When I first met Katherine Walker we were in high school and volunteering for a youth health advocacy group. Our group of volunteers needed a venue to train new members and Katherine’s parents Harry and Karen agreed to host our training sessions. I was 16 years old when I first visited the Walker Station property and I didn’t even notice the new vineyard planted behind the house. It was 2002.
Fast-forward 10 years. I was working as Assistant Winemaker at VML vineyards when I re-connected with the Walkers in 2012, as they had some fruit available from their now mature Walker Station Vineyard. Their Montrachet selection of Chardonnay was amazing fruit. It was a privilege to work with it and I was thrilled to be able to purchase a small amount of both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from this little gem of a vineyard for Kanzler Family Vineyards starting in 2014.
In early 2015, after being knocked-over by the quality of the 2014 Walker wines aging in barrel, opportunity knocked when I heard that Harry and Karen were interested in leasing their vineyard to a winery. I immediately called Harry to add our name to the hat for consideration. Over the next weeks we tasted wines, talked viticulture strategy, and eventually had a champagne toast to cement an agreement for Kanzler Family Vineyards to lease all 3.2 acres of Walker Station grapes.
Leasing Walker Station opens an exciting new chapter for Kanzler Family Vineyards. Specifically, it gives us the opportunity to introduce two new vineyard designate wines: Walker Station Pinot Noir and Walker Station Chardonnay. While, all the sites we work with are exceptional and from a pure wine-quality standpoint merit single vineyard designation, we’ve never done a single vineyard designate besides our own Estate Reserve. The reason is that at Kanzler Family Vineyards we are farmers-first. We take great pride in the fact that our Estate Reserve is a reflection of our care, passion and commitment to every step of the winemaking process from grapes to glass. Leasing and farming Walker Station, allows us to bring the same consistency, control and focus to Walker Station wines that we bring to our Estate Reserve.
So, we’re incredibly excited to announce the release of Kanzler Family Vineyards Walker Station Chardonnay in spring 2017, with Kanzler Family Vineyards Walker Station Pinot Noir to follow in the fall of 2017.