ESTATE RIVERBEND & SPOTTED OWL VINEYARD
Creating world-class wine requires world-class grapes. An integral part of the Fielding Hills’ story is the grapes, grapes from our family-owned Estate Riverbend and Spotted Owl Vineyard.
The site of Riverbend Vineyard was selected in 1998 for several reasons. Large wineries around the state were calling Mike and asking him to plant wine grapes. At the time the Wade family owned orchards in an area that would become the Wahluke Slope AVA, a region that was quickly becoming known for growing world class grapes. On a southern facing slope in the middle of an organic orchard, Red Delicious apples were pulled out and Riverbend Estate Vineyard was planted.
Spotted Owl Vineyard
Spotted Owl Vineyard was planted in Spring of 2016, with an anticipated harvest of 2019. Located adjacent to Riverbend Vineyard, it features soils and landscape that are nearly identical.
The name Spotted Owl pays homage to Karen Wade’s mother, Shirley Lisle, or as she preferred to be called, Gram. We invite you to join us at the tasting room and hear the unique and heartwarming story that became Spotted Owl Vineyard.
Wahluke Slope AVA
The Wahluke Slope, named after a Native American word for “watering place,” lies in south-central Washington. As one of the warmest regions in the state, the Wahluke Slope is known primarily for red grape varieties, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. Wahluke Slope wines tend to be ripe and full-bodied with pure varietal fruit flavors. Enfolded on three sides by the grand curve of the Columbia River, with roots in rich volcanic soil, the estate vineyards are situated where long days of blistering sunshine coupled with freezing winters cultivate grapes of exceptional quality.
The major distinguishing feature of the Wahluke Slope is its uniformity in aspect, soil type, and climate. The entire appellation lies on a broad, south-facing slope with a constant, gentle grade of less than 8%. This, along with the proximity to the Columbia River, helps minimize the risk of frost, which can affect other areas of the state. The entire 81,000-acre appellation sits on a large alluvial fan, making the soils notably uniform over a large area. The topsoil is deep, wind-blown sand with a depth, on average, of more than 5 feet (150cm). This provides both ample drainage for vinifera vines and greater uniformity in plant vigor and ripening, more than is seen in other areas of Washington.
Elevations vary between 425 feet by the Columbia River to 1,480 feet above sea level, though most vineyards lie below 1,000 feet. Precipitation averages less than 6 inches (15cm) annually. Irrigation is therefore required to grow vinifera grapes. Winds in the area lead to smaller leaf size and smaller grape clusters compared to other regions, concentrating the resulting wines.
The wines from Fielding Hills are produced in limited quantities. Each Fall, a new vintage is released for your enjoyment. From the beginning, Mike’s vision and passion has been to produce wines in a style to his own personal liking: bold, mouthwatering, well balanced reds where the focus is letting the superb, fruit forward quality of the grapes grown at Riverbend Vineyard be the star. The wines are aged 24 months in 80% new French and American oak. Mike believes optimum window to enjoy his wines is four to seven years from the vintage date.
Rosé & White
Beginning in 2014, with the opening of a new tasting room/production facility and the hiring of assistant winemaker, Tyler Armour, Fielding Hills Winery has begun producing a dry Cabernet Franc Rosé and three white wines. The rosé is made from 100% Cabernet Franc grapes and provides crisp and subtle notes of our historic full bodied reds. Roughly 100 cases are produced per year and released in late spring/early summer. It is available in the tasting room only.
Fielding Hills first white vintage will be released summer of 2017. We will be releasing our highly anticipated Chenin Blanc. Check back regularly for more information on specific release dates and tasting notes.
Awards & Reviews
Awards and reviews can be found on our Events & Applause page as well as on each wines purchase page.