Consistently Growing Columbia Valley’s Finest Grapes
Frenchman Hills Vineyard originally planted in 1998, has grown into a 468-acre vineyard on the east end of the Frenchman Hills, above the Royal Slope. Nestled within Washington State’s largest American Viticulture Area (AVA), the Columbia Valley, renowned for its unique climate, terrain, and soils. Frenchman Hills Vineyard has earned its reputation for continually producing the highest quality grapes within the Columbia Valley. We partner with winemakers in the region, working closely throughout the growing season to ensure our grapes are at their best, then timing harvest at the exact moment to help bring the winemakers their award-winning wines.
Our vineyard is a combination of loam to sandy loam soil, which sits above a layer of broken caliche and underlying volcanic basalt. The depth of the loam soils varies because of the wind erosion that’s occurred over the ages; thus, creating shallower soils on the north slopes and depositing those eroded soils to the south slopes. The diversity in our soils allows for deeper root development, exceptional drainage, and retention of heat within the soil. Overall, making it the perfect home for our highly desired grapes.
We have constant air movement across the top of the Frenchman Hills throughout all seasons, mimicking desert-like conditions. This results in an environment where the potential for mildew pressure is less likely to occur during the growing season and helps reduce the potential for freeze damage through the winter months. Rainfall within our vineyard is only 6 to 8 inches annually, which requires us to use irrigation methods that control grape development. Our advanced state-of-the-art in-house designed irrigation system was built specifically for our vineyard, carefully considering the soils, topography, and climate. Our grapes have a longer hang time when fall brings its warmer days and cooler nights without accumulating excessive sugar while retaining beautiful acidity, balance, and desirable flavors.
With one of the rarest terrains in the AVA, Frenchman Hills Vineyard is situated on extremely steep north and south-facing slopes. These directional slopes within our canopy allow several unique characteristics, from drastic elevation changes (1,750 to 1,390 ft) to soils that were not affected by the Missoula Flood. Our grapes are planted in east-west rows to take advantage of the sun exposure on our north and south-facing slopes. Our red varieties benefit from the warm to hot temperatures of the south-facing slope, while our white varieties flourish from the north-facing slope and cooler temperatures.
WHAT WE DO
We Currently Grow 10 Varieties of Grapes
We currently grow 10 different varieties planted into specific blocks that are matched to their unique components of soils and elevation.
WHY WE DO IT
Growing Brings Us Back to Our Roots
We are owned and operated by Segale Properties LLC, a fourth-generation, family owned, agricultural, natural resource, and commercial real estate development company. The story of the Segale family began in 1909, when Italian immigrant farmer, Louis Segale, purchased the family’s first land in the United States. For over 110 years, farming has been a passion, a way of life, and a legacy.
Columbia Valley AVA
The Columbia Valley AVA is an 11,308,636-acre stretch of land located through central and southern Washington with a small section stretching into Oregon. The AVA was established in 1984.
To learn more about the Columbia Valley AVA and view their interactive map, click the link below.
Columbia Valley AVA
“You can make bad wine with great grapes but you can’t make great wine with bad grapes.”