Ciel du Cheval
Owner: Jim Holmes; Manager: Ryan Johnson
Jim Holmes, a pioneer in Washington winegrowing, has been tending grapes on Red Mountain since the 1970's, and continues to turn out some of the State's best fruit.
Situated at the base of Red Mountain, the vineyard receives the same heat and nighttime wind that you'll find at nearby vineyards. One main difference in the vineyard is the canopy of some of the more recent plantings (1994-on): vines are trained on a fan system while most of the others are planted on a bi-lateral cordon. While this system creates a larger canopy, it shields the grapes from the intense Red Mountain heat, allowing sugar maturity and physiological maturity to develop synergistically. His site also retains balanced acidity in the grapes.
This fruit gives wonderful density and complexity to our wines, and we enjoy a range of fruit from this site: two acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, one acre of Merlot, and lesser amounts of Cabernet Franc, Mourvedre, Syrah and Petite Verdot are destined for Betz Family Winery. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot are typically black, with ripe tannins that offer a silky palate feel. Plenty of complexity to go along with the mouthfeel as well: black cherry, currant, black olive, cedar and pencil lead notes. The Ciel du Cheval Cabernet Sauvignon is the base to our Père de Famille
, and these grapes bring power to our Clos de Betz
. The Mourvedre, a Southern Rhone variety, is particularly exciting and makes its debut in our 2004 Besoleil.
With the 2003 harvest we added Petite Verdot and Syrah to the varieties we get from Ciel du Cheval.
Owners: David and Patricia Gelles
Acclaimed as one of the world's outstanding vineyards by Wine & Spirits Magazine
, a few specific rows of Cabernet Sauvignon in both the new and old blocks at Klipsun Vineyard are have been designated for Betz Family since 1997. Planted to mostly bi-lateral cordon, the vines have a tight canopy with a focus on keeping the foliage to a minimum, especially on the morning side of the vine. Klipsun Vineyard is a naturally warm site with, this gives great sun exposure to both the vines and clusters, providing consistent ripening and keeping disease threat low. The Cabernet Sauvignon contributes tannin, structure and backbone to our wines. On the nose we find the black fruits and deep cherry that Red Mountain is known for. This is wonderful fruit, loaded with intensity and power.
Scott Williams' Vineyard
Owner/ Manager: Scott Williams
We contract Syrah grapes from Scott Williams of Kiona Winery, one of the highest altitude sites on Red Mountain. Because of its altitude and heat accumulation, the grapes here always ripen deeply, providing us with the material to craft a hedonistic Syrah with a high 'yum' factor. It forms the foundation of our Syrah La Côte Rousse
. Although the harvest can come early compared to other sites, we get the slight shrivel which gives Syrah its varietal markers of smoke, licorice and sheer concentration. We find an inviting tobacco note at the beginning, followed by spicy black pepper, and a round and lush finish. This site delivers wines that are plush and can stand-alone: they require minimal work in the cellar and at the blending table.
With the 2005 harvest we'll add some of Kiona's acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon to our mix. Scott and his family have grown the variety for some of the best wines made in Washington.