Ciel du Cheval
Owned and operated by Jim Holmes and managed by Ryan Johnson, Ciel du Cheval has helped pave the way for the fine wine grapes on Red Mountain. With 120 acres under vine, Ciel du Cheval is a major contributor to Mark Ryan wines. The very first vintages of Dead Horse and Long Haul were packed with fruit from Ciel du Cheval, a tradition that continues to this day.
Balancing polish and refinement in its power and depth, Ciel represents a feminine compliment to Klipsun's brazen muscularity. The vines are planted in a fan trellis system, which provides a more-dense canopy to shield the clusters from the intense heat of the site. This style of management allows the grape's sugars to develop harmoniously with its concentration and physiological ripeness, showcasing deep fruit flavors balanced with non-fruit complexity.
In 2006, Ryan Johnson contacted Mark and asked if he would be interested in joining a prestigious group of winemakers selected to produce wines under the Grand Reve label. Now entering the fifth year of this collaboration, we continue to produce Grand Reve's Syrah, and we are also proud to be one of the few wineries in the State to include Grand Reve fruit in our Mark Ryan blends. Planted at the highest elevation on Red Mountain, and on such a steep grade that mechanical farming methods are virtually impossible, Grand Reve vineyard is a labor of love for Ryan Johnson. 2010 was the first harvest on Grand Reve and the potential is immense.
Kiona vineyard was one of the first planted on Red Mountain. In 1975, John Williams and Jim Holmes planted the first vines on 84 acres. Jim went on to create Ciel du Cheval while Kiona is still owned and operated by the Williams family. Managed today by John's son Scott, Kiona contributes a combination of deep, complex aromas and flavor with polished structure and balance.
Named by Wine and Spirits magazine as one of the Top 25 vineyards in the World, Klipsun is truly a Washington icon. Located on the western edge of Red Mountain AVA, the vineyard was planted in 1984 by David and Patricia Gelles. There are currently 120 acres planted to vines, managed by Julia Kock. Klipsun fruit is all about power. It's placement on Red Mountain exposes the vines to strong nighttime winds that thicken the grape's skins, making a smaller berry with dense fruit concentration and broad-shouldered structure. These conditions, coupled with the natural, consistent heat of Red Mountain create a wine of big, bold aromas and muscular intensity and power.
A relative newcomer to Red Mountain, Obelisco was planted in 2006 and is a partnership between Doug Long, Paul Kaltinick and Dick Shaw. The vineyard is managed by Marshall Edwards. From the first harvest in 2008, we have had the great pleasure of working with their Cabernet Sauvignon. Obelisco fruit represents a true archetypal Cabernet profile with great texture and length.
Red Willow vineyard is one of the oldest vineyards in the state, a true Washington pioneer. Owned and operated by Mike Sauer, his wife Karen, sons Jonathan and Daniel, and son-in-law Rick Willsey, Red Willow remains a family operation. The vineyard is located on the Yakama Indian Reservation, on steep south-facing slopes in the Cascade foothills, in the Yakima Valley AVA. The first wine grapes were planted in 1973 under the direction of Dr. Walt Clore.We have been fortunate enough to begin working with fruit from Red Willow in 2008. Red Willow represents classical non-fruit qualities with beautiful balance and grace.