Force Majeure Vineyards, situated in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, is a winery that has gained attention for its exceptional estate vineyard on Red Mountain. The vineyard, covering 20 acres, stands out for its meticulous design and planting process, with nine distinct soil types woven into 26 micro-plots, each with its unique irrigation system, trellising style, and clonal selections. This attention to detail and the challenging terrain, including rocky hillsides and steep slopes, make it a labor-intensive vineyard where much of the work must be done by hand.
The winery came into existence with a unique vision and a focus on collaboration. Previously, it operated under a ‘Collaboration Series’ where seven different winemakers crafted wines in various styles using fruit from Red Mountain’s Ciel du Cheval Vineyard. However, in 2008, Force Majeure took a significant step forward when Todd Alexander, formerly of Napa Valley, joined the team as winemaker and general manager. His expertise and enthusiasm for the potential of Washington’s winemaking scene brought renewed focus to the winery.
Force Majeure Vineyards produces wines with a goal to achieve power, concentration, and intensity while maintaining an elegant and classic character that ages gracefully. The winery’s dedication to raising the bar for Washington State wines is evident through its investment in a state-of-the-art production facility and a commitment to its estate fruit.
With a talented winemaker, a thriving estate vineyard, and a new production facility, Force Majeure is poised for a promising future. The winery’s owner, Paul McBride, believes that Washington has the potential to produce wines that can compete on a global scale, and the passion and dedication of the team at Force Majeure Vineyards reflect their belief in the region’s winemaking potential. As the Washington wine scene continues to gain recognition, Force Majeure stands ready to make its mark in the industry.
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