The story of Upland Estates Vineyards and Winery begins with William Bridgman, who started planting wine grapes on Snipes Mountain in 1917. Grapes from some of those vines are still being used by the Newhouse family to make wine today. Bridgman opened Upland Winery in 1934 when there was no other commercial winery in Eastern Washington. He was determined to make European style vinifera wine at a time when most Americans preferred sweet, fortified wines. Todd considers Bridgman the grandfather of WA wine, because he talked Walter Clore into shifting his research from traditional crops to wine grapes. After several severe winters that destroyed many vines between 1949 and 1951, Bridgman caved into public demand and shifted from vinifera to sweet, fortified wines, until the winery finally closed in 1972, shortly after Bridgman passed away.
Todd’s grandfather purchased Upland Vineyards in the early 1970s, and his father greatly increased the acreage devoted to wine grapes. Today the family farms nearly 2,000 acres of fruit, over half the acres planted to wine and table grapes. They opened Upland Estates Winery in 2007, which makes all vineyard designated wines. Wine names such as The Mayor, Julian, Teunis, and Inception reflect vineyard and winery history. Todd was co-creator of the Snipes Mt. AVA and now manages the vineyards that produce at least two dozen different varietals. In addition to managing the family farm, Todd is also Board Chair of the WA Winegrowers Association and the Wine Grape Growers of America. Listen to the interview to find out what is unique about the Snipes Mt. AVA, what characterizes a Burgundian Chardonnay, how a Bordeaux style Sauvignon Blanc differs from others, and much more.
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