From the very beginning, Cayuse Vineyards has been farmed organically—without synthetic fertilizers, chemicals, insecticides or fungicides. “Mistreating the earth kills the terroir, and you end up with soils that are sick or dead,” Christophe believes. “It’s a foundation you have to protect.”
In 2002 Cayuse became the first domaine in the Walla Walla Valley to fully implement biodynamic farming—a chemical-free approach designed to produce healthier soil and food. Based on the research of Dr. Rudolph Steiner in the 1920s, the philosophy focuses on the interrelationship of earth, plants and animals as a closed, self-nourishing ecosystem. Followers use an astronomical sowing and planting calendar.
Visitors to Cayuse see far more than just vineyards. They find chickens, pigs, sheep and cows, apple and cherry trees, tomato and cucumber vines and rows of corn. “It closes the biodynamic circle by integrating animals into the farm, and shows respect for the old ways,” Christophe says.
The vineyards are located in the ancient riverbed of the Walla Walla River on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley. The topsoil consists of 12-18” inches of a mix of silty loam and basalt cobblestones. Beneath is a layer of pure compacted cobblestones, hundreds of feet deep in places.
The vineyards have been cultivated using biodynamic farming methods since 2002.
Vessel Type: 100% French oak
Aging: 18 months in 30% new oak
Analysis: ABV 13.8%