Stavalaura Vines & Wines
Unique Varietals with a Unique Wine Experience
Wine grapes (Vinifera, descended from European grapes) are the source for and base of most wines. The uniqueness of flavor, mouth feel, smoothness, and impact is largely dependent upon the quality of the grapes used to produce an individual wine. Stavalaura owners, Joe and Beverly Leadingham, desiring to produce quality wines with unique character, and wines not widely produced in Washington and Oregon, began their research on what to plant in their vineyards in order to accomplish this.
Special care needs to be taken to research and find the varietals whose growing characteristics match the latitude and weather patterns of your vineyard. Every vineyard is subject to the climatic conditions of its particular location and Stavalaura is no exception. Armed with advice from botanist, Tom Thornton, and in conjunction with Washington State University’s Viticulture program, three varietals were chosen for Stavalaura Vineyards based upon their uniqueness and growth characteristics. The chosen varietals were Pinot Noir (777 and Pommard clones), Zweigelt-Rebe and Golubok.
Stavalaura currently produces wines from three grape varietals grown in our vineyards and also from grapes brought in from several Eastern Washington vineyards renowned for their quality. The three wines currently produced from our own grapes are the above varietals, Pinot Noir, Zweigelt and Golubok. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and other wines produced at Stavalaura, are from sourced grapes grown in Eastern Washington.
Although Pinot Noir is prevalent in Washington and Oregon, it was chosen because of its appeal to so many wine drinkers. Two Pinot Noir clones (777 and Pommard) were selected because of their success in producing the flavor profile we were after. The initial problem with choosing this grape was that its ability to achieve full maturity at higher latitudes (similar to where Stavalaura is located) was low. To mitigate this issue, it was decided to plant vines grafted onto root stock 3309. The Pinot Noir vines were the first vines to be planted. After 5 years of vigorous growth, it was clear that grafted plants were indeed better suited to the climate and latitude of Stavalaura than the non-grafted options. With this evidence in hand, Zweigelt-Rebe and Golubok vines were also grafted onto root stock 3309 and planted in 2009 and 2010.
Despite being a finicky grape to grow and turn into wine, our Pinot Noir grapes thus far have been very cooperative. Our Pinot Noir wines are deliciously light and fruity. Each year the vines progressively produce a richer and more interesting taste experience.
Golubok, a southern Russian and northern European varietal grape, is unlike most red grapes in that the color pigment is not only located in the skins, but is very significant in the pulp also. This results in an unusually deep, rich color. Its unique flavor is unlike most red vinifera.
Golubok, our most unusual wine, has intensely deep color and rich flavors coming from both its darkly pigmented pulp, as well as its skin. When tasting our Golubok, one must be prepared for a new experience in wine tasting. There really seems to be no other wine with which to compare the taste because it is so distinctly different. Because of its uniquely beautiful appearance and dark, rich flavors, Stavalaura is planning on an expansion of Golubok vines over the next several years.
Zweigelt-Rebe, a more traditional northern European grape, is a dark-skinned red grape. It has an aggressive vining tendency and requires more pruning than the Golubok.
Our Zweigelt wine, produced from our Zweigelt-Rebe grapes, is unique with its lighter flavor but dark characteristics derived from its rich skin color.