David O’Reilly’s winery may be in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, but he is definitely smitten with the Yakima Valley.
During harvest, O’Reilly, winemaker and co-owner of Owen Roe, makes several trips to the Yakima Valley for grapes from the winery’s two vineyards as well as from boutique vineyards such as DuBrul Vineyard and Red Willow Vineyard.
And from 2007 to 2009 — about three grape vintages — O’Reilly ran a custom crushing facility at the former Apex Winery building in Sunnyside.
In 2007, I wrote a story about that facility and it was apparent then how much O’Reilly enjoyed being in the Yakima Valley.
Not much has changed, as I learned during a chat with O’Reilly last week.
“Our signature wines are the wines from Yakima Valley,” he said.
So it might not be a surprise to those in the wine industry that Owen Roe — and O’Reilly — is making a comeback of sorts with plans to build a winery here.
The winery, which would also be called Owen Roe, will be located near one of its vineyards on Gangl Road, past Thorp Road near Wapato.
The winery is “just making that statement that this is truly our home,” O’Reilly said. “It’s not just where we grow grapes.”
Construction of the winery will be done over multiple phases over several years. The first phase, which Owen Roe hopes to complete by next year, will consist of a production facility that will allow it to start producing wine by the next harvest. Future phases will include a larger winery production facility, a tasting room and overnight accommodations.
“We want to bring people to the Valley and show them what makes our wines great,” he said.
Owen Roe, which O’Reilly co-owns with Seattle-based partners Ben and Julie Wolff, will continue to run the winery in Oregon. Eventually, the Oregon winery will focus on production of wines made with Oregon wine grapes.
Seen and heard
• That first week of October is looking to be pretty busy in the retail and restaurant world — and in Union Gap. Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar will be opening at the Valley Mall in Union Gap on Oct. 3, said Trevor Blackwell, vice president for the Spokane-based restaurant chain. That date falls right before the opening of Cabela’s and J.C. Penney, which will open later that week. The restaurant currently runs five locations in Spokane and one in Kennewick. In Union Gap, the restaurant, located next to the Coldwater Creek store, has hired most of its 80 employees.
• An update on a planned retail development near the Yakima Air Terminal at 24th and Washington avenues: For now, things are pretty quiet. “We’re just going through the process,” said Jerry Maggard of Advanced Real Estate, who is the developer for the project. The process he’s referring to is the city of Yakima’s land use process, which includes an environmental review.
• Mai Hoang’s Reporter’s Notebook is published Mondays in the Marketplace section. To reach her, call 509-759-7851 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For ongoing updates and analysis, check out the Shop Talk blog (www.yakimaherald.com/shoptalk) and join the conversation on Twitter (http://twitter.com/shoptalkyakima) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/shoptalkyakima).