Red Mountain Elevated project announces Liminal, the first winery focused solely on the acclaimed AVA's most unique vineyard, WeatherEye
August 14, 2019
Woodinville, Wash.—The Red Mountain Elevated project, one of the most anticipated winery projects in Washington State, now has a new name and a new home.
Introducing Liminal, the first winery focused solely on WeatherEye, a unique vineyard straddling the top of Red Mountain. Liminal combines the viticulture prowess of Cameron Myhrvold and Ryan Johnson with the acclaimed winemaking team from Avennia Winery, Chris Peterson and Marty Taucher.
“First and foremost, Liminal is about a place, a truly singular vineyard site called WeatherEye,” Peterson said. “In order to honor the creativity of the vineyard, we explored some winemaking techniques which we believe are well-suited for the wines from this vineyard. So far, the results are very exciting and we are eager to bring them to the public with the launch of Liminal.”
The inaugural 2018 vintage of Liminal wines is limited and focuses exclusively on Rhône varieties, Peterson said. Future vintages will include Bordeaux varieties as well. The Liminal wines are being made at the new, dedicated facility located in Woodinville near Avennia’s current production facility.
Liminal wines will not be available for a public tasting until March 28, 2020, when the winery will hold an invitation-only open house and barrel tasting for mailing list members. Initial allocations will be offered at that time.
The wines will be released publicly in late 2020 or early 2021, Taucher said. However, interested consumers can learn more about Liminal and register for the winery’s mailing list by visiting the winery’s new website at www.liminalwine.com.
“When we announced this project last fall, the initial response was tremendous,” Taucher said. “As a result, our first-tier allocation list is closed and we are now accepting people on an allocation waiting list.”
Taucher and Peterson will preview the first vintage Thursday to members of the wine industry at the private barrel auction associated with the annual Auction of Washington Wines.
The Liminal name and package design was created by the team at Boxwood, a Seattle-based architecture, branding and graphic design firm with a rich background of work within the wine industry.
“When the Avennia team asked Boxwood to develop a branding strategy for their new winery, they were embarking on a grand experiment,” said Boxwood principal Joe Chauncey, who helped develop design identities for winery brands such as Figgins, Brook & Bull, Vital, Walla Walla Vintners and Passing Time, among others. “Together with their vineyard partners, they were seeking answers to the questions, ‘What if? Why not?’ Answers that may lie in the ‘liminal’ space between the past and the future - a sensory threshold where they can simultaneously reflect on what they have learned and open their minds to new possibilities with greater clarity of thought and purpose.
“The brand mark illustrates its own definition by allowing the threshold - expressed as a thin line - to pass through the center of the name exposing the space where we make all of our decisions. On the package, the line wraps the bottle in a perfect circle drawing one from front to back to reveal more information about the wine.”
About Liminal: The vision and what makes it special
Three central elements make the Liminal project unique – the team, the vineyard and the approach to winemaking.
It brings together a dream team for Washington wine with unique proven skills in viticulture, winemaking and business, all sharing a vision for what Red Mountain fruit from this vineyard can offer.
Myhrvold and Johnson are partners in the vineyard and lead the viticulture initiatives. Johnson is one of the most experienced growers on Red Mountain, having worked 20 vintages in the AVA. He spent 15 years working with the famed Ciel de Cheval vineyard and planting the Force Majeure Vineyard.
Taucher and Peterson are partners in Avennia Winery and lead the winemaking efforts. Chris has been making wine in Washington State for nearly two decades and was named winemaker of the year in 2017 by Seattle Magazine.
About WeatherEye: Unique terroir and bold viticulture
The WeatherEye vineyard is part of a remarkable site that encompasses 360 acres on top of Red Mountain, one of Washington’s premier AVAs. The 27 planted acres extend up and over the summit of Red Mountain and onto its northern flank, where no vineyards previously had been planted. The top of the property, located well above the level of the ancient glacial floods, is thick, fractured basalt lava barely covered by a skiff of windblown soil.
The first vines were planted in 2016. At present, 27 acres are planted with 49 different vineyard blocks. The planted vineyards are primarily Rhône varietals, which were first harvested in 2018. Three small blocks of cabernet sauvignon will be harvested in 2019.
More than 12 soil types on the property, ranging from deep sand to broken basalt, creating a geologic palette with multiple unique flavor profiles. The vineyards feature extensive high-density plantings – 4,000 vines per acre in some blocks, which is rare in Washington State.
In total, there are seven different vine training systems for the vines and nine different spacing layouts based on grape variety, soil and geographic orientation of each block.
“The opportunity to work with fruit from this site is very compelling,” Taucher said. “It’s about fruit sourced from remarkable Washington terroir, about advanced techniques in vineyard management that challenge the status quo, and a journey of discovery in winemaking to explore the potential of this unique vineyard. Tasting through the first barrel samples prove that we are on the right track.”