Vineyards: 5 acres Gewurztraminer, 3+ acres Pinot Noir
Jack and Helen Durham bought a home tucked away in a lovely corner just outside the town of Dixie, in the early 1970's. The home had originally been owned by a wheat farmer who owned much of the surrounding property. In 1985, Jack planted 5 acres of Gewurztraminer grapes directly across from the house, and started Biscuit Ridge Winery. (The vineyard is at a fairly high elevation for WA state, about 1800'.) He built a stylish building for the winery with an insulated and cooled barrel storage area and equipped it well.
Just as his work was reaching fruition, Jack passed away (1991). Helen remained in the home, though with health problems she was unable to keep up with vineyard management, and all the grounds languished. Helen passed away in November of 1997, and a year later the remaining family put it on the market, in pretty much the condition it had been left.
In March 1998 Duane and Mary Wollmuth purchased the home and property. Rusty Figgins, bought some of the winemaking equipment for Glen Fiona, and has helped Duane with extensive grapegrowing advice. The vineyard was in fairly bad shape, so Duane has had to put in extensive work to restore the vineyards. In 1998 he eeked out a 1.5 ton harvest which was sold to Hoodsport. 1999 he should be rewarded, as much of the Gewurztraminer vineyard is expected to produce a good crop. A small block of Pinot Noir behind the house was lost, though a few plants remain. He has also replaced about 3 acres of additional Pinot Noir across Dry River Creek (still on the property) with about one third Cabernet Franc, and the rest additional Gewurztraminer.
In Feb. 1999, Duane and Mary have started a partnership with two other couples in order to start Three Rivers Winery due to open in 2000 in Walla Walla; the grapes will probably go there in the future.
Of special note:
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