In 1976, Rick Small planted vines on his family's former wheat farm. He and his wife Darcey Fugman-Small founded Woodward Canyon Winery in 1981 and decided early on that quality would always take precedence over quantity. Woodward Canyon is a founding member of the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and of Walla Walla Valley VINEA, the Winegrower's Sustainable Trust. The Estate Vineyard is Certified Sustainable by IOBC via LIVE and is designated Salmon-Safe. In 1998, Woodward Canyon started a second label known as Nelms Road in order to produce affordable red wine from young vineyards or declassified Woodward Canyon Winery production. The winery currently produces around 15,000 cases with 7,000 of this total production going into Nelms Road label.
|APPELLATION(S)||Columbia Gorge, Walla Walla Valley , Yakima Valley|
|PROPRIETORS||Rick Small and Darcey Fugman-Small|
|ANNUAL PRODUCTION||12,000 cs|
(SUSTAINABLE, ORGANIC, BIODYNAMIC)
Along with the 41-acre Estate Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley, Woodward Canyon sources fruit from a handful of well-established Washington state growers whose grapes have proven over the course of the years to provide the best possible material for the winemaking they strive for. Woodward Canyon is also a joint owner of Champoux Vineyard, one of the older vineyards in the State.
Woodward Canyon Estate Vineyard – Walla Walla Valley - Established in 1976, Woodward Canyon is the westernmost vineyard in Walla Walla Valley AVA, roughly 15 miles west of Walla Walla Washington. 41 vineyard acres planted and several more acres of green belts supporting native species such as western juniper, ponderosa pine, western sagebrush, arrowleaf balsam root, and perennial wildflowers. Ritzville silt loam over fractured basalt, slope 15-18%. 750-850ft elevation. Managed by Woodward Canyon winery.
Celilo Vineyard – Columbia Gorge - Planted in 1972, this southwest-facing vineyard is one of the oldest in the state on Underwood Mountain. The volcanic loam soils can go as deep as 45 feet and retain moisture well, preventing the need for irrigation.
Champoux Vineyard – Horse Heaven Hills - Founded in 1972 and located in Alderdale Washington within the Horse Heaven Hills AVA, Champoux’s original plantings of the famed "Block One" are regarded as being among the oldest and finest in Washington State and are a key component of our “Old Vines”. In 1996 Woodward Canyon and fellow Washington State producers Powers/Badger Mountain Winery, Quilceda Creek Winery and Andrew Will Winery became joint owners. Malaga gravelly fine sandy loam over lacustrine deposits, glacial outwash. Slope 3%, 650ft elevation.
Sagemoor Vineyard – Columbia Valley - Founded in 1968, Sagemoor Vineyards was a pioneering effort that helped establish the Washington State wine industry. Its early vineyards are among the oldest large-scale plantings of vinifera grapes in the State. Rick began using Sagemoor fruit in his home winemaking days and we continue to use it today. A significant number of 1972 plantings are still producing our "Old Vines" Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from specific rows in Blocks 3 and 9. Quincy loamy fine sand, Sagehill very fine sandy loam, 2-10% slope. 572ft elevation.
Weinbau Vineyard – Wahluke Slope - This south-facing vineyard was planted in the mid 1970s in silt loam soil above clay lenses. It is part of the renowned SBDW (Sagemoor, Bacchus, Dionysius, Weinbau) consortium.
Rick maintains a hands-off approach to winemaking and believes that the key to higher quality wines lies in the vineyard. In 2003, he hired Kevin Mott as head winemaker so that he could focus his primary attention on the viticultural side of the Woodward Canyon Estate Vineyard and his contracted vineyards.