By Wine News Service
A Chicago company recently bought one of Red Mountain’s top vineyards.
And one of Washington wine country’s most celebrated grape growers will be managing it.
Dick Boushey will be oversee the 120-acre Klipsun Vineyard for Terlato Wines International, a leading importer and marketer. The company also owns such Napa Valley brands as Chimney Rock, Greystone Cellars and Jack Nicklaus Wines.
Patricia Gelles, owner and founder of Klipsun Vineyards, was pleased with the sale. “It’s been 35 years, I’m tired,” she said.
The sale price for the property outside Benton City wasn’t disclosed.
Boushey reached an agreement with Terlato on April 17, he told Great Northwest Wine, a Tri-City based wine news company, and immediately got to work, sending a crew to the vineyard to begin pruning.
Patricia Gelles and her husband, David, helped plant Kiona Vineyards in 1975, the first vineyard on Red Mountain, and were early investors of Ciel du Cheval, planted a few years later by Jim Holmes.
She recalled the day Holmes phoned her with news that he’d found land for sale that famed Napa Valley winemaker André Tchelistcheff said was the best Cab land on Red Mountain. The Gelleses bought it and began planting in 1984. That first year, they planted 40 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.
Today, Klipsun Vineyards has 120 acres planted to seven varieties, and through the years it has gained a reputation as one of the top vineyards in Washington state. It has 30 wineries buying grapes each year. Boushey said he has long admired Klipsun, planted about the same time as his eponymous vineyard in the Yakima Valley.
He views Klipsun as “hallowed ground” on Red Mountain, and said, “I’m honored to be there. It’s really a great responsibility to take this over, particularly at this stage of my career. I accepted the job because of the reputation of the vineyard. This is kind of exciting to me.”
Acclaimed Woodinville winemaker Brian Carter made about 2,000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah from the 2016 vintage for Terlato, but Carter said he is unsure of either the label or when the wine will be released.
Boushey indicated Terlato plans to expand the vineyard, adding up to 20 acres as soon as 2018.
Patricia Gelles said she never considered starting a winery because it would take away too much from time with her family. She says she and her husband, David, plan to continue to live in West Richland.
Boushey now manages 11 vineyards on Red Mountain, including Upchurch Vineyard, Col Solare for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Fidelitas.
A parallel to his work on Klipsun is his management of Canvasback’s Vineyard, which is a Red Mountain brand owned by a Napa Valley company. Terlato’s winemaking facility is on the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley.
International Wine Associates, based in the Sonoma County town of Healdsburg, assisted Terlato Wines with its 2013 sale of the Alderbrook Winery production facility and vineyards in Sonoma County to Bernie Orsi of Orsi Papale Estate Wines.
Robert Nicholson and International Wine Associates have worked behind the scenes on several Northwest transactions, nearly all of them from the sales-side, including:
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