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Gramercy CellarsGramercy Cellars

Tasting Room

Tasting Room Hours:

By Appointment Tuesday through Friday
Open Saturdays 11am to 5pm*
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Holiday Barrel Weekend Hours
Friday, December 7th - Open 11am-5pm*
Saturday, December 8th - Open 11am-5pm*
Sunday, December 9th - Closed
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To schedule an appointment please email:
nichole@gramercycellars.com
*If your group is 6 or larger, please contact Nichole ahead of time.
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Wine Club Information: robbi@gramercycellars.com
Winemaking/Winery Operations: brandon@gramercycellars.com
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For all other inquiries, please email: info@gramercycellars.com
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635 N. 13th Ave. Walla Walla, WA 99362
+1 509-876-2427

Recognition

“Top 100 Winery”

Wine & Spirits Magazine (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018)

Wines

2015 Lagniappe Syrah
Columbia Valley


SOLD OUT


Sauer Family. Red Willow Vineyard. 2015 vintage. Mic drop…

Jeb Dunnuck 98 pts
“Always one of my favorite releases from this estate, the 2015 Syrah Lagniappe is 100% Syrah (mostly from the Red Willow Vineyard in Yakima, with 5% from the Forgotten Hills Vineyard just south of Walla Walla). Deep ruby/plum-colored and loaded with Côte Rôtie-like (Côte Blonde?) notes of black raspberries, tapenade, and crushed flowers, this beauty is medium to full-bodied, seamless, and silky on the palate, with incredible finesse and elegance. It’s going to benefit from 3-4 years of bottle age and knock your socks off over the following decade or more. It’s unquestionably one of the wines of the vintage.”

I don’t know what more to say. We are ecstatic about the reviews for this wine. I can’t say we did anything different with the Lagniappe this year, except picking a bit lower Brix in 2015 than previous years.  The wine is 13.7 alcohol. (What is ripeness? Discuss.) As always, the wine is fermented around 100% whole cluster, fermented in concrete for 21ish days and aged in neutral 500-liter puncheons.

The 2015 is technically a single vineyard Red Willow bottling.  American AVA law allows 5% of other vineyards in a blend to be labeled single vineyard.  Starting in 2016, Lagniappe will always be a single vineyard bottling, as will most of our Rhône wines.

Is this the best Lagniappe to date?  Honestly, I am not sure.  Right now, I think the 2010 is our best. But its oh so close.  The 2010 may be a bit more aromatically complex, but the 2015 has more mid-palate power. Both are stunning wines. I can’t wait to taste both side by side in five years, ten years, twenty years.  Who wants to come to those parties?

Tasting notes: Black olive, Asian spice, red flowers, red currant, garrigue, black pepper, salumi, super aromatic.  Explodes on the mid palate, a bit more blue fruit on the palate. Firm acidity and medium plus tannins. This will age for a long time and improve for many, many years. Perhaps our best Lagniappe to date.

 

BLEND:100% Syrah
VINEYARDS:Red Willow, Forgotten Hills,
AGING:98% on Stems and aged 500L puncheons for 18 months
ALCOHOL:13.7%
RELEASE:October 2018
WINERY RETAIL:  $60
PRODUCTION:586 cases

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2015 Forgotten Hills, Syrah, Walla Walla Valley

While we have been using Forgotten Hills since 2005, this is the third release of a vineyard designate Forgotten Hills for Gramercy.  Located at the base of the Blue Mountains, the vineyard is under constant attack by cold weather, even during harvest.  While not in the Rocks District, it sits on a pan of exposed basalt, aka volcano rock, which gives the wine deep minerality. Yes, terroir exists. End of story. We also fermented this wine in concrete, now our definitively preferred method for Rhône variety fermentation.

Forgotten Hills is all about acidity, mineral, smoke, blood, and iron. It is hard-core Syrah, for those that love the Old World. It starts life full of red fruit, then gradually the funk develops after about a year. We are incredibly proud of this wine.  It is maybe our favorite wine of the 2015 Syrah’s.

