EFESTE United States, Washington
We recently sat down with Mark Fiore took over winemaking at Efeste starting in the 2018 vintage. Mark gave some insights into the last three years that he has managed winemaking for Efeste.
2020 Vintage - Thinking back about the 2020 vintage, I really hope this harvest doesn’t get lost in all of the strange memories that will be associated with this year. Eastern Washington had a little bit of a wet spring, and some spotty weather during bloom. This led to some low hanging yields and extremely concentrated and intense flavors in the grapes. Confusion and worry arose early in the harvest as smoke from wildfires set over the entire state of Washington in early September. I remember stopping on Snoqualmie pass one morning just because it was the first time I had seen the sun in some days. However after a week or so the wind then blew the right way and the weather was great for ripening all the way through the middle of October. All the fruit came in looking beautiful. I am expecting some great things from our Cabernet Sauvignon as well as all of the white wines this year.
2019 Vintage – I’m not quite sure in my 11 years making wine in Washington I’ve ever seen a vintage so different from a previous year. All summer when headed to Eastern Washington for my vineyard visits the weather was always perfect. Typically you expect it to be really hot with temperatures in the low 100’s when walking the vineyards, this year was just temperate and moderate, 79 degrees or so as stated in my notes for August 1. September was also very nice, but then it got tricky as spotty showers and cooler weather came through. The grapes ripened a little bit later than usual but still came out wonderful. You’ll notice some vibrant acidity in the cooler climate wines, such as our Feral Sauvingon Blanc and even some of our reds like the Eleni Syrah. The warmer sights were also quite nice for the later ripening Adrienne Chenin Blanc and Jolie Bouche Syrah, both located in the Yakima Valley AVA. I’m extremely looking forward to getting the red wines in bottle in 2021.
2018 Vintage - What a wonderful growing year for the state of Washington. The summer was warm and as we headed towards fall things just started ripening perfectly. September and October experienced solid weather as the grapes ripened. Some of our cooler sights, such as Evergreen, our source for Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, had nice warm days and long cool nights which allowed for amazing textures and flavors in the wines. Our warmer sights, such as our estate vineyards in the Red Mountain AVA, had really long warm days, this gave me the ability to let the fruit hang as much as we needed to get the deep concentration and extended mouthfeel that we really love here. This can easily be seen in the Ceidleigh Syrah and Estate Cab Franc.
2017 Vintage – A glorious vintage brought very small crop loads at approximately 2 tons per acre. Pinot Noir loves an even growing year, which was pretty much perfect for 2016. Willamette Valley had moments of rain, cool temperatures but the heat levels were so incredibly consistent during the entire year, that managing the crops was easily handled. The last few weeks before harvest, low-humidity Chinook winds came in from Yakima and caused the grapes to dehydrate a bit, creating concentrated juice with perfect acidity.