We've heard it time and time again. Great wine starts in the vineyard. Great wine is made by great farmers. You have to start with great grapes if you have any chance of making great wine. That's how Whispering Tree started. It is made by third generation farmers at Milbrandt Vineyards.
Farming is in Milbrand's blood. Their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles all made their living working the land. Eastern Washington is in their blood. They came here as young children and have always called it home. When they planted their first vines in 1997, they were entering uncharted territory. 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, they farm 12 distinct estate vineyard sites totaling nearly 2,000 acres. Their grapes are purchased by some of the most prestigious wineries in the state. Our own winery, launched in 2005, produces highly-individualistic wines from their estate and neighboring vineyards.
Jim McFerran, one of the foremost viticulturists in Washington, joined Milbrandt back in 1997 to help with the intricacies of planting. He was very careful about matching the right variety to the right site. His goal has always been to be the best grower in the state. From the start, demand for their grapes was immediate and overwhelming.
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.
This is a classic Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. It enters with soft, enveloping fruit similar to black cherry with hints of leather and earth. The flavor gets bigger and more intense and finishes with a flourish component. Try this quiet giant with a prime fillet with a classic bearnaise sauce or red wine reduction and fresh herbs.