We fermented this wine with 75% whole cluster in concrete (yeah concrete) and stainless steel. The Forgotten Hills was aged in a mix of older 225L and 500L puncheons for 18 months.

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate – 94 pts
“Complex and compelling, the 2015 Syrah Forgotten Hills Vineyard reveals beautiful aromas of orange rind, wild berries, tapenade and cracked pepper. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, layered and succulent, with lovely sappy acids, concentrated fruit and some youthfully chewy tannins that will need a few years in bottle to melt away. Cellar it for a few years and follow it for a decade.”  -William Kelly

Tasting Notes: Smoked meat, salumi, Herbes de Provence, raspberry, cranberry, stone, iron, blood, red flowers, Asian spice. Extremely fresh and vibrant. Racy acidity and firm tannins. Medium bodied with extreme length and complexity

 

BLEND:100% Syrah
VINEYARDS:Forgotten Hills
AGING:Fermented 75% whole cluster in Concrete. It was aged in a mix of older 225L and 500L puncheons for 18 months.
ALCOHOL:13.1%
RELEASE:October 2018
WINERY RETAIL:  $60
PRODUCTION:329 cases

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2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley

My love for Cabernet is growing so deep that I’m am now getting mocked by 25 year old sommeliers in New York City.  On a recent trip, I suggested we order a fantastic classified Bordeaux. (I’m not throwing down for First Growths. There is now a lot of value in Bordeaux.)  One of them commented – Dude, you are OLD.  Next, you are going to want to order Port. Fully mocked.  But sorry, I have grown to love well balanced, thoughtfully made, terroir-driven Cabernet, especially in Washington.

As we said in 2014, the Cabernet Sauvignon always contains two vital parts – Phinny Hill and Sagemoor Vineyards.  They are like chocolate and peanut butter together. The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon is about 60% Phinny Hill Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Bacchus Cabernet Sauvignon. Each vineyard contributes vitally to the final blend. Phinny is backbone and elegance; Bacchus, as the vines are 45+ years old, is all about power and complexity.

Last year, with the 2014 Cabernet, we said Merlot took its ball and went home. Well, Merlot worked hard in the offseason – trained well and ate clean.  It comes back in full force in 2015, representing about 14% of the blend. While the 2013 (8%) and 2012 (10%) had high percentages of Merlot, only the 2008 (14% Merlot) matches the Merlot percentage of the 2015 Cabernet. (I can tell you that the 2008 Columbia Valley Cabernet and the Lower East Cabernet are in a perfect place right now. Drink up!)

A few years ago, we acquired the oldest block of Merlot at Pepper Bridge Vineyard. It’s an ideal complement to this wine.  Some may ask – why Walla Walla Merlot?  I feel if they didn’t make that movie Walla Walla Merlot would be an iconic variety in Walla Walla.  I always grin when Chuck Rhoades gets messed with in Billions. Punishment for the Merlot comments. Walla Walla Merlot adds intensity and complexity in the mid-palate that is unique to Walla Walla. Adding Merlot from other areas doesn’t ignite the spark for us. Walla Walla Merlot is the smack that Cabernet loves and needs.

The 2015 Cabernet is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. It was aged in 50% new French oak and the remainder in 2-5 year old French barrels.

Tasting Notes: Red, blue and black fruit, gravel, deep, elegant, complex, silky, mineral, medium + acid, firm tannin.  Chocolate, pencil shavings, red flowers, forest floor, mushroom, cedar

 

BLEND:83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot & 2% Petit Verdot
VINEYARDS:Phinny Hill, Octave Estate, Bacchus, Pepper Bridge
AGING:20 months in 50% new French Oak
ALCOHOL:14.3%
RELEASE:October 2018
WINERY RETAIL:  $50
PRODUCTION:975 cases

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2015 'L’Idiot Du Village' Mourvédre
Columbia Valley

This is our fifth release of Mourvèdre.  The popularity of the L’Idiot is mind-blowing. It sells out faster than any other wine at the winery. As I have said many times before, Mourvèdre is at home in Eastern Washington. We continue to be blown away by the complexity and intensity of the Mourvèdre from both Olsen and Alder Ridge Vineyards. Each vineyard contributes very different aromatics and structure. Olsen Vineyard, near Red Mountain, is all about red fruit, freshness, and aromatics. Alder Ridge, which sits on the Columbia River in the Horse Heaven Hills, brings black fruit, depth, and structure.

