Cayuse grapes

The point is to create an honest wine that has an identity. You want to taste the place.

The Vineyards

Currently, Cayuse farms five vineyards spread over 60 acres in the Walla Walla Valley. All are planted in the stony soil that first caught Christophe’s attention in 1996, resulting in highly stressed vineyards that average a yield of only two tons per acre. Syrah is the dominant fruit, with Cabernet-Franc, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Tempranillo and Viognier making up the balance.

All Cayuse wines are from estate fruit, and Christophe believes their true fingerprints are in the minerality. “The point is to create an honest wine that has an identity,” he says. “You want to taste the place.” As a result, each of his creations is true to the unique terroir of his vineyards:

Cailloux Vineyard—Christophe’s first Walla Walla Valley vineyard, this 10-acre plot was our first vineyard planted in the stones of Milton Freewater in 1997, and produces the flagship Cailloux Syrah.

Coccinelle Vineyard—It’s the French word for “ladybug,” and this 4.5-acre was first planted in 1998. Bionic Frog Syrah is produced from this vineyard.

En Cerise Vineyard—Literally translated, it means “cherry”—appropriate since this 10-acre vineyard planted in 1998 was a cherry orchard in its former life. En Cerise Vineyard Syrah and grapes for the Flying Pig and Camaspelo Bordeaux blends are grown here.

En Chamberlin Vineyard—2000 saw the planting of 10 more stony acres. Grafted on phyloxera resistant rootstock, it's another first for our region. This vineyard produces The Widowmaker Cabernet-Sauvignon, Impulsivo Tempranillo and En Chamberlin Syrah.

Armada Vineyard—At 1815 vines per acre, this 7-acre vineyard, created in 2001, was the highest density planting in the Walla Walla Valley until 2008. Notable wines include Armada Vineyard Syrah, God Only Knows Grenache and Edith Grenache Rosé.

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