The Dunham & Blair families
Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot
Dunham Cellars selects the finest fruit from several renowned estate vineyards in the Walla Walla and Columbia Valley Appellations. The winery works closely with its farming company, Appellation Management Group directed by Ken Hart, to ensure the fruit is of the highest quality. The commitment between grower and winemaker and the quality of these vineyards with their incredible combination of climate, soil and geography allows Dunham Cellars to create wines of structure and balance.
Lewis Estate Vineyard, Columbia Valley: Nestled at the foothills of the Rattlesnake Ridge in the Columbia Valley, Lewis Vineyard (elev. 1200 ft.) is a small, family owned vineyard managed by Betty Lewis & son, Ken Jr. First planted in 1998 with a few acres of Syrah, Lewis Vineyard now comprises 80 acres of vitis vinifera varietals, including Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. These varietals thrive in the vineyard's sandy loam. Drip irrigation is used to manage water application, applying moisture when needed and stressing the vines into producing only the best fruit for our winery. The fruit that produced our inaugural Syrah was the first crop to come off of the vine. The yields were ridiculously low, coming in to the winery at around 0.1 ton per acre. The wine it produced was so remarkable it was worthy of our first vineyard designated wine.
Using grapes from some of the finest vineyards in the Walla Walla, Yakima and Columbia Valleys, Dunham Cellars has established an award-winning reputation for their wines. When Eric’s first vintage, a 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon was released, it was deemed one of the finest wines made in Washington by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Subsequent vintages and varietals have also earned high marks with both wine writers and consumers. Eric shows his artistic side by creating original artworks for all of Dunham Cellars vineyard designated and special bottlings.
The winery makes its home in a rustic, remodeled World War II era airplane hangar in Walla Walla, and the future looks promising for Dunham Cellars. The family-owned winery continues to increase production and wine varietals, and has planted estate vineyards in prime locations around the Walla Walla Valley Appellation. Dunham wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Trutina (a Bordeaux style blend), Three Legged Red (a red table wine) and the “Shirley Mays” Chardonnay, which is dedicated to Eric’s grandmother. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this wine are donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to help fund the fight against breast cancer.
The only thing that will never change at Dunham Cellars is its winemaking philosophy. We will continue to produce premium wines through gentle treatment in all phases of the winemaking process. Eric’s goal is to bring something to the bottle he enjoys and is proud to hang the Dunham name on.