Author Archives: Deb Ashbeck

Ellen on Wine

Great read on the 2015 Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition!!  Thanks Ellen!!

Hip Hip Syrah!

Our syrah grapes are looking gorgeous this year.  The cluster are full and happy to be harvested!  DSCF2322


Here the grapes sit patiently in their bins dreaming of one day becoming elegant, delicious wine.



128 bins of beautiful Syrah grapes are loaded and heading for the Columbia Crest Reserve Program.


A Harvest Glimpse

harvest-1We took a quick moment to capture this photo to show you a quick glimpse into our lives during the harvest season.  Jeff, Mac and I are looking over the completion of our 1st reserve Syrah block.  Jeff, my son, coordinates the truck, picking and handles payroll.  Mac coordinates samples and lab work.  I spend my days overseeing quality and truck loads.  Our team is greatly valued!

Early Morning

Harvesting Albarino clusters on a gorgeous early morning in the vineyard.

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Harvest Update from Mike

At 1 am on Aug 17th Pablo, foreman, employee for 37 years, 2 Pellenc harvest operators, 3 tractor gondola operators,  Macauley, and I gathered for coffee, safety review, prayer and the beginning of our 17th Coyote Canyon Vineyard Harvest.

By 3 am with a few belt tightening’s and small harvester adjustments we had completed our 1st semi load  of grapes, Gewurtraminer, followed by 2 loads of Pinot Gris.  The Earliest harvest on record has officially began. On Aug 18th Coyote Canyon Winery harvested its 1st grapes Albarino for its Sparkling Wine.

The week continued with harvest of Chardonnay grapes.  The 1st merlot was harvested for North Star on Aug 28th and Aug 29th and Primitvo for Angel Vine and Prosser Vineyard and Winery.  By Aug. 31st and Sept 1 Merlot and Chardonnay were in full Swing.

On Sept. 1 we harvested 1/3 of Coyote Canyon Winery grapes including all Albarino, Merlot and a large portion of our primitive, Syrah, Grenache, Tempranillo, and Graciano. Wow! Never before and probably never again will such a vast variety of grapes be harvested in one day. Justin is loving it!

On August 29th our vineyard had accumulated 2,936 growing degree compared to 2,641 on the same date in 2014.  A difference of 11% or about 14 days. This is a record since Coyote Canyon was started 21 years ago. What will35 it be in the next decade?



Hot, hot weather

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CCW Albarino 06: Rather than remove all the leaves, only the laterals are removed on the Albarino. This gives some early morning sun exposure but still offers a little more protection from the sun on this extremely hot year.

Vineyard Operations

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Mac picking Syrah and weighing clusters for lag weights. The information collected from lag weights helps us to predict our crop load. From this we can determine if we need to remove more grapes from the vine. Quality is a direct correlation with crop size, a smaller crop usually means the potential for higher quality wines. Higher quality wines start with more expensive grapes because of the location, a lower tonnage, extra hand labor and the necessity of getting all operations completed in a timely fashion.

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Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon with grapes exposed to the early morning light after leaf removal.


July 2, 2015 Vineyard Report

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The vineyard has continued to develop and mature at a record setting pace. On June 30th we had accumulated 1,360 growing degree days, GDD. We had 996 GDD on the same date last year. That is 37% increase in GDD than last year.

We began collecting our lag weights on June 29th as compared to July 14 last season. The vineyard is now more than two weeks ahead of normal development.

Machine leafing was completed on Friday June 26th and hand leafing will be completed early tomorrow July 3rd. We trim most blocks with a sickle trimmer. We started that operation on Monday June 29th. Our canopy size is slightly larger than normal because of the 1.4” inches of rain in mid-May. With the extensive heat the canopy has quite growing and looks very good.

We have broken 100 degrees now for 7 days in a row with a high of 111. It is forecast to stay above 100 degrees for another 5 days before dropping into the 90 on Wed. July 8th. The grapes have taken the high temperature very well. I think the larger than average cluster weights which I was predicted now should be quite normal. If the rest of the season just remains average harvest should begin in late August in the early varieties.


Washington’s Tasting Room Magazine Review

Tasting Room Magazine reviews our 2010 H/H Estates Michael Andrews Red Reserve!!

Editor’s Choice:  OUTSTANDING

“This is truly a special wine and we are honored to share it with our readers.”
         John Vitale
         Editor & Publisher

Please read the article below and call to order your bottle today!!

Vineyard Business

So much going on around here….shoot thinning, cluster counting, mainline water leak repair, the list is long.  Our team is busy, busy, busy.

cluster counting








With shoot thinning complete, now Son Macauley is counting clusters. Yes, each block has to have its shoots & clusters counted. We have about 125 blocks. This is necessary to see that the crew has thinned to the appropriate crop level. This information collected  will help us make decision in how to manage the crop for the rest of the season, including meeting our end of season goal for yield and quality.

Mainline water fix








Pablo, vineyard equipment foreman, and Antonio are keeping this vineyard running.