Roger Gamache of Gamache Vineyard and Vintners
Thank you to our show sponsor, Canyon River Ranch in the beautiful Yakima Canyon
Although Roger Gamache grew up on a hops farm and intended to enter the corporate world when he graduated from Central Washington University, he ended up planting wine grapes instead. That was 1982, when there were barely 3,000 acres of vines and a dozen wineries in Washington state. Dr. Walter Clore identified an area thirty-five miles north of Pasco as ideal for grapevines, and so Roger and his brother Bob started turning the slopes into a vineyard, first with 25 acres of Sémillon, the easiest vines to get at the time. Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Cabernet followed by 1985, with most of the fruit going to Chateau Ste. Michelle. From early on Roger and Bob adopted the view that “wines are made in the vineyard,” but they didn’t start their own Gamache Vintners label until 2002, with Charlie Hoppes as consulting winemaker.
Roger and Bob nurtured Gamache Vineyard into one of the elite vineyards in the state, and recently sold it to the group that owns Sagemoor Vineyards. Roger continues to do viticulture work on his small Daley Vineyard on Red Mountain and owns Gamache Vintners in Prosser. The Gamache winemaking team sources fruit from Gamache Vineyard, as well as from some of the finest vineyards in the Red Mountain and Horse Heaven Hills AVAs. The team makes Bordeaux and Rhone style wines in three different collections, sometimes naming wines after family members, including the one who first came to North America from France in the 17th century. Listen here to learn more about these wines, why Dr. Walter Clore picked the Gamache Vineyard site in the early 80s, what kinds of things are done in the vineyard to create different wine styles, key research needed in the wine industry as we move forward, and much more.
Listen to the Interview: