In 1999, a Frenchman and direct descendant of The Rothschild Family, studied the lay of the land, the soils and sun hours offered in the area and came upon this property to plant a Pinot Noir Vineyard and try his hand at winemaking. The birth of Challenger Ridge Vineyard & Cellars had begun.
Challenger Ridge Vineyard & Cellars is located 60 miles Northeast of Seattle, on the banks of the Skagit River, in the foothills of the majestic North Cascade Mountain Range. The original farm was homesteaded over 100 years ago and crossed over into this century as a family farm. The farmhouse has been updated but kept intact and is our tasting room today.
The vineyard is made up of five parcels planted with Pinot Noir. The parcels total 13 acres and are separated by Challenger Road and Highway 20.The first parcel (1.6 acres) located on the upper west side was planted in early 2000 and gave some grapes in 2002 but produced significantly more in 2003. The second parcel (2.5 acres) was planted on the east side in 2002, the third (2.5 acres) to the south of Challenger Road and north of Highway 20, and finally the fourth parcel (1.2 acres) was planted in 2005 with the remainder planted in the Spring of 2009. This area receives on average 250 growing degree days which is ideal for growing pinot noir. The vineyard's soil is from the Kline series. It is very gravelly sandy loam, deep, and excessively drained on alluvial fans.
In 2006, Randy Bonaventura, joined the team as our winemaker, bringing the first award winning wines to Challenger Ridge. Living at the vineyard, he is able to walk amongst the vines every day, keeping a watchful eye on their progress and growth. Randy is also instrumental in the update of the winery facilities while keeping with the original look and vision of the property.
Pinot Noir Estate
100% Pinot Noir Whole Cluster Picked Sorted And Destemed. ?Fermented In Small Lots Using 2 Ton Fermenters. ?Fermented For Aprox 14 Days At Temperatures Between 84 And 90. Hand Punch Downs Were Done Twice A Day. ?Free Run And A Light Pressing Before A 9 Month Barrel Aging In French Oak.
Pinot Noir Reserve
Fruity with hints of citrus and spice. Estate grown Pinot Noir that is full bodied with a classic long finish.