Two Mountain Winery - Vineyard Club Seminars

Summer Thinning

Two Mountain Winery in Zillah, Washington, is once again offering seminars on growing and managing grape vines. This Saturday I spent almost two hours thinning Riesling and Syrah vines with about 20 other students. Matt Rawn was our instructor. He discussed the importance of controlling vine vigor by thinning vines and leaves.

Air flow is necessary to reduce the chance of mold/mildew, and excess vines and leaves need to be removed to focus the energy into the grapes. The vineyard we “worked” in is planted on rocky soil in Zillah, Washington, part of the Rattlesnake Hills appellation. The vineyard is in a scenic location, mountains are visible above the vineyards, birds sing in the background, and this weekend we were lucky to have a pleasant, slightly overcast morning to work in – we missed the 100 degree heat of the previous week, and the few rain drops which fell Saturday did not bother us.

Matt seemed to like the work I did thinning my vines, he jokingly offered me a job, but I suspect a week of thinning would be more work than fun. Some of the seminar attendees were from Seattle and the Tri-Cities area. A few already have vines growing at home and others were planning on planting vines soon. All of us were interested in techniques to improve growth and vigor. Everyone, except for me, plan on making their own wine at home. If I make some friends at these classes I’d love to report back on the home wines being made.

After class we drove back to the winery and were greeted with crusty bread, olive oil for dipping, and vegetable/mint skewers. And there was plenty of wine to wet our whistles. The first glass of wine was my favorite. Two Mountain Winery released their 2005 Chardonnay just for us… A gorgeous barrel fermented Chardonnay with lots of flavor. Crisp, citrus and vanilla, a perfect wine for after work and would pair well with seafood and chicken. Other wines poured included, a Rose, Merlot, Syrah (I have a bottle of their Syrah at home for future research), Red Table, Cabernet Franc, Lemberger, and a Dry Riesling I missed tasting – it will have to wait until next time. The 2005 Chardonnay is $17 at the winery.

If you have considered growing your own grapes, or would like to spend a little time in the vineyard, there are still two seminars remaining.
  • August 18th at 10 am is Verasion (color change) and on
  • October 6th at noon is Harvest!
Yours truly will be at both of these sessions.
I highly recommend these classes as well as the winery.

Check out their Web site for summer activities including, Dinner and a Movie series, July 14, August 11 and September 8,

These guys know how to have fun. Matt told me that they opened their doors to the public in 2003. You’ll find cherry trees outside the tasting room as well as 2 or 3 sleepy dogs lounging about.

To register contact Nikki at Two Mountain Winery, (509-829-3900) or email


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