Pepper Bridge Is a Young Winery With a Vision Pepper Bridge Winery was the first in the state of Washington to receive sustainability certification. BY TOURING & TASTING
Photos courtesy of Pepper Bridge
The Pepper Bridge partners gather on the balcony.
“ Besides providing Seattle-area wine lovers a taste of Walla Walla, it is the site of many memorable private events.”
Known for elegant, balanced wines handcrafted from grapes grown in its three Walla Walla estate vineyards, Pepper Bridge Winery was the state of Washington’s first gravity flow winery and first to receive sustainability certification.
The winery was founded in 1998 by the visionary team of engineer-turned- agriculturalist Norm McKibben, Anheuser-Busch veteran Ray Goff, and third-generation winemaker and viticulturist Jean-François Pellet. Since 1998, the winery has been actively managed by the two generations of the McKibben and Goff families along with the Pellets, who are all committed to producing 100 percent estate wines from their renowned Pepper Bridge and Seven Hills Vineyards.
With a focus on small-lot, single varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc, and the Bordeaux-style blend, Trine, Pepper Bridge wines consistently receive high acclaim. Across the board, they are lauded for their classic Walla Walla characteristics. In the words of The San Francisco Chronicle, "Winemaker Jean-Francois Pellet must have a mind-meld going on with Walla Walla, because his efforts with Pepper Bridge are so consistently good." Although his wines do speak beautifully to their Eastern Washington terroir, Jean-Francois was born and raised in Switzerland in a multigenerational winemaking family. After crafting wine in Switzerland, Spain, and the Napa Valley, he considers Walla Walla to be a great adventure—citing the distinctive climate, soils, and geography that make Walla Walla an extremely unique grape-growing area.
Pepper Bridge Winery has two tasting rooms. The Walla Walla tasting room sits on a beautiful ridge overlooking Pepper Bridge Vineyard and the Blue Mountains in the distance. Its appealing wrap-around deck and landscaped lawn entice many guests to select a glass of their favorite wine while they drink in the view. The Woodinville tasting room is located directly behind the century-old Hollywood Schoolhouse. Besides providing Seattle-area wine lovers a taste of Walla Walla, it is the site of many memorable private events.
What to Buy '11 Cabernet Sauvignon - $60
Black cherry, vanilla cola, hint of blueberries, clove, coffee, cocoa