Led by Doug Frost, Master of Wine and Master Sommelier, the winery is developing a 50-acre estate in the historic SeVein Vineyards with a focus on biodiversity and indigenous species
New releases include Echolands Syrah ‘Les Collines’, Seven Hills Vineyards Bordeaux blend and Grenache Rivière-Galets Vineyard
June 10, 2020 (Walla Walla, WA) – Echolands Winery, a new Walla Walla AVA property, will release its first wines in Summer 2020. The venture was founded in 2018 by renowned wine expert Doug Frost, in partnership with investor and conservationist Brad Bergman. Winemaker Taylor Oswald manages the winery’s 24-acre Taggart Vineyard within the SeVein Vineyards Project, located on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley. This is the first proprietary winery project for wine consultant and writer Doug Frost, one of only four people in the world to hold both the Master of Wine and Master Sommelier titles.
“We chose the name Echolands to reflect our fundamental reliance on the landscape, the vines and the very special sites where our wines are grown,” says Doug Frost, CEO and Owner of Echolands Winery. “In truth, all wine is an echo of the landscape, of the vines planted there and the sound that they make in the form of their fruits. Winemaking cannot create qualities that are not there in the grapes. Like the creature of mythology known as Echo, we can only express what is given to us.”
As Echolands is in the process of developing their sustainable estate vineyards, they are sourcing fruit on a négociant basis. They will release three wines in their debut this summer: Syrah Les Collines Vineyard 2018 Walla Walla Valley AVA, Seven Hills Vineyard 2018 Walla Walla Valley AVA, and Grenache Rivière-Galets Vineyard 2019 Walla Walla Valley AVA. All the wines are sourced from top growers in Seven Hills and Les Collines, and reflect a focused and edgier style that is a signature of Frost and Oswald’s partnership: “I bring the palate, and Taylor delivers the technical side with ten years of master-level experience in Walla Walla winemaking,” Frost explains. “The challenge of winemaking is that science and aesthetics can guide you, but in the end it’s all about terroir. We’re crafting wines that are elegant and balanced, a little nervy, with that liveliness showing off a less-frequently realized character of that site.”
Read more about the first releases from Echolands winery – scheduled for summer 2020.
Taggart Vineyard – SeVein
Frost and Bergman’s first estate vineyard is planted within the SeVein Vineyards Project. Originally settled in the 19th Century, Taggart Vineyard was formerly used for pasture and wheat; the hillside site slopes towards the north to Lower Dry Creek and is ideally situated at 950 to 1200 feet of elevation, below Leonetti’s Serra Pedace Vineyard and next to Betz Family Vineyard. Like most of the region, the original soils are deep loess with virtually no organic material. To create a living biome in the soil, over the past two years the team has added organic materials to the vineyard, including green manure grown on-site and tilled into the soil and composts sourced from the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, to promote soil health and biodiversity, they are planting native plant species sourced from local and native American nurseries.The vineyard site is planted to 32% Cabernet Franc, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot, with additional Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. The first estate wines will be produced in the 2021 vintage.
A Commitment to Biodiversity
As part of the winery’s commitment to biodiversity and preservation, Echolands plans to support the Nature Conservancy (Chairman Brad Bergman is a longstanding contributor and former Board member). The winery is also leading by example with several experimental trials underway. “The growth of vines and the production of grapes is merely a part of the health of a place,” Frost adds. “We’re not going to use pesticides or herbicides and we’re planning to utilize manure from local sheep, chickens and cows to fertilize our lands.” Bergman believes, “Our goal should be to create a healthy place, and everything will benefit, not just our vines.” Oswald has also just launched a new procedure utilizing biochar composting, designed to improve soil health, increase carbon capture and reduce nutrient inputs and irrigation needs.