All I want is oysters, cheese and poached lobster after reading all about Montmains last week from Jeremy Eubanks. Well done!
This week: Since Jeremy was the sole champion last week, let's see who can hang with him in describing the major geology of The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater AVA
Nice work Jeremy!! I will take the first crack at it this week:
Milton-Freewater AVA was established in 2015
So this AVA is a sub-appellation of Walla Walla Valley which is also a sub appelation of Columbia Valley AVA ----a sub within a sub-- it is very unique because it is the only AVA whose boundaries are defined by the soil type. The soil consists of cobblestone rich gravel that is deposited by the Walla Walla River that creates alluvial fan soils and is also mixed in with sand and silt. The cobblestone is made up entirely of dark colored volcanic rock (known as basalt) that originated from the Blue Mountains. The cobblestones are "baseball-like" in size, larger than a pebble but smaller than a boulder....a good in between. Soil is coarse so the vines dig deep into the ground due to it being well-drained and the rocks are able to retain heat that transfers to the soils that helps with ripening the grapes. The soil has a strong influence on the wine made here and helps give them an interesting flavor profile due to the mineral mixup from the soil. Known as the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater AVA, the name comes from the many rocky soils located there. It does not receive much rainfall so they have to use irrigation from the Walla Walla River.
Additionally, these baseball-sized rocks have drawn comparisons to the galets of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and producers are exploring Rhône varietals in the AVA. The Syrah from this area is known for earthy and meaty aromas and flavors, and compared to Syrah grown elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest, it emphasizes the savory aspects of the grape rather than the fruitiness.