What do you get when you cross a commercial Realtor and a political consultant? Potentially, the need to drink a lot of wine. Both professions are fraught with frustration, let downs, and quite a bit of finesse. After a long day at the office, wine wields its wonders on the weight of the workday. Enter Cody George and Brian Murray. As friends, their long time hobby acted as a creative way to express their passion and provide a release from their hectic day jobs. From the early days of knocking on vineyard doors saying, “Do you have any grapes” to 1300 plus cases, Vintage Hill has always been about friendship.
Bonded for their first production in 2006, Vintage Hill Cellars jumped right into the business producing 450 cases with a lineup that included Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Merlot Rose, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc and Merlot. 100% of their wine is produced on site from crush to consumer. They also distribute everything from their storefront on 2nd Ave. Cody and Brian have transformed the old brick building into an eclectic and comfortable urban art vibe. Vintage Hill contracts their grapes from vineyards that include Pepper Bridge, Stillwater Creek, River Wine, and Milbrandt.
While, I’m not a green freak or a tree hugger (not that there is anything wrong with that), I do appreciate the effort a creative effort to recycle. Brian and Cody observed a lot of waste in the wine business ranging from grape skins to grape seeds and even $1000 oak barrels. They turned that waste into products like Orange Clove Cabernet and Lemongrass Merlot infused soaps. Vintage Hill also offers soft soaps and even crushed grapes seed products used to exfoliate. For the true wine die hard, there is wine soaked chipped oak barrels for the BBQ.
Vintage Hill has grown steadily by word of mouth over the years. While Cody says his favorite part of wine making is the late light laughter with friends during crush or bottling, he admits that “winemaking is 90% cleaning.” Vintage Hills is excited for the upcoming release of the 07 Syrah in the fall with a 07 Malbec to come after that. When talking about the future Cody expressed the desire to continue slow steady growth with a more immediate need to establish regular store hours. Currently Vintage Hills is open during occasional First Friday events and other special occasions. It’s always best to call ahead before stopping by.
- On the web: www.vintagehillcellars.com
- On Facebook
- On Twitter
- On the Street: 319 W 2nd Ave
- On the Phone 509.624.3792
- The Stuff: 100% Syrah from Burgess and Milbrandt Vineyards; aged in new and used French oak (regiment not disclosed)
- The Swirl: Deep plum color with nice color to the edge of the glass. Cloudy and slightly unfiltered (of course it did just come out of the tank prior to filtration and bottling)
- The Sniff: Very saturated aromas of stewed cherries, and pepper. Quite a unique nose that is slightly difficult to pin down. It’s like an unwieldy greased pig rolling around in a prune, cherry filled pit.
- The Sip: Good creamy dark berry and cherry flavors with undertones of oak, baked bread and toasted almonds.
- The Score: Not Yet Released – I score this wine 3+ out of 5. Certainly a departure from a traditional Syrah or even a new world Syrah. I encourage you to go down to Vintage Hill for a sampling of this before you buy it just to be sure you enjoy their style of wine making.