The story of wine at Icicle Ridge Winery started in the Fall of 2000 when we made our first wines… twenty gallons were made in two very small oak barrels. With the generous help of several local friends, we began crafting our first Romanze Blend, an unusual blend of Merlot, Lemberger, and Cabernet Franc. That label has become the hallmark of our red wine releases and is highly anticipated by our friends and wine club members. While some of the varietals have changed over the years, the dedication to quality winemaking and staying unique remain the same.
Since that time, we have focused on several red varietals and always emphasize an approach to red wine which is rooted in drinkability. Careful management of our new and old oak barrel program provides the perfect character to our red wine releases with just the right amount of oak to enhance the flavor while leaving the fruit in dominance on the palate. We couldn’t be any prouder than we are of our current releases of our red wines.
And that’s just the story about our red wines. We have award winning white wines that hit just about everyone’s palates. From dry, off-dry, and hints of sweetness, we are certain you will find one that will fit your lifestyle. And for the many who have already discovered our FRUIT WINE, you know what we mean when we say…”Get it now, ‘cuz it won’t be on our shelf the next time you are here!”
In 1966 Lou and Judy were married here in the little church in Peshastin. A year later they headed to Anchorage, Alaska where Lou worked as a construction worker, but hunted and trapped whenever he and his uncle Chuck could get away. Due to the frigid temperatures of Alaska (at least that’s the story they have always told the girls), 3 baby girls were born within 3 short years! Lou was gone for many weeks at a time building all over the vast state of Alaska. Judy ( and the growing family of little blonde girls) would travel quite often with him in a little travel trailer. In 1972, the family of 5 moved back to the Peshastin area, buying 40 acres of pear orchards and a farmhouse. While pears were a great way to farm for more than 30 years, God had other plans and adventures in store for the Wagoner Family… Icicle Ridge Winery opens its doors for wine tasting September 1st, 2002
In 1990, Lou and Judy began building a 5,000 square foot log home on the North Road of Peshastin, overlooking the majestic Icicle Ridge Mountain. In the year 2000, American pear prices were drastically dropping, as the rise of foreign produce prices were more affordable. So, Lou began planting grapes. By the time 2002 came, the log home’s doors were open to the public to taste wine bottled by the Wagoner’s. The rest is history…
“If you’re not the lead dog, the view is always the same.”
“Sometime, a few years after the turn of the millennium, I found Icicle Ridge. Or maybe I should say Icicle Ridge found me. In those days, Louie, with his relentless drive and powerful kindness inspired me to work like I’d never worked before. Daylight hours flew by and when darkness fell, the lights came out and we worked some more. If we weren’t getting sticky, we poured wine and connected with visitors. Louie’s genuine love for each person who came to the winery (which was still his home at the time!) was unique.Everything we did came from the heart of that man.
When Louie passed away in 2017 a chapter closed. We moved our wine making from the Log Home property to “Point B”, an old industrial building a quarter mile down the road. I missed that depth and purpose Louie had exemplified. In the meantime, Nick and Noah, Louie’s grandsons, came home from college and became active in the business. By the harvest of 2018 they were my right-hand guys and it’s incredibly meaningful to teach them what their grandfather taught me. Now, the boys and I are working on writing the next chapter of winemaking at Icicle Ridge. We’ve made critical improvements to our facility, formed a strong partnership with Angiolina Vineyards outside of Yakima, and launched an extensive barrel program. The wines in your shipment exemplify this evolution. Noah, Nick, and I are taking what was and morphing that magic into what will be. After all, Louie’s blood runs in their veins.
I’m honored to be part of this story and was invited to take part in it with open arms. I hope you feel that same sense of belonging and love every time you visit and with every shipment that arrives on your doorstep.”
Pioneering grape growing in the Upper Wenatchee Valley began in the mid 1990’s. Warren Moyles of Peshastin, a dear friend and gentleman, test planted several varietals on a 1 acre block at his home. His encouragement was a significant factor in the early plantings of vinifera at Icicle Ridge Winery. In the fall of 2000, we planted Lemberger, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
Each year thereafter, we have continued to plant vines on Lou and Judy’s estate. The total acreage is now eight acres, with approximately 5 of those acres in fully productive vines. The wines made from our estate have included thus far, Chardonnay and Lemberger. The Fall of 2005 gave us our first harvest of Pinot Noir. We decided to begin our foray into the world of ice wine with that crop. Handpicked by our family and staff in November 2005, our first Ice Pinot Noir was an instantaneous hit. Full of honey character from naturally occurring botrytis and crispness offset by a perfect sweetness, the wine disappeared from our tasting room in a heartbeat.
Our ice wine preparations have expanded into other varietals now, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. All of these wines are of remarkable character and are very unusual wines styles. Very small productions and availability only in our tasting rooms make these wines truly treasured by our guests.
We anticipate the many more surprises from our young vineyards, with several newly planted varietals showing great promise. We hope you will enjoy the adventure with us of finding what the climate and terroir in Peshastin will bring the world of wine.
We are now one of the oldest sustaining wineries in the state of Washington. When Lou and Judy’s grandsons, Nick and Noah were 8 and 5 years old at the time the winery doors opened, they could barely pronounce the word “Gewurztraminer”. Now, 20 years later, those two boys are an integral part of the winemaking and winery future. It is because of the Wagoner’s dedication to legacy and commitment that Nick and Noah have carved their way into what is now the renowned winery of Icicle Ridge Winery.