The 2015 L’Idiot is 95% Mourvèdre, mostly from Olsen Vineyard, with a small portion from Alder Ridge Vineyard. We fermented this wine in both concrete and stainless steel with 60% whole cluster and aged the wine for 15 months in old oak.

Tasting Notes: Red raspberry, cherry, fresh blackberry, garrigue, mineral, stone, tar, gravel, finishes sweet fruit, sweet cream, orange peel, smoked meat.

BLEND:95% Mourvedre, 5% Carignan
VINEYARDS:Alder Ridge, Olsen
AGING:60% Whole Cluster Fermentation and aged for 15 months in old French Oak.
ALCOHOL:14.1%
RELEASE:March 2018
WINERY RETAIL:  $42
PRODUCTION:512 cases

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2015 The Deuce Syrah
Walla Walla Valley

In 2014, we wrote regarding the Deuce Syrah: “The 2014 Deuce Syrah is a different wine than usual.  In the past, we always explained the wine as blue and black fruit dominant – blueberry, black cherry, etc.  However, in tasting this wine over the past year, we kept using red fruit descriptors – raspberry, cranberry, red cherry.”

Ok, I (Greg) admit it.  I am having difficulty coming up with an original story for the 2015 wine. In fact, I copied the 2014 release note. Kidding… kind of.  In all honesty, we employed the exact same vineyard and winemaking approach with the 2015 vintage as the 2014 vintage. And it worked in 2015 – perhaps even a bit better than in 2014.

We always base the Deuce blend on Les Collines Vineyard, usually blocks 46 and 36 on the steeper upper section of the vineyard.  Adding Forgotten Hills to this blend is a natural extension for the wine.  The vineyard sits almost at the base of Les Collines and is greatly influenced by the Blue Mountains.  The cool air rolls down the Blue Mountains every night and sits directly over the vineyard.  With very shallow soils over fractured basalt, Forgotten Hills brings freshness, acidity, and structure to the wine.  Les Collines contributes its typical aromatic elegance and complexity. In 2015, we found the best blend to be 51% Forgotten Hills and 49% Les Collines.

The 2015 Deuce is 85% whole cluster.  As usual, we didn’t destem the Les Collines fruit.  We used about 75% whole cluster for the Forgotten Hills, as sometimes the stems at the vineyard are slightly bitter.  We continue to see the switch to organic viticulture giving huge returns. Starting with the 2017 vintage, we do not expect to destem before fermentation.

Notes: Ripe stems, earthy, green olive, smoked meat, blood, iron, red flowers, saline.

Medium + acid and tannins, low alcohol for Syrah at 13.2. Firm, austere, restrained, angular, tart.  Huge length and complexity that will reveal more. Needs time. So happy with this wine.

This wine has not been reviewed yet. But every vintage since 2012 has gotten 93 pts from Jeb Dunnuck.  No whammies, no whammies, no whammies.
Drinking Window: 2019-2035

Whole Cluster: 85%

BLEND:100% Syrah
VINEYARDS:Forgotten Hills, Les Collines
ALCOHOL:13.2%
RELEASE:October 2017
WINERY RETAIL:  $54
PRODUCTION:664 cases

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2014 'Inigo Montoya' Tempranillo
Walla Walla Valley

We are coming to the end of a long journey with Tempranillo. After this release, we only have the 2016 Tempranillo to offer. In early 2017, Brandon and I decided to replace the Tempranillo block with Cabernet Franc. What do we have against Tempranillo?  Nadda.  But we are finding that we love our Cabernet with a bit of Cabernet Franc added.  While we have small parcels of Cab Franc at JB George and Octave Vineyards, we don’t have enough at either vineyard for a full, healthy ferment.  Adding an acre of Cabernet Franc at JB George, where it excels, will give us the ability for a single vineyard Cabernet Franc cuvée in the future.

