Echolands Winery to Open New Winemaking Facility
on Mill Creek Road in Walla Walla AVA This Fall
Led by Doug Frost, Master of Wine and Master Sommelier, and Conservationist Brad Bergman, Echolands Winery of Walla Walla plans to open a new production facility in the Mill Creek area of the Walla Walla AVA fall.
The new Mill Creek wine making project will be situated on 341 high-elevation acres with a dedicated production facility, hospitality center and barrel room under development in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. First announced in 2019, the production facility on Mill Creek Road is the latest venture for Frost and Bergman, who also own Taggart Vineyard in Walla Walla’s SeVein Water Project.
“From the outset, our new home in Mill Creek has impressed us as a special place to realize our vision for Echolands,” shares Frost, CEO of the winery. “We’re surrounded by inspiring neighbors like Leonetti’s Mill Creek-Uplands Vineyard, Aluvé, Walla Walla Vintners and Bledsoe-McDaniels Schafer vineyard, which have paved the way to make incredible wines at the higher elevations in Walla Walla. Planting in this higher, cooler site will enable us to continue in the style we’ve established, with moderate alcohols and higher acids. Our new plantings, facilities and equipment will fall in line with our commitment to balance development with a living biome.”
“We knew Mill Creek was special from day one,” says 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. I come from a long line of environmentally conscious nursery owners with a commitment to beautifying the planet and preserving earth’s unique places. 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.”
The development of the Mill Creek Road project is led by Soderstrom Architects and Mountain States Construction Company. This fall, production facilities will debut with a 27,000-square-foot winemaking facility and barrel room equipped with closed-top stainless steel fermentation vessels of varying sizes, as well as open-top bins and smaller fermenters with an eventual production capacity of 10,000 cases.
All fruit will be hand-sorted upon arrival. The principal Mill Creek development area will also feature a spectacular hospitality center centered around a public tasting room cantilevered over the winery grounds and outfitted with glass walls that offer a breathtaking view of the Blue Mountains. Additional plans include a separate 5,000-square-foot storage facility.
The unique character of the Mill Creek area was a driving factor behind the Echolands site selection. Previously planted to grains and other crops, the Mill Creek property has been owned by the same family since the early 1900s. The site extends over 341 acres from 1,400 to 1,800 feet in elevation. The soils are principally silt-loam over basaltic bedrock with depths up to 12 feet.
Frost and Bergman plan to develop the first 25 acres of vineyard along ideal hillside exposures with select Bordeaux varieties. They also source grapes from their own 50-acre Taggart Vineyard in the SeVein Water Project, supplemented by grapes purchased from other vineyards in the Walla Walla AVA.
Echolands currently has a tasting room located in downtown Walla Walla at 7 W. Alder St. Phone: (509) 675-2109. For more information about the winery, visit: www.echolandswinery.com.