Tom Waliser of Beresan Winery
If Tom Waliser’s grandparents had not run out of gas in Walla Walla during their flight from the Dust Bowl, he might never have become one of the region’s most well known vineyard managers. A century before the 1930s Dust Bowl, the Waliser family left Germany to settle in the Beresan region of the Ukraine. It’s those family roots in the Ukraine that provided a name for the winery Tom and his family opened to the public in 2003, complete with a tasting room in their renovated barn built originally in 1926. Most of the fruit for the Beresan wines comes from the three estate vineyards that Tom manages. Many single varietal and blended red wines are produced each year, along with one Rhone style white blend and a rose.
In 1990, Tom helped to develop Pepper Bridge Vineyard at a time when people in Washington didn’t know much about wine grapes. He learned by doing and was soon growing grapes for some of the best wineries in the state. Whether he’s growing grapes or helping to make wine, he’s always committed to having fun. That’s why he and Beresan winemaker Tom Glaze created some fun viticultural theories known as “tomodynamics” and a red blend named “Tomfoolery.” Check out this interview to learn more about these creations, key things Tom has learned in the vineyards, and what he regards as the most finicky grape varietal.
Listen to the Interview: