While known as a cool-climate viticultural region, the Puget Sound Appellation features summer growing seasons which are long and mild. Rain shadows of the majestic Olympic Mountains and Vancouver Island to the west create attractive micro climates for growing vinifera grape varieties, and our northern latitude provides on average two more hours of sunlight per day throughout the growing season than central California. Annual rainfall in these unique areas of the Puget Sound AVA can be as low as 17 inches per year, compared with 60 inches or more in other areas of Western Washington.
The Skagit Valley and Mount Vernon are located within one of these microclimates. Western Washington is drier and sunnier than many classic wine grape growing regions in Europe, and rarely suffers from prolonged freezes in the winter. In fact, Western Washington's warm days allow the grapes to ripen while our cool nights keep fruit acids high, creating rich, flavorful, well-balanced wines.
We at Carpenter Creek believe that the rich volcanic soils and unique climate in the Skagit River Valley make this a perfect location for growing cool-climate varieties such as Pinot noir, Siegerrebe and Agria, among others. These varieties thrive in the lush Puget Sound wine region, just as they do in the similar climate of the Loire Valley in France, and we invite you to come and enjoy the flavors and characteristics of the region's unique terroir.
Grapes we're currently growing on our estate:
Siegerrebe—(Cross between Madeleine Angevine and Gewurztraminer)
One of the earliest varieties to ripen, the grapes look and taste similar to Gewurztraminer with a nose much like that of Muscat.
This variety makes an excellent fruity wine with spice and litchi fruit aromas. It has been grown in western Washington for about 25 years and is a signature white for the Puget Sound Appellation.
Pinot Noir Precoce—Known in Germany as Fruheburgunder.
Berries develop color at least two weeks ahead of regular Pinot Noir. We feel this variety is quite promising and exhibits a spiciness closer to Gamay Beaujolais.
Dornfelder— Another German variety, Dornfelder is a heavy producer with dark black juice. We use this primarily to blend with Pinot Noir for color.
Pinot Noir—clones 667, 666. These grapes characteristically have small clusters and intense flavors.
We feel these varieties have great potential to make Burgundian style Pinot Noir.