warehouse space for both barrel and case-goods storage. An exterior crush pad area is used for the crushing, pressing and de-stemming operations. The crusher, de-stemmer, fermentation high bay and bottling building are all interconnected for transferring juice or finished wine as required.
All tankage is jacketed stainless steel, refrigerated and individually temperature controlled. The tanks, connecting lines, pumps and bottling equipment – everything that contacts wine – are maintained in scrupulously clean condition and closed to the air while in operation to minimize oxidation and prevent contamination. The interior of the fermentation high bay is maintained in sterilized condition using pressurized hot water. Complete laboratory facilities are used to test and monitor wine chemistry and conditions. As a working facility the winery is not open to the general public, although small-group private tours can be arranged for business or educational purposes.