Nicky’s Blog: L’Ecole
L’Ecole has been on my bucket list for Walla Walla for some time now. It is a winery that I have found to produce consistent quality wine and is readily available on most wine lists.
Here is a little history about L’Ecole: third generation family owned, artisan winery located in the historic Frenchtown School as shown on their label. Founded in 1983, L’Ecole was the third winery established in Walla Walla. It has quickly become one of the most honored wineries in Washington State and has gained national and international accolades over the years. Some of those accolades are as follows: listed top 100 wineries for 15 years straight by “wine and spirits” magazine. In 2014 the Ferguson won the international trophy for best Bordeaux blend by “decanter”. With such an esteemed reputation, I was excited to meet Marty Clubb, co owner and managing winemaker, at the tasting room in the Frenchtown School.
Marty had a friendly, open nature about him. He kindly gave my husband and I a full tour of his winemaking facility. On this tour Marty described his winemaking approach. He uses cap managed punch downs as opposed to large tank pump over’s. Marty uses slow gentle racking and minimally fines and lightly filters his wines. Quality was of top importance to Marty, so much that he informed me he didn’t want to produce much more than he already does at risk of losing quality. It was at this point that my admiration grew for the experienced winemaker.
After the tour we met back in the tasting room, where Marty tasted us through most of the line-up. We started out with an expressive Chardonnay that held a lovely fruit profile and a persistent finish. It was when we got to the reds we saw Marty’s real love for the soil his vineyards are in. He passionately spoke about the differences between his two vineyards, Seven Hills and Pepperbridge. Seven hills vineyard is planted in wind-blown loess and mineral rich soil, while Pepperbridge Vineyard has ice aged flood silts for soil. The wine from Pepperbridge has a lovely spicy aroma and black fruit qualities. The wine from Seven Hills has strength and structure.
Marty left us to enjoy and discover the wine for ourselves. We drank the Perigee from Seven hills vineyard and the Apogee from Pepperbride vineyard. It was such a treat finding inspiration in soil types. We truly live in a premier winemaking state!
Please contact me to purchase one of the many L’Ecole wines I have on my list!
“My love for food and wine is due to the social aspect of sharing the experience with my family and friends.”