Washington State Vineyard of the Year
2007 and 2009
Hugh and Kathy Shiels planted the steep rocky south-facing slopes of the DuBrul Vineyard in 1992. We grow six varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Riesling. We continue to sell grapes to other wineries while reserving portions of different blocks for our own wines. The ladies of our vineyard crew shape each vine to provide optimal exposure to sunlight. Low vigor soils combined with our deficit irrigation regimen produce small berries, small clusters, and low yields from our vines.
SEATTLE Magazine, Seattle Wine Awards, April 2009 – DuBrul Vineyard -Vineyard of the Year
Hugh and Kathy Shiels’ DuBrul Vineyard on a south-facing slope above the Yakima River in the Yakima Valley—also our 2007 Vineyard of the Year—is a difficult site to manage, with many “microclimates” that require careful monitoring. But vineyard manager Larry Dolan works with the Shiels and their crew to ensure each vine gets what it needs. The result: some of the most elegant, yet approachable wines
in the state—from acclaimed wineries such as Owen Roe and Woodward Canyon—are made from these Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and other Bordeaux varieties.
SEATTLE Magazine, Seattle Wine Awards, April 2007 – DuBrul Vineyard -Vineyard of the Year
Hugh and Kathy Shiels planted the steep, south-facing basalt slopes of the DuBrul Vineyard in 1992, and the site has produced intensely flavored wine that is powerful yet approachable. The Shiels’ six varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Chardonnay and Riesling – are sought after by top wineries such as Owen Roe, Woodward Canyon and Wineglass Cellars. Every winemaker has a preference, and the Shiels show great patience as winemakers make the trek to the vineyards to scope out their vines. If you have tasted the Owen Roe Cabernet Sauvignon from DuBrul, you know the stunning fruit that goes into the bottle.
The Judgment of Washington
In regaling the fine features afforded those producing wines in Washington State, Alan Kropf, sommelier from the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills says in the recent Vintrust SOMMelier Selections publication:
“...most of the vineyards are actually located in Eastern Washington which enjoys hot summers with two more hours of sunlight that even Napa Valley receives. It also has low rainfall due to the rain shadow cast by the Cascade Mountains, and is located on latitude similar to Bordeaux and Burgundy. All this, in combination with a rich agricultural history, makes Washington the perfect place for a wine industry to develop and flourish.
As I made my way east over the mountains toward the Yakima Valley, lush greenery gave way to sagebrush, orchards and wheat fields. Here, the wines of Côte Bonneville really showcase what Washington is capable of. huge, intense Cabernet Sauvignon blends, as well as a lean, complex Chardonnay from the DuBrul Vineyard, stand up to the best California has to offer, while a huge, fruity Syrah rounds out their current portfolio.”