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 12 estate vineyards totaling more than 2,300 acres.
Milbrandt Vineyards are concentrated in the Wahluke Slope (AVA established in 2006) and the Ancient Lakes of the Columbia Valley. Both growing areas share the same low rainfall and long sunny days during the growing season. However each area has distinctly different terroir, with Wahluke Slope proving especially ideal for red wines and Ancient Lakes for white wines.