Andrew Will Winery’s estate vineyard, Two Blondes, is located in Zillah Washington, just outside of Yakima. The vineyard is named for Chris Camarda’s late wife, Annie, who was a 6’2” blonde, and their partner in the vineyard, Bill Fleckenstein’s wife, Melody, who is also blonde.
The 30 acre vineyard was planted in 2000 and is located in the Yakima Valley AVA. It is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec. The vineyard manager is Chris Hoon who is shown in the picture, above. Renowned viticulturist Dr. Daniel Roberts was a consultant in the early years on the planning and installation of the vineyard.
Two Blondes is the coolest site of the four vineyards we work with. A particular focus for owner Chris Camarda is clonal selections that best fit the growing conditions. There are two weather stations at the Two Blondes Vineyard; an upper station at 1000 ft and lower station at 650 feet. The instruments are recording daily temperatures which are used to graph the heat units of the growing season. In addition to documenting temperatures from April to October, these temperatures are compared to long-term averages in Oakville, CA as well as to other years at Two Blondes. Average minimum and maximum temperatures, hours above 90, 95 and 100 degrees, and below 32 will tell us what we can expect in quality of the wine. Each year, we see that our season is short but temperatures warm quickly in spring allowing vine development to catch up with other growing regions. Our reports are available below minus 2012 when due to instrument failure there was not enough data to compile a report.
The soils are a complex mix of Harwood - Burke - Wiehl series. They are silty loams formed in a silty loess eolian mantle over a lime-silica-cemented durpan. The vines are trained on bi-lateral cordons and the rows are mostly spaced at 5X8 and run due north and south. The angle block is planted differently, however, 6X3 spacing and 32 degrees NE by SW. Each vine supports 8 positions with approximately 16-18 clusters per vine.
“I believe that an individual piece of property can form a signature – an identity – and it is that face that is the focus of my winemaking. We are trying to let the vineyards reveal themselves. I believe that if Washington is ever to be considered a great wine region we need to establish the characteristics of our geographical areas and the characteristics of each vineyard in those areas”
|___Owner||Chris Camarda, Bill & Melody Fleckenstein|
|Vineyard Manager||Chris Hoon|
|Climate / microclimate||Semi-arid desert, cooler site with 2200 heat degrees|
|Average Heat Units||2200|
|Exposition and altitude of the vineyards||
|Vine Training system||Bi-lateral Cordon|
|Average age of vines||11|
|Average yield in acre||2.5 tons|
|Plants per acre||1300-1800|
|Average harvesting time||Last week of October|