Located in the Walla Walla Valley appellation of Washington State and a neighbour of L’Ecole No. 41, Woodward Canyon Winery was established in 1981 by Rick Small and his wife, Darcey Fugman-Small. Since that time, the winery has consistently produced premium, award-winning Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots and Chardonnays. Early on Rick determined that quality would take precedence over quantity and consequently, Woodward Canyon has remained small, increasing its production from 1,200 cases in 1981 to their current production of about 17,000 cases.
They are meticulous about the quality of their fruit. Along with their 41-acre Estate Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley, they source 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 winemaking that they can procure. Woodward Canyon is also a joint owner of Champoux Vineyard, one of the older vineyards in the State.
The Woodward Canyon Estate Vineyard is located at nearly 900 feet of elevation three miles north in Lowden, Washington. The soils are layered with wind-blown loess over Ritzville silt loam over fractured basalt. There are small vineyard blocks planted on various aspects to the south, east and west. It was first planted in 1977 on third generation family land previously utilized for cattle and wheat production. Since those early years the vineyard has grown to the current 42 acres planted predominantly to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. There are various experimental northern Italian and Rhône varieties planted as well. All grapes are sustainably or organically grown here. This autumn, after a two year certification process, the vineyard will become certified by the International Organisation for Biological Control. (IOBC). The vineyard is also designated as Salmon Safe. Minimal drip irrigation is utilized and yields are typically in the 2 ton per acre range. The Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Estate Red are the three principal wines produced from the Estate Bordeaux plantings. Very small amounts of Barbera, Dolcetto and a Grenache blend are also produced from the Estate.