About this WINE
Located in Walla Walla Valley, Washington, USA, Horsepower Vineyards was founded by Christophe Baron, a French vigneron and winemaker regarded for his dedication to traditional winemaking techniques and biodynamic farming practices. Baron is also the proprietor of Cayuse Vineyards, another esteemed regional winery.
The vineyards, predominantly Syrah, are situated on the southern side of the Walla Walla Valley. The unique terroir of the area, characterised by well-drained, stony soils and a distinct microclimate, contributes to the production of exceptional wines.
One key feature that sets Horsepower Vineyards apart is its commitment to using traditional, labour-intensive methods in winemaking. The vineyard is known for using draft horses to plow the fields, hence the name "Horsepower." This dedication to old-fashioned techniques and the utmost attention to detail in both the vineyard and the cellar contribute to the distinctive character of their wines.
Walla Walla Valley
In the southeastern part of Washington State, USA, Walla Walla Valley is a prominent and acclaimed wine-producing region extending into northeastern Oregon. The valley’s viticultural roots date back to the mid-19th century, making it one of the oldest wine regions in the Pacific Northwest.
A semi-arid climate with hot summers and cold winters characterizes the region. It also benefits from the Cascade Mountain Range to the west, which shields the valley from excessive rainfall, creating an ideal environment for grape cultivation. The dry and sunny conditions contribute to the development of ripe and flavorful grapes, while cool nights help to preserve acidity, resulting in balanced and vibrant wines.
The valley’s diverse soils, primarily composed of loess (wind-blown silt) and well-draining basalt, create a patchwork of terroirs that add complexity and character to the wines. Additionally, ancient flood deposits contribute to the valley’s fertile landscape, further supporting grapevine growth.
Walla Walla Valley is renowned for its red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, which thrive in the region’s climate and soils. These red varieties are known for their rich fruit flavors, supple tannins, and aging potential. Excellent white wines, such as Chardonnay and Riesling, are also produced, which benefit from the valley’s diurnal temperature variation and well-drained soils.
The wine is characterized by a strong sense of community and collaboration among winemakers, fostering a culture of quality and innovation. Many wineries in the region are small, family-owned operations dedicated to handcrafted and sustainable winemaking practices.
Grenache (Noir) is widely grown and comes in a variety of styles. Believed to originate in Spain, it was, in the late 20th century, the most widely planted black grape variety in the world. Today it hovers around seventh in the pecking order. It tends to produce very fruity, rich wines that can range quite widely in their level of tannin.
In many regions – most famously the Southern Rhône, where it complements Syrah and Mourvèdre, among other grapes – it adds backbone and colour to blends, but some of the most notable Châteauneuf du Pape producers (such as Château Rayas) make 100 percent Grenache wines. The grape is a component in many wines of the Languedoc (where you’ll also find its lighter-coloured forms, Grenache Gris and Blanc) and is responsible for much southern French rosé – taking the lead in most Provence styles.
Found all over Spain as Garnacha Tinta (spelt Garnaxa in Catalonia), the grape variety is increasingly detailed on wine labels there. Along with Tempranillo, it forms the majority of the blend for Rioja’s reds and has been adopted widely in Navarra, where it produces lighter styles of red and rosado (rosé). It can also be found operating under a pseudonym, Cannonau, in Sardinia.
Beyond Europe, Grenache is widely planted in California and Australia, largely thanks to its ability to operate in high temperatures and without much water. Particularly in the Barossa Valley, there are some extraordinary dry-farmed bush vines, some of which are centuries old and produce wines of startling intensity.