Welcome to Bunchgrass Winery located at 151 Bunchgrass Lane in Walla Walla, Washington. Bunchgrass is owned and operated by Roger and Cheryl Cockerline and was founded in 1997.
Our region, in the southeastern corner of the state, was once covered by many species of bunch grass before grazing and cultivation took place. Noted Northwest poet, Robert Sund, wrote a book of poetry celebrating the unique Walla Walla valley titled Bunch Grass. Robert was a mentor and friend of Rogerís for 40 years. Calling the winery Bunchgrass was the perfect way to honor the long friendship as well as the natural beauty of our area. We are pleased that grasses are now returning as people use native plants to once again protect the land and stream banks.
In the early 1980ís Roger became interested in growing wine grapes and planted a small vineyard on his familyís farm. The Merlot grapes from the vineyard were sold commercially to a pioneer Walla Walla winery. Roger and three friends also used some of the fruit from these vines in small lots of home crafted wines. Two of the friends, Gordy Venneri and Myles Anderson, went on to found Walla Walla Vintners.
Roger values these years of hands-on experience with grapes and wine. During this time he began to read, study and take short courses about wine making and vineyard raising in order to improve his skills. It is truly a lifelong learning experience. Soon he realized that the fruit from the area had the potential to make incredible wines. Then a hobby became a passion.
After Roger retired from teaching, the next logical step was to take his passion for wines and vines to a new level by making wine commercially. With the support of his wife, Cheryl, and his family the 1943 dairy barn was transformed into a small winery facility. Only five barrels of wine, all from Cockerline Vineyard grapes, were produced in the inaugural 1997 vintage. Since that first year, production has grown to approximately 500 cases annually. This limited quantity allows us to carry on every step of the process by hand.
Picture and information were provided by Bunchgrass Winery
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