PLU on the Vine
There are selections from five wineries with PLU alumni connections available at 208 Garfield.
Benson Vineyards Estate Winery is family owned and operated by Scott Benson ’96 and Rebecca (Gilge ’98) Benson. Scott says, “Most of the vineyard’s 25 acres is planted to Syrah. It’s pretty much what we are known for.” The Mediterranean-inspired estate winery overlooks Lake Chelan, one of Washington’s newest wine growing regions. Today they are producing a little more than 3,500 cases annually.
Blue Mountain Cider Company launched in 2002 when PLU alumnus Ron Brown ’76 decided he needed a hobby. Their lightly carbonated version is made from real apples, not concentrate, and sweetened after fermentation with apple juice and only a bit of sugar.
Gård Vintners was started by Josh Lawrence in partnership with his dad and uncle, who have farmed the Royal Slope (Tri Cities, Wash.) for more than 40 years. Josh graduated from PLU in 1997 with a degree in business administration. It was there that he met his future bride, Lisa (Treadwell ’97) Lawrence. Gård, meaning “farm” in many of the Scandinavian languages, is a tribute to the family’s Scandinavian heritage and farming tradition.
Mountain Dome is owned and operated by the Manz family. Erik Manz graduated from PLU in 1998. Mountain Dome is located on a 85 acre forest in the foothills of Mount Spokane and is the only family-owned business in Washington devoted almost exclusively to making sparkling wines.
Tasawick Vineyards is owned and operated by Erik Dahle and Sara Broetje. Erik grew up in Bergen, Norway, graduated from PLU with an MBA in 1994. It was there that he met his future wife, Sara Broetje ’94. Tasawick Vineyards is located on scenic bluffs overlooking the Snake River in Walla Walla County. Tasawick’s focus is to produce premium grapes that reflect the unique terroir of their vineyard, while producing consistently well-rounded and balanced wine to truly taste the fruit.