Led by Doug Frost, Master of Wine and Master Sommelier, and Conservationist Brad Bergman, Echolands is also developing 50 acres in the SeVein with a focus on biodiversity
September 1, 2020 (Walla Walla) – Echolands Winery has announced the acquisition of Mill Creek Vineyard, an unspoiled 340-acre site located in the upland area of the Walla Walla AVA at the foothills of the Blue Mountains. The Mill Creek site has a shared ownership structure with Echolands and is operated by the Echolands winery team under the direction of CEO Doug Frost and Winemaker Taylor Oswald. Mill Creek is the second vineyard acquisition for the Echolands group, which also owns Taggart Vineyard, a 50-acre estate in the SeVein. Previously planted to grains and other crops, the Mill Creek property has been owned by the same family since the early 1900s. This is the first time the site will be cultivated as a vineyard. Plans are also underway to build a sustainable winery and tasting room for Echolands at Mill Creek.
“We knew Mill Creek was special from day one,” says Chairman Brad Bergman. “The southeast exposure of the property is perfectly situated with sweeping views of the Blue Mountains and rolling wheat fields. It reminds me of Tuscany meets the Sound of Music. It’s going to be a breathtaking location for the new Echolands winery and tasting room. Our goal is to draw on the differences in terroir between Mill Creek, the SeVein and local growers to develop a unique range of wines that reflect this spectacular place.”
“We are extremely proud to be the first viticultural team to develop this property in Mill Creek,” adds Doug Frost, CEO and Owner of Echolands Winery. “We’re surrounded by inspiring neighbors such as Leonetti’s Uplands Vineyard, Altruvé, Walla Walla Vintners and aMaurice who have shown us the way forward. Mill Creek and Taggart will act as the yin and yang of our Walla Walla grape sourcing; Taggart will prosper in cooler years, while Mill Creek will likely provide the most intriguing fruit in warmer years.”
The higher elevation and cooler, wetter climate in the Mill Creek region is known for fuller-bodied, well-balanced wines, and allows Echolands to significantly expand their viticultural options. The team will join plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot with experimental varieties grown at varying exposures. First, as part of the winery’s commitment to biodiversity and preservation, the team is laying the foundation for the site with green manure designed to restore the soil and biome to a healthy state for grape-growing. “Our commitment to bio-diversity is planned into everything we plant,” Frost explains. “We’re not using any herbicides or pesticides, and habitat requirements for beneficial insects and animals factor into all our decisionmaking.”
Echolands will have to wait several years for the vineyards of Mill Creek to fully develop. The winery plans to build a winemaking facility to manage all estate production from Mill Creek and Taggart Vineyards, as well as purchased grapes from Les Collines Vineyard and other growers. Mill Creek will also incorporate a tasting room and visitor’s center.
About Echolands Winery
Echolands Winery was founded in 2018 by renowned wine expert Doug Frost, in partnership with investor and conservationist Brad Bergman. Winemaker Taylor Oswald manages vineyard relations and winemaking, working with Sadie Drury and North Slope Management to operate the 50-acre Taggart Vineyard within the SeVein Vineyards Project, located on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley. The Echolands group has also acquired Mill Creek Vineyard, a 340-acre site located in the upland area of the Walla Walla AVA, with plans underway to build a winery and tasting room. Echolands 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. Current Echolands releases include 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 sourced on a négociant basis. Connect with us: echolandswinery.com – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@EcholandsWinery).