We recently had the pleasure of dining at Harvest Vine in Seattle. The wine list at the restaurant is a treasure trove of old-school Rioja and Ribera del Duero estates. Truthfully, we have been drinking newer wave Spanish wine – Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra, etc.  It was fantastic to return to some of the legendary properties that built the reputation of red wine in Spain. It reminded me of the uniqueness of Tempranillo in Walla Walla. In great vintages, it’s a dead ringer for Spain. Bad news for people who took out their Tempranillo blocks.  Great news for people that have been putting aside 100 cases each vintage since 2008 to release as the wines age and change over the coming 10-15 years. While we won’t be producing Gramercy Tempranillo after 2016, we will be drinking and offering it for a long time.

The 2014 Tempranillo was fermented in open top stainless steel and punched down three times a day.  Fermentation lasted for 14 days and was aged in a combination of American and French Oak barrels for 18 months.

Tasting Notes: Predominately strawberry and raspberry. Red flowers, star anise, stone mineral, smoke, orange peel, campfire marshmallow. Green herbs – tarragon, rosemary.  Smoked meat, soy, mushroom.  Firm acidity and tannin.  A bit of sweet oak with Asian spice.

BLEND:75% Tempranillo, 15% Grenache, 5% Syrah, 5% Carignan
VINEYARDS:Gramercy Estate, Les Collines, Olsen
AGING:A mix of new & neutral American & French Oak
ALCOHOL:13.8%
RELEASE:March 2018
WINERY RETAIL:  $42
PRODUCTION:800 cases

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2015 John Lewis Syrah, Walla Walla Valley

While writing this note, I sat and smelled the 2015 John Lewis Syrah over the course of 6 hours and again 24 hours later.  I will say that this is one of the most exciting John Lewis wines made at the winery to date. The nose begins with tart red fruit and herbs de Provence, which slowly evolved to smoked and cured meat with stone, mineral, and gravel. The 2015 John Lewis is a backward wine that will require patience, or at least a 24 hour decant for those that can’t wait to taste.

The 2015 John Lewis Syrah is 90% from Les Collines Vineyard Block 46, with the remaining 10% from the block directly below, Block 36.  Picked on September 15th at 22.8 Brix, we fermented the wine 100% whole cluster in a Nomblot concrete tank for about 21 days with native yeasts. About 60% of the wine was aged in concrete. The remainder of the wine comes from ten 500 liter puncheons and two 225-liter barrels.  All of the oak was over three years old except for one new 500-liter puncheon. The wine, never racked, was aged for 15 months then bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Tasting notes: Very floral with tart red fruit and green herb. Sour rainier cherry, raspberry, cranberry, cured meat, black pepper, herbs de Provence, red flowers. Intense mineral on the palate with firm tannins.  Almost Pinot Noir like in the aromatic intensity of the nose and structure of palate. This is a wine that will require time in bottle.

“(fermented in concrete tank with 100% whole clusters, then aged in old puncheons): Full ruby-red. Deep aromas of black raspberry, blueberry and olive tapenade reminded me of a darker Côte-Rôtie. Then surprisingly tight in the middle but with a faint sweetness to its ripe purple fruit flavors. This is considerably more closed today than the Deuce but may well ultimately surpass that wine.”– Stephen Tanzer

 

BLEND:100% Syrah
VINEYARDS:Les Collines Block 36 & 46 (Walla Walla Valley)
AGING:100% Whole Cluster Fermentation and fermented in Concrete, aged 15 months in predominately neutral French Puncheons & Concrete
ALCOHOL:13.6%
RELEASE:December 2017
WINERY RETAIL:  $85
PRODUCTION:280 cases

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2015 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

I compared the (Gramercy Cellars) Cabernet Sauvignon to a top Margaux last year when I tasted it from barrel, and I stand by that comparison today. – Jeb Dunnuck

The 2015 is our fourth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  Like the John Lewis Syrah, we base the Reserve Cabernet on the idea of “What is the best of the best in the cellar for that vintage?” Sometimes it’s a specific block of a vineyard. Other times, it is two vineyards nearby or in the same AVA. Then again, it can also be that we find two or three vineyards that pair amazingly well in that specific year and produce a stunning wine, regardless of what the map says about each’s location. The goal – to make the most interesting Bordeaux based varietal wine in that vintage.

For all four releases of Reserve Cabernet, the base is the 45+ year old Bacchus Block at Sagemoor Vineyard.  Over the 4 releases, its companion, however, is a 2-2 tie.  In the 2012 and 2013 vintages, Phinny Hill completed the blend. In 2014 and now in 2015, our estate vineyard Octave in Walla Walla proved best.

The 2015 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is composed of about two thirds Bacchus Vineyard near Red Mountain and one third Octave Estate in Walla Walla. The wine was fermented for approximately 30 days with native yeasts. Aging for 22 months in 60% new French oak.  The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Why Phinny Hill or Octave Estate in the blend?  We find that Bacchus-Phinny Hill blend is complexity and finesse. Bacchus-Octave is more about complexity and power. The 2014 and 2015 vintages are Cabernets with massive power and complexity.

Tasting Notes: A monumental wine that’s drinking well now but will cellar for 20+ years.  Cranberry, blackberry, cassis, red plum, red flowers, sage, tarragon. Gravel, pencil lead, saline, dust, mineral and forest floor.  Savory with medium plus acid. Firm, fresh and focused with unabashed length on the finish. Full bodied with sweet vanilla. Complexity abounds.

 

BLEND:98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot
VINEYARDS:Bacchus Vineyard, Octave Estate Vineyard
AGING:22 months in 60% new French Oak.
ALCOHOL:14.5%
RELEASE:December 2018
WINERY RETAIL:  $95
PRODUCTION:200 cases

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Vineyards

Our Story

  • Greg Harrington, MS

    Founder / Winemaker

    Greg Harrington is the founder of and winemaker for Gramercy Cellars in Walla Walla, Washington. His winemaking focuses on great Washington vineyards, minimalist intervention, and balanced, earthy wines. At Gramercy, he focuses primarily on Rhone and Bordeaux varietals.

    In 2008, Seattle Magazine named Greg “Best New Winemaker in Washington” and Gramercy “Best New Winery.” Food & Wine Magazine awarded Gramercy the “Best New Winery in America” in 2010. Wine & Spirits Magazine has named Gramercy to its “Top 100 Wineries in the World” list in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

    In 1996 at the age of 26, Greg Harrington passed the Master Sommelier Exam, a title held by fewer than 130 people in the U.S. He currently serves as Chairman of the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas.

    A 1992 graduate of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, Greg began his career in wine as a sommelier at Joyce Goldstein’s Square One restaurant in San Francisco. From San Francisco, Greg travelled to New Orleans to serve as wine director for Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants in New Orleans and Las Vegas. While with Emeril, Greg developed a wine program that earned Wine Spectator’s Grand Award, which has been awarded to fewer than 100 restaurants in the U.S. He then moved to Las Vegas to join the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, which includes the Spago, Postrio, and Chinois restaurants, as an associate partner and wine director. Greg’s last foray in the restaurant business was in New York City with Steve Hanson and BR Guest Restaurants and James Hotels. There he oversaw the wine and alcohol programs for 15 restaurants and hotels in New York City, Las Vegas, Scottsdale, and Chicago.

    Greg is a Christian and attends Mission Church in Walla Walla. He is regularly involved with charitable causes locally in Walla Walla and Seattle, as well as across the United States.

  • Pam Harrington

    The Brains

    Although no stranger to a wine glass, Pam Harrington would not generally be categorized as a wine “expert.” Following her graduation from Georgetown in 1997, she started her career in Investment Banking at J.P. Morgan in NYC and, for the past decade, has recruited Private Equity investment professionals across the country. She currently recruits for a large asset manager in Seattle. Although her knowledge of wine does seem to grow with each sip, it is not likely that Pam will be directing winemaking efforts at Gramercy any time soon. Instead, she supports Greg in financing the growth of the business and acquiring vineyards.

    A native of the Philadelphia suburbs, Pam’s family now lives in Seattle. Pam is proud to have been able to give her father’s name to Gramercy’s “John Lewis” Reserve Syrah. It is because of his life’s hard work that Greg and Pam have been able to found Gramercy Cellars.

  • Brandon Moss

    Partner / Co-Winemaker

    Since joining Gramercy during the 2008 harvest, Brandon has been the assistant winemaker, becoming partner in 2011. Brandon grew up in the Walla Walla Valley on a small family farm, in which his family cultivated plum trees and also raised a wide assortment of farm animals, from chickens to cows to pigs, and even a goat. Opting to part ways with farm life, Brandon made his way to Oregon State University to take dental classes. After four years of smelling people’s bad breath, however, he realized that his true passion did not lie in dentistry—he wanted to create those stained teeth, not clean them! So he switched his major to fermentation science with an eye to becoming a winemaker, a move that put him squarely in the crosshairs of the farm life he had been so eager to leave behind. He graduated Oregon State in 2006 with a degree in food science, an option in fermentation science, with minors in business and chemistry.

    In 2006, Brandon worked harvest for King Estate Winery in Eugene, Oregon, and soon found himself on a flight to New Zealand’s Marlborough region to work with an enormous contract winery, Indevin. At Indevin, Brandon and the team processed 15,000 tons of Sauvignon Blanc grapes—almost 225 times the amount of fruit processed at Gramercy Cellars in 2008. Brandon still waxes poetic about all of the great, high-tech gear he used at Indevin.

    After harvest in New Zealand, Brandon made his way back to Walla Walla to work in the appellation he knew so well, and where new and exciting wines were now being produced. In 2007, he joined Waters Winery, where he eventually became cellar master. In 2008, he first assisted Gramercy, particularly during harvest, and in early 2009 joined Gramercy full time as the assistant winemaker. Brandon was named partner in 2011 and co-winemaker in 2016.

Gramercy Cellars is an 8,000-case winery founded in 2005 by Master Sommelier Greg Harrington and his wife, Pam, to make Rhône and Bordeaux based wines in Washington State. We believe that great wines share common traits: great vineyards, small production, minimalist winemaking, time, and patience. Gramercy’s philosophy is simple: to develop or partner with the best vineyards, harvest ripe, not overripe, grapes, intervene minimally in the winemaking process, and use as little new oak as possible. The resultant wines display balance, intense fruit  notes, strong earthiness, restraint, and elegance. Our wines often require time to develop, but reward that with patience. We seek to produce wines that complement food, provide great pleasure, and stand out as uniquely made in Washington.

Prior to founding Gramercy, Greg spent his career overseeing some of the most prestigious wine programs in the country, working for top restaurants and chefs such as Joyce Goldstein, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, and Stephen Hanson. Since passing the Master Sommelier Diploma Exam at the age of 26, Greg has been passionate about making wine. His Washington odyssey began in the spring of 2004, at a backyard picnic in Brooklyn, which was hosted by the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance. There, Greg and Pam tasted wines that surprised them and were different from what they had come to expect from American wines—these were wines that displayed earthy characteristics and balance. A marathon tasting trip in Walla Walla in southeastern Washington later that spring convinced them that Walla Walla was in their future. At first, this meant “when they retire,” but that quickly became “five years from now.” Meanwhile, Greg worked harvest in 2004 in Walla Walla and became more convinced than ever that Walla Walla was the place in the U.S. to make the wines he loved. Soon thereafter, they decided to seize the opportunity to finally follow their dreams full time. Gramercy had its first harvest in 2005.

Gramercy Cellars is dedicated to two amazing individuals whom we miss very much:

John Lewis Plummer, Pam’s father and himself an entrepreneur, who spent his life preparing for a time when he could help his children follow their dreams. It is thanks to his love and generosity that we were able to create Gramercy Cellars.

Master Sommelier Michael Bonaccorsi, whose untimely passing in 2004 motivated us to found Gramercy Cellars, following his example to start and operate a boutique winery focused on quality, integrity, and sustainability.