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Dineen Vineyards

Our Varietals

We are focused on growing grapes traditionally found in the Bordeaux and Rhône Valley regions of France. Our vineyards are home to the following varietals:

Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabernet Sauvignon is originally from the Bordeaux region in France and is the most widely planted varietal in the world and the most prevalent red varietal in Washington state. Here at Dineen we grow Clone 8, one of the best and most versatile. It is used in some of Washington's finest wines. Typical characteristics for Dineen Cabernet Sauvignon are, black cherry, black currant, blueberry, black pepper, tobacco, and violet.

Cabernet Franc: Nicknamed the “Third Red of Bordeaux”, Cabernet Franc is one of the most distinctive grapes. Originally from the French Basque country southwest of Bordeaux, this varietal has a heart of its own and holds its acidity like very few others. Some typical characteristics of Cabernet Franc are strawberry, raspberry, green bell pepper, roasted red peppers, red plum, and mineral notes. We strive to eliminate the green pepper flavors often attributed to Cabernet Franc by early leaf removal and sun exposure. We have two clones at Dineen Vineyards, both of which concentrate color, tannins and aroma.

Syrah: This mythical varietal, which also goes by the name Shiraz, may have originated in Syracuse (a city in Sicily, southern Italy) or in Persia in the Middle East. Syrah is s one of the most important varietals of the world and has become highly acclaimed in the Rhône Valley, France with some of the best Syrah-based wines such as Côte Rôtie, Hermitage and Châteauneuf-du-Pape (where it was grown as the Pope’s wine). Syrah is now grown extensively in the new world (U.S.A., Australia, Argentina, etc.) and shows a very different sensory profile. Old world Syrah tends to have higher acidity and earthy-mineral notes, while New World Syrah is bolder with red fruit and flower aromas. Syrah is generally a tannic varietal, regardless of appellation, but has multiple personalities and is not afraid to show them. Washington State prides itself on having some of the best terroir conditions for growing Syrah in the world and the quality of the fruit is the proof. Dineen Vineyards grows two of the most coveted Syrah clones: Sara Lee and Joseph Phelps.

Merlot: A French red varietal originating in the Bordeaux region. Merlot is now planted extensively with more than 600,000 acres worldwide. Washington State has made quite a reputation for fantastic Merlot, given its optimal growing conditions. Merlot has complexity and power, yet subtleness runs in this varietal´s flavor profile. Aromas of black cherry, raspberry, tobacco, vanilla, and cedar are prominent in wines of this varietal.

Malbec: While most people associate this varietal with Chile and Argentina, it actually originated in Cahors, South-West France, and has historically been represented in Bordeaux wines. This thick-skinned grape allows the winemaker to express his or her style; be it lighter, elegant and lower alcohol or big, bold and fruit-forward. Here at Dineen Vineyards we have soils very similar to Chile and Argentina (silt loams with a concentration of calcium carbonate) and produce grapes with characteristics of raspberry, violets, plum, blueberry, rosemary and white pepper.

Petit Verdot: This grape is the 5th red varietal typical in Bordeaux wines. It provides tannin and color. When blended, it brings soul even to the most soulless wines. It can be harsh, given its polyphenol concentration, but if blended correctly it can be a great addition. Dineen Vineyards has the microclimate and good growing practices to properly ripen this late harvested grape. It is one of our rising stars. Petit Verdot adds body, structure and tannins. Some typical flavors of this varietal are black cherry, violet, sage, and rosemary.

Viognier: A white varietal originated and planted extensively in the Rhône Valley in Southern France. Viognier is used in the production of great whites and sometimes co-fermented with Syrah. Viognier is an aromatic grape, that gives lovely perfumed aromas. The Dineen Viognier has aromas of granny smith apple, honeysuckle, tangerine, peach and a hint of eucalyptus. This varietal has the complexity and versatility to be made in many ways. Viognier can be as fresh and crisp as a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, and it can be as interesting, deep and complex as an oaked California Chardonnay. Viognier is one of the hidden gems of Washington State; and here at Dineen, in the heart of the Yakima Valley, we grow some of the finest viognier grapes in the state.

Riesling: A white varietal from Germany. Riesling is an aromatic grape, meaning that there is a higher amount of some compounds found in grapes called “terpenes”. These terpenes are caused by fermentation and are extremely volatile and can be smelled from great distance. Riesling grapes from our vineyard typically have aromas of lemon zest, jasmine, peach, honey-crisp apple, and honeysuckle. The fruit tastes of honey, peach, apple cider and chamomile.

Other Varietals: Roussanne, Semillon, Grenache Blanc and Tempranillo are also grown at Dineen Vineyards in small amounts for select wineries. These varietals can be very stylistic and are grown to the winemaker’s specifications.