October 14, 2015 (Walla Walla, WA) – Wine & Spirits magazine honors Pepper Bridge Winery, listing it among the top 100 wineries as part of the publication’s annual list. Critics look for consistency across a range of bottlings and consider wineries that make three or more wines each year to determine the annual list. Pepper Bridge was honored for its 2011 and 2012 vintages.
“At 170 acres, one of Walla Walla’s largest and most important vineyards serves a winery of the same name,” quoted the magazine’s critics. “Pepper Bridge’s intensely structured cabernet-based bottlings excelled in the warm 2012 vintage.”
Pepper Bridge along with four Walla Walla wineries: àMaurice Cellars, L’Ecole No. 41, Reynvaan and Spring Valley Vineyard will be part of a special Top 100 tasting in San Francisco on October 20 at City View at METREON. The entire award list can be viewed at Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting.
“Receiving this honor from one of the top wine publications in the nation is a great accolade for our winemaking team,” said Jean-François Pellet, winemaker. The two vintages were very different as 2011 was a cool year while 2012 proved to be warm and dry. Both vintages added fruit from Octave, a vineyard plot on the SeVein Ridge parcel partly owned by Pellet. Pellet believes it’s a strong Cabernet site, with a strong wind influence that helps create small berries, dark fruit and lots of structure in the wines.
Pellet has been making wine for Pepper Bridge Winery for 16 years. Born and raised in Switzerland, he is a third-generation wine grower. He’s worked in Switzerland, Germany and the Napa Valley before coming to Walla Walla in 1999. In 2001, Pellet helped launch Amavi Cellars, a sister winery allowing him to expand his winemaking talents into Sémillon, rosé of Cabernet Franc and Syrah, working primarily with the Les Collines vineyard. A partner in both wineries, his passion is crafting wines from the estate vineyards of Pepper Bridge and Amavi Cellars.
ABOUT PEPPER BRIDGE WINERY - Pepper Bridge Winery represents the pioneering spirit of the Walla Walla Valley. Owned and operated by three families, the McKibbens, the Goffs and the Pellets, the winery is a leader in quality winemaking, innovative technology and vineyard development. Pepper Bridge Winery produces Bordeaux-style wines using traditional winemaking techniques, French oak and estate fruit from the Walla Walla Valley. Pepper Bridge wines are collectibles that showcase complexity, structure and balance. Combining old-world philosophy with modern innovation, the winery has become an industry leader. For more information visit www.pepperbridge.com
ABOUT AMAVI CELLARS - Amavi Cellars signifies love (amor) and life (vita) through our wines, which are 100% estate, 100% Certified Sustainable, and 100% Walla Walla Valley. Located in the heart of Walla Walla wine country, our winery & tasting room offer sweeping views of surrounding Pepper Bridge Vineyard as well as the beautiful Blue Mountains. Dedicated stewards of the land, we are committed to making a positive impact both within our estate vineyards and within our community.
ABOUT JEAN-FRANÇOIS PELLET - Born and raised in Switzerland, Winemaker Jean-François Pellet is a third-generation wine grower. Working alongside his father, who has managed the same vineyard for 30 years, Jean-François always knew what he wanted to do with his life: make world-class wine.
Jean-François supplemented his experience by earning degrees in both enology and viticulture. As part of his studies, he interned in Switzerland, Germany and the Napa Valley. After graduating, he managed vineyards and made wine in Switzerland and Spain. Along with making wine in Spain, he was responsible for managing 500 acres of vineyards, designing a new winery and developing a market for the product.
His experience and reputation for meticulous winemaking brought him to the attention of Heitz Cellars in the Napa Valley, where he worked for four years. Pepper Bridge Winery then recruited him, so he moved to the Walla Walla Valley to become that winery's creative force. His success at Pepper Bridge (where he is still the winemaker, as well) allowed him the opportunity to join the Amavi partnership and to apply his winemaking skills to different grape varietals, particularly Syrah and Semillon. In addition to being winemaker, Jean-François plays a key role in the management of the winery's estate vineyards. He is also a founding member and current vice-president of the Walla Walla Valley's sustainable agriculture organization, VINEA.
LARRY VAN AALST – HOST OF THE SONOMA WINE REPORT – WINE TRENDS AND HAPPENINGS IN SONOMA
LARRY HOSTS A WEEKLY PROGRAM ON CRN AND ALSO IS AN EXPERT ON WINE WHO IS SOUGHT AFTER FOR EVENTS, TASTES AND MAJOR SOMMELIER EVENTS IN THE SAN FRANCISCO AREA. HE COMMENTS ON THE INDUSTRY AND HIS THOUGHTS ABOUT WINE.