Epic Wines

Our Mission

We are the Rocks District Winegrowers; vintners and growers dedicated to crafting wines with a sense of PLACE. The tightly drawn boundaries of this globally distinctive appellation inform an authentic wine expression: derived from a singular soils series and one land form.

The Rocks District Winegrowers speak both independently, and as a collective voice, in an effort to promote The Rocks District; engaging wine industry agencies, media, professionals and the consumer to ensure accurate and timely representations of current conditions/practices as found within The Rocks District.

Global recognition for The Rocks District, as one of the world’s premiere wine growing regions for Rhone wine grape varieties, is at the core of our collective vision for a sustainable future.

In this regard, and as of 2023, Rocks District Winegrowers has joined ARENI-Global as a participating Partner. ARENI is an independent think tank dedicated to the future of fine wine. Through its comprehensive research and events schedule, it helps agencies, associations, companies and decision makers to build a sustainably secure, prosperous, and just wine industry.*

The Rocks District Story

The Rocks District is receiving international acclaim for its wines; particularly Syrah. The character of these wines is discernible, and global recognition is fueling the planting of new vineyard acres. Simply, this winegrowing appellation has been recognized as one of the most distinctive growing regions in the world. Modern day wine grape farming within the AVA is only 25 years old. Climatic changes have accelerated new farming practices over the last handful of years in an effort to moderate temperature extremes (both cold and hot). The cultural context is supported by a rich, and diverse, agricultural tradition dating to the mid 1800s. Specialized farming practices have been developed to capture the savory/saline/umami wine qualities derived from these cobbled soils.

Nested within the Walla Walla Valley AVA, The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater resides entirely on the Oregon side of the Valley. This web site is designed to meaningfully engage the growth to come, while providing a primer for virtual, as well as feet-on-the-ground, visits to the Rocks District and Walla Walla Valley. Currently, the Rocks District Winegrowers are 33 members strong; producers and winegrowers. Most importantly, the Rocks District AVA is distinguished by singularly distinctive wine expressions...each worthy of discovery.

The Rocks District is the only AVA in the U.S. whose boundaries (96%) have been fixed by virtue of a single soil series (Freewater Series) and a single land form (alluvial fan).

As of 2024

  • 640 planted wine-grape acres
  • 100+ acres in development
  • Top Varieties:
    • Syrah
    • Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Grenache

Final TTB approval of this new 5.9 square mile (3767 acre) AVA within Walla Walla Valley occured February 2015.

The most distinctive AVA in the United States….making some of the greatest wines in America.

— Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator.

This incredible terroir produces an exotic, perfumed, and textured style of wine that’s one of the most unique - and identifiable – in the world

— Jeb Dunnuck

I do not doubt that The Rocks District will emerge as one of the United States most respected and exalted wine producing regions.

— Eric Guido, Vinous

The Numbers

52 Vineyards
100 Vertical feet of Subterranean rocks

Winemaker, Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown, the winemaker, holds the creative vision for Siren Song wines. He names each wine according to an adventure, journey, or delicious meal. He shares that story on the label of every bottle.

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Josh McDaniels, President& Director of Winemaking

He has been named a “Game Changer of Washington Wine” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and is eagerly working alongside Drew and Maura Bledsoe to take Bledsoe-McDaniels to new heights.

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Terry Culton, Winemaker

Terry Culton is the Director of Winemaking and Vineyards at Maison Bleue. Prior to taking this role, Terry worked as the Winemaker at Le Vigne Winery in Paso Robles, California.

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Sean Boyd, Owner & Winemaker

Wine is personal with Sean, and as far as he’s concerned, there’s no right or wrong way to create or consume it. He just makes what he loves to drink—French-style Rhone blends.

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Brian Roy, Winemaker

Our approach is akin to an artist painting a masterpiece, but our canvas is the palate of our customers. We listen, we adapt, and we create.

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Brent Roberts

Brent's experience and dedication to promoting the wines of his native Northwest will continue to shape the exceptional quality found in every bottle bearing the Zerba Cellars label.

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Todd Alexander, Winemaker

Todd’s passion lies in crafting terroir-driven wines through uncompromising, meticulous work in both the vineyard and winery.

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Devyani Isabel Gupta – Winemaker & Viticulturist

Her winemaking approach hinges on the fundamental belief that great wine is grown in the vineyard. With this intention, she encourages her wines to be tenacious, fresh, and vibrant, with a sense of place and purpose

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Richard Funk, Owner & Winemaker

“The winemaker’s cycle repeats itself over and over, year after year. Always the same and always different…and the winemaker is always hopeful.”– Richard Funk, Owner/Winemaker

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Brian & April Zawada, Owners

Following a successful career in the military, professional services and software, Brian transitioned to winemaking with incredible mentoring from so many incredible winemakers (as well as some incredible instruction from UC Davis).

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Winemaker, Deborah Hansen

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Derrek Vipond, Winemaker

Derrek has worked with some of the most renowned winemakers and has joined their ranks with his own style, receiving a 95-Point Wine.

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Matt & Kelly Austin

Matt returned to school to study enology and spent time working with several Washington wineries

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Billo Naravane, Co-Owner & Winemaker

Unique, terroir-driven wines from the best vineyards in Eastern Oregon and Washington

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Morgan Lee, Winemaker

Our winemaking style allows you to learn as much about the terroir as it does about us.

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Winemaker: Peter Devison

Peter has won many accolades for his unique approach to winemaking

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Brian has over 17 years of experience in the Washington wine industry

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A Proper Team

We love wine – particularly old world, earth-driven wines. We’ve long been fans of the Walla Walla appellation and the signature Rhone-style Syrahs being produced.

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Joseph Czarny, Winemaker

Joseph helps to guide Canvasback’s estate and its grower programs, with the goal of capturing the terroir-driven diversity of great Pacific Northwest winemaking.

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Steve Robertson, Vintner

Steve has a long history of building world-class teams in the development, exercise and manufacturing industry segments. He brings his strong entrepreneurial background and team-building experience to bear at Delmas and SJR Vineyard...leading the operational and business components of the estate.

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"Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle" -Paulo Coelho, Brida

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Chad Johnson, & Corey Braunel, Owner/Winemakers

The family farms three estate vineyards and crafts honest wines with a sense of place.

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Winemaking Team: Suzanne Harryman & Sally Johnson Blum

Sally and Suzanne make wine

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Louis Skinner, Winemaker

Start with the highest quality fruit you can, treat it vigorously when necessary, gently most of the time, and stay out of its way but watch it closely.

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Winemaking Team: Suzanne Harryman & Sally Johnson Blum

Suzanne and Sally make wine

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Bobby Richards, Winemaker

My goal at Seven Hills is to build on the vision that the McClellan family had forty years ago - to be renown for the style and quality of bordeaux varietal wines that put Walla Walla on the map. Not just for Washington wines, but in the US and throughout the world.

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Keith Johnson, Production Winemaker

One of the many things we love about Keith is that he truly believes in our winemaking philosophy. “Minimal intervention”

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Winespeed, Getting Unleashed!

Karen MacNeil, author of the bestselling Wine Bible has some choice words about Syrah from the Rocks District.

The Rocks District Story

Sip Magazine Features Rocks District

"Geologists credit a trifecta of terroir for making The Rocks District one of the