THE SCIENCE AND SOUL OF SOUTHWIND
Our Cadaretta estate Southwind Vineyard is just west of Milton-Freewater in the Walla Walla Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA). This estate includes soil types common in Walla Walla Valley vineyards, as well as distinctive soils that make Southwind Vineyard special.
Most of the Walla Walla Valley's best vineyards are planted on Loess soils. Loess soils are not local in origin. They are very finely ground granitic types, crushed to dust by glacial action, and redistributed through our region by wind and water. The medium-elevation parts of our Southwind Vineyard have been planted on these Loess soils, and produce the quality of wine that has made Walla Walla famous. At Southwind, these are our ROOTSOCK and GLASSHOUSE blocks, and new plantings lower on the slope. Our FRACTURED blocks are disintuished by soil type. Our BLOCK 1431 is distinguished by its elevation.
At the higher elevations of Southwind Vineyard, we have distinctive fractured basalt soils which are not the norm in the Columbia River basin. These "Lickskillet Very Stony Loam" series soils, our fractured and decayed basalts at Southwind, are only found on steep hillsides above 1,250 feet … the maximum height of the Missoula floods (which carved out the Columbia River basin millenia ago). Our FRACTURED blocks have a soil mineral composition older and quite different from the more common Loess soils. And the fractured rock retains more heat more quickly than other soil types in the Walla Walla Valley.
FRACTURED is vineyard block numbers 25 through 29. Here we have planted own-rooted Malbec, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon with vine spacing tighter than elsewhere on Southwind. 9 foot x 3 foot spacing gives us a vine density of 1,613 vines per acre in our FRACTURED blocks.
Our newest plantings of top quality Cabernet Sauvignon at the top of Southwind, the highest eleveation blocks on our estate vineyard. The number references the elevation, which is among the highest in the Walla Walla Valley.
The vineyard blocks surrounding the landmark GLASSHOUSE on Southwind Vineyard. This is vineyard blocks 30 through 35. Here we have planted own-rooted Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. 8 foot x 4 foot spacing results in a planting density of 1,362 vines per acre.
Our original plantings at Southwind Vineyard. The Walla Walla Valley, and Washington State overall, has been generallyf free of the root louse "phylloxera" that devastated vineyards in so much of the world. Our soils and low winter temperatures have kep the phylloxera infected areas contained. Therefore, not many Washington vineyards have been planted on rootstock (wine varietals grafted onto hardier grape rootstock to protect against phylloxera). However, different rootstocks could promote different characteristics in the vines and their fruit, so we decided to plant these vineyard blocks with a selection of varietal, clonal, and roostock combinations, adding complexity to the Southwind Estate.
ROOTSTOCK EAST vineyard blocks number 1 through 13, and include Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Viognier.
ROOTSTOCK WEST vineyard blocks number 14-24, and include Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc.
Our ROOTSTOCK blocks are planted with 8 foot x 4 foot spacing resulting in a planting density of 1,362 vines per acre.