In 2003, we decided a few parts of our orchard might make a fine location for grapes. The altitude of the vineyard—at nearly 1,400 feet—seems to agree with our aromatic white varietals: Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Chardonnay.
The vineyard is named for a group of hiker cabins built in the 1900s at the Sunrise area of Mount Rainier. Brought off-mountain to the Gilbert family farm in the 1940s as housing for seasonal workers, the cabins now serve as guest quarters for visiting family and friends.
Unique Geological History
The prominent view from the ranch is of The Ahtanum Ridge, rising 1,5000 feet above the Valley. The Ahtanum is part of the Yakima Fold Belt of east-west basalt ridges formed by 17 million year-old lava flows. The ridges are ideal for wine-grape cultivation, as they create a wide expanse of south facing slopes that provide both drainage and maximum sun exposure for the vines.
Our newest structure, christened in April 2015, houses the heart of our operations--winemaking. With giant wooden barn doors, it echoes the humble architecture of the other buildings on the ranch, while providing plenty of space (3600 sq ft) for our winemaking and bottling activities. And occasionally a party or two.
The Cave Patio
With great views of the Ahtanum Ridge, honeycrisp orchards, the Sunrise Vineyard, and rows of French lavender (in bloom June & July), The Cave has a special magic. Cafe-style string lights add ambiance after dark. The backdrop is the dramatic basalt-fronted entrance to our barrel room, The Cave.
Nestled under The Cave Patio is our 400 guest lawn-style Amphitheater. Re-purposed smudge-pot path lights line the perimeter and produce an ambient glow.
The Quonset Hut
This WWII-era 2200 sq ft metal building has been outfitted with cafe-style string lights and smudge-pot lanterns, and its rustic-chic atmosphere centers around two sets of repurposed wooden barn doors.