HERITAGE ART SERIES
What's a heritage garden? Gardens devoted to using native plants indigenous to your area. The obvious reasons for planting; tend to be low-water, attract and sustain native insects and birds, and low maintenance. But a less obvious reason is they're a way to offer something very unique and different in your typical line up of lawns and shrubs. With our white wine series, we've decided to celebrate this new trend by featuring some of our favorite native plants on our white wine labels. We hope you enjoy these beauties - both the labels and the wines.
If you're interested in planting a heritage garden there are lot of great resources out there, including if you live in our area - the Columbia Basin - there are free services to help you get started. To learn more please visit: Heritage Gardens of the Columbia Basin
Art: Arrowleaf Balsamroot
Why: We can't tell you why, exactly, but when thinking of native plants to represent our Sauvignon blanc, we kept coming back to Arrowleaf Balsamroot. It could be that when it blooms it is at the height of many things blooming in the Columbia Basin and there's a unique 'spring' smell that's hard to describe unless you've stood in the brush during spring - grassy, herbal, fresh, bright. While this plant doesn't give off much aroma, it's the image sight for these spring smells. Smells that we find in our Sauvignon blanc. Or it could be that this plant is always a sure bet. You can always find this wild flower, clinging to cliffs, in the middle of rocks, pushing it's way through invasive species - never giving up. Sauvignon blanc is a little like that, too. A bright, happy, scrappy wine.
Art: Longleaf Phlox
Why: Many people glance at this label and think single petal roses - but a closer look will give you an up close drawing of many people's favorite spring flower in this area. This was an easy choice for the native flower artwork series. During the spring, Longleaf Phlox burst forth with colors of soft almost white, pink to shocking pink. These pink beauties always bring a smile to one's face, just like our Rosé!
Art: Great Basin Wildrye
Why: This unusually huge bunch grass is an important plant to the west's ecosytem. It's big, bold, and beautiful! Just like Chardonnay. We love this bunch grass in the summer when it's a deep green, and then it's stunning in fall when it dies back and there are huge shocks of rich yellows speckled throughout draws. Part of the hertiage series in choosing our flowers/plants is what colors they evoke and the colors we associate with wines - these rich, warm yellows work perfectly with a warm, lightly oaked Chard.
Art: Mock Orange
Why: Our most fragrant native plant, when it blooms in spring you'll have a hard time missing it as it smells like you've just walked into an orange grove. Intense aromas of orange blossom (hence the name) and jasmine. And what's awesome about this almost tropical-like plant (not only in aroma, but it has dark, glossy green leaves that seem more at home in a rainforest than the dry desert of Eastern WA), is that it's incredibly drought tolerant and tough as nails. When we decided to make an Albariño, we wanted to make a dry, lean, aromatic version. Aromas of honeysuckle and orange blossom, coupled with mouth-watering acidity and hints of citrus (lime mostly) - it was just a no-brainer that we'd choose this awesome native plant as our label inspiration. We asked the artist to use greens and blues on the label to honor the acidity/lime quality of this great summer-time wine.
Art: Sagebrush Mariposa Lily
Why: While these lilies are found throughout our region (all throughout the east side of the Cascades from Oregon to Canada), many people have never seen one, and when you do, you feel like you've stumbled upon something very special. They seem out of place in our arid landscape - large flowers in a pretty lavender shade. This is how we feel about our newest white varietal - Grenache blanc. On the world scale, Grenache blanc is not uncommon - produced in France, Spain and California. But here in WA? It's pretty damn rare. When you stumble across a bottle of Washington Grenache blanc, it feels special. When we choose the flowers, we also choose the colors. In this instance, we asked Leigh to use the same purple shades found in the flower because it also reminds us of Grenache blanc. While the flavors of GB lean towards green and yellow flavors, the body is very much a light purple. GB is a naturally medium-bodied wine, with higher alcohol, and it's warm, inviting, beautiful - just like the sagebrush mariposa lily.
Leigh Ann Torres - Artist
Leigh Ann Torres is an Austin-based artist working in a variety of media. Her work stems from observation of the world around her, from carefully curated still lifes to snapshots of the outside world taken on walks through the neighborhood. She received her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and has shown her work locally.
Leigh Ann lives in Austin with her husband and three children, where she enjoys hiking, watching movies and cross-stitching to keep her hands off her phone. Leigh Ann shares her work and writes about her artistic journey at leighanntorres.com and on Instagram.