History and Pedigree
Horse Heaven Hills
Champoux Vineyard is one of the oldest and most prestigious vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA of the Columbia Valley. Originally planted in the early 1970s and 1980s, this much-revered vineyard has been the source of some of the world’s most sought-after Cabernet Sauvignons, powerful wines known for their gorgeous fruit, balanced acidity and elegant tannins. Quilceda Creek has sourced fruit from Champoux since 1986 and owns and farms 134 of its 169 acres.
Cool Site in a Warm AVA
The Horse Heaven Hills AVA is one of the warmer appellations in the Columbia Valley, but our Champoux Vineyard, which sits in the foothills at an elevation of 600-800 feet, benefits from cool nighttime air draining down from higher elevations and accumulating across the south-facing site. This diurnal shift moderates the daytime warmth of the vineyard, contributing to balanced, long-lived wines with lovely natural acidity.
“Champoux is a vineyard that, if it hasn’t already, will go down in winegrowing history. It’s a fantastic site for red wine grapes, a solid and consistent producer of the highest quality fruit year after year.
It’s an honor to farm it.”
— Dan Nickolaus, Vineyard Manager
Even, Controlled Vigor
The soils at Champoux are classified in the Sagehill series, fine, sandy loam, well-drained soils that promote deep root development and, because of their uniformity, even vigor across the vineyard. Vine density varies due to the different age of the vineyard blocks, but our newer plantings are high density, averaging 1200 vines per acre. Because of competition below the surface, the root zones of the vines are smaller. Coupled with our irrigation regime, we are able to precisely control cluster size, weight and the number of clusters per vine, resulting in optimum concentration and flavor.