GRC History ( 1997-2014 )
Grande Ronde Cellars was started by Dave Westfall, John Mueller, David Page and Michael Manz in 1997. Michael Manz oversaw the wine making project. He passed away in 2006. His brother, John Mueller, now guides the production of Grande Ronde wines. Dave Westfall works with the vineyards in Walla Walla and along with John, makes the final blends for the Grande Ronde wines.
From 1997 to 2001 Grande Ronde produced single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (92 points in Wine Spectator) and Merlot (91 points in Wine Spectator) from Seven Hills vineyard.
In 2002 Grande Ronde added Pepper Bridge Vineyard as a source for their Walla Walla Valley Appellation red wines and two new varietals, Cabernet Franc and Grand Vidure (Carmonere). With these new sources Grande Ronde now makes two blends — Cellar Red which was 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Grand Vidure (90 points in Wine Spectator) and Charlotte’s Cuvee (89 points Wine Spectator) 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot. In addition we make a single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Pepper Bridge Vineyard. (89 points Wine Spectator).
In 2005 we decided to make a wine in the saignee method where you drain off some of the juice before fermentation. The result was our 2005 Bridge Press Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon which received a 92 in the Wine and Spirits magazine.
To continue the “bridge” theme we added some white wines in 2007.
In 2007 we added three white wines to our list of wines. Cellar White – 90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Semillon; Kibitzer Alert (100% Chenin Blanc) and Kibitzer Transfer (100% Black Muscat).
In 2008 we added Kibitzer Convention (Riesling) to our white selection.
We also released our first Cabernet Franc, 2007 Cabernet Franc, Walla Walla Valley appellation in 2010.\and a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec blend called Starview. Our friend Paul Fletcher helped us with this blend.
GRANDE RONDE Cellars produces single vineyard and Bordeaux Blend red wines from Seven Hills and Pepper Bridge vineyards, Walla Walla Valley Appellation. We age our wines in 100% French Oak for 14 to 16 months. Our single vineyard varietals are aged 3 to 4 years in bottle before release.
Ten wines have received 90+ in the Wine Spectator including both of our 2005 Cabernet Sauvignons from Seven Hills Vineyard and Pepper Bridge vineyard. Our special saignee blend of Cabernet Sauvignon also received a 92 from Wine and Spirits Magazine. The 2007 Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon received a 93 from the Wine Spectator.
Dave Westfall is owner/winemaker/author. Dave has been in the wine business since 1980. He has been a wine retail merchant, distributor, author of Journey to the Wineries of Eastern Washington and Journey to Middle Earth Wineries and owner of Grande Ronde Cellars.
John Mueller helped start Mountain Dome Winery in the 1980’s with his brother, Michael Manz and famly. He is both owner and winemaker of Grande Ronde Cellars. He has been a consultant to several other Washington wineries.
David Page has been a wine distributor, owner of Grande Ronde Cellars and a major wine collector since the early 1980’s.
Together the three partners represent 90 years in the wine business and are part of the pioneers who started the Washington wine industry.
Partners: Dave Westfall, John Mueller and David Page