In 1997 Butch and Jerry Milbrandt planted their first grapevines in Eastern Washington’s Columbia Valley AVA. At first glance, Eastern Washington is not your typical wine country. It’s a remote, windswept, high desert dotted with sagebrush and tumbleweeds. But it also holds some of the most breath-taking terrain, ranging from deep river gorges to vast mountain ranges and undulating hills formed by Ice Age floods and ancient volcanoes.
The Milbrandt family had been farming in the area since the mid-1950s and they believed the region’s moderate temperatures, low rainfall and sandy soils were ideal for wine grapes. Today, the Milbrandt family farms 13 estate vineyards totaling nearly 1600 acres.