Small-Scale Winemaking


Winemaking at small scales can produce wines of distinction. Finding and managing exceptional vineyard sites is a critical first step in the winemaking process. Good grapes coupled with small-scale fermentations and smart cellar practices can produce compelling and interesting wines.

An estate wine made in the European tradition comes from a vineyard owned by a family that grows the grapes and makes the wine, whereas in the New World, farmers might grow and sell grapes that winemakers purchase to make wine. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. DuBrul Vineyard and our estate winery, Côte Bonneville, located in the Yakima Valley in eastern Washington (Figure 1), uses the estate method for its ability to convey the characteristics of the vineyard site.


Figure 1. DuBrul Vineyard is located in the Yakima Valley of eastern Washington. Two mountains shelter the valley, creating a moderate climate that is well-suited for growing grapes...

Author Bios: 

Kerry Shiels

Kerry is the winemaker for Côte Bonneville. She began making wine in middle and high school in a series of science projects. After earning her engineering degree from Northwestern University in Chicago, she worked in Torino, Italy in Fiat's management development program. She was then transferred to Case New Holland (CNH) world headquarters in Chicago before deciding to enter the world of wine.

Kerry received her master's degree in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis, and then assumed the winemaker title in August 2009. She has been immersed in DuBrul Vineyard and Côte Bonneville...Read more

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