Wine & Spirits ~ 50 Masters of Place

Delmas was selected to represent The Rocks District by Dr. Kevin Pogue, who chose six Syrah wines to represent the differing terroirs of Walla Walla Valley.

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Kevin Pogue on Walla Walla Syrah:
interviewed by Elaine Chukan Brown

“What excites me about syrah in Walla Walla is that you can truly taste the differences between wines made not very far apart. Within ten miles, you have these sites that differ in terms of heat units, elevation, soil—whatever element you want to use to talk about terroir,” says Kevin Pogue, a geologist at Whitman College in the town of Walla Walla. As the local wine industry has taken off , Pogue has used his research on topography and soil types to scout out interesting new vineyard sites for his consulting clients. He’s particularly taken with syrah, and even grows a few syrah vines in his backyard. “Walla Walla is a great lab for seeing terroir expression in syrah,” he finds, “and syrah is such a great terroir-driven grape.”


Delmas Syrah: “Seven Hills and Delmas are less than one mile apart, but the wines are so different they almost taste like different grapes. Their contrast is one of my favorite examples of terroir. The subzone is alluvial gravel that’s fundamentally different from the other places. Delmas is a fabulous expression of Rocks District terroir with beautiful perfume. The heat from the dark basalt cobbles bakes herbalness out of the wine. It tastes of tapenade, bacon and earthiness.”