You can add WeatherEye Vineyards to the list of most exciting new developments in Washington. Located at the top of Red Mountain, WeatherEye Vineyard was purchased by Washington State wine advocate Cameron Myhrvold in 2004. Cameron quickly brought on Ryan Johnson to plant the vineyard and hired Todd Alexander to make the wines. The first vintage was 2018, and while the wines are already impressive, the best is unquestionably still to come. I believe there is already a waitlist (they don’t produce much), so don’t miss your chance.
– Jeb Dunnuck
WeatherEye is both a vineyard in the Red Mountain AVA of Washington State, and an estate wine brand utilizing the talents of Vineyard Manager Ryan Johnson, Owner Cameron Myhrvold and Winemaker Todd Alexander. The WeatherEye Estate wines are offered on an allocation basis with three releases per year. If you would like to join the mailing list to receive an offer on these small-production wines, please click here.
Our Hillfighter label wines are available throughout the year and can be found here.
Put hand selected clones in nano-planted blocks at higher elevation on Red Mountain, often at high density and sometimes with northern aspects. Use this and a variety of trellising techniques to achieve longer hang-times and wines with more intensity, freshness, and non-fruit characteristics. Farm it all with a maniacal level of attention and try and make wines that elevate the notion of what is possible in Washington.
Introducing our Hillfighter Series wines. For Hillfighter, the emphasis is on the art of blending. Currently, we make one Red and one White sourced from a mixture of the very same grapes and vineyard blocks used to create the WeatherEye Estate flagship wines.
When it comes to building the Hillfighter Series, we allow ourselves more freedom to play with the blends with no predetermined destination, and as such, we expect the wines to tell a different story each year. Experimentation has an important role at WeatherEye, as it allows us to fine-tune our viticultural techniques and helps us to better understand our vineyard and how it interacts with the terroir of Red Mountain. And at the end of the day…we want the results to be delicious! It’s our intention for the Hillfighter wines to be enjoyed anytime – now, or cellar them for additional complexity over the coming years.
Stretching along the windswept ridgeline of Red Mountain in Washington State, WeatherEye is planted to 30 acres of Rhône, Bordeaux, and Spanish varieties. We farm our vineyard as a collection of “micro-blocks” that are designed and managed in a full spectrum of densities and trellising methods matched to the soils, topography, and exposures of the site. Two thirds of the vines are head-trained, typically to either a single stake (en echalas) or pruned to an open “bush vine” architecture—both are traditional techniques from the Rhône Valley of France, which we believe adds a unique dimension to the character of our fruit and wines. Vine densities range from 300 plants per acre to over 4,000 per acre in our meter-by-meter blocks. Climbing from 950’ to 1410’ of elevation, WeatherEye features extreme slopes and soils ranging from dune sand to fractured bedrock basalt. The dynamic nature of this site gives us an incredible range of terrain and opportunities for growing wine grapes, limited only by our imagination.
Todd Alexander is our gifted winemaker who cut his teeth and rose in prominence in Napa Valley, working on production teams at Plumpjack and CADE wineries, before becoming winemaker at famous “cult” producer Bryant Family Vineyard. Todd moved to Washington in 2014 to become winemaker at Force Majeure and to start his own project called Holocene wines. His wines have garnered high critical acclaim and he is widely acknowledged as one of the top winemaking talents in the United States.
Ryan Johnson leads our farming and viticulture. Having previously managed Ciel du Cheval Vineyard for 15 years and having co-founded the Force Majeure Vineyard he has unparalleled knowledge of Red Mountain’s upper slopes, and has developed his own system of innovative hillside viticulture. The design and layout of WeatherEye is Ryan’s vision utilizing everything he has learned growing grapes on Red Mountain for over 25 years.
Cameron Myhrvold, longtime advocate for the Washington Wine Industry (and with a keen eye for ambitious projects), bought the property in 2004 with the goal of growing grapes where no one had attempted before — on the top and north face of Red Mountain. Today most of the fruit is sold to 10 different wineries with small lots held back for our own wines.