Production: (1995) 1,700 cases/year
Distribution: Northwest US, England, Detroit, Vancouver BC
Cameron and Phyllis Fries are Washington natives who met at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. Upon their graduation, they moved to Switzerland, where Cameron's father had grown up, and spent five years there so that Cameron could study European winemaking techniques. They returned to the northwest in 1984, moving to Spokane where Cameron took over winemaking duties at Worden's Winery for two years. From there they moved to the town of George where Cameron started making wine for Champs de Brionne Winery. The Fries also began making their own wines in George, beginning in 1986 with a Washington Pinot Noir. In 1990, Cameron left Champs de Brionne to devote himself full time to White Heron Cellars.
In 1991, White Heron enlisted Wade Wolfe (of Hogue Cellars and Thurston Wolfe Wines) to find a vineyard site, and with his assistance purchased five acres near Trinidad, Washington, between Quincy and Wenatchee above the Columbia River. The site has deep, well drained soils, southern and southeastern slopes, excellent air drainage, and a ring of hills surrounding the vineyard. In addition to Washington standbys Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Fries also planted Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Gamay, Syrah, Roussane, and Viognier. The grapes are planted with the highest vineyard density in the state.
The Wines: Current releases (Winter 1997)
Cameron Fries 1986-present
Of special note:
The winery plans to focus on red wines in the future, primarily Bordeaux varieties and Syrah. It remains a small, friends-and-family operated winery which has an avid following in Washington and beyond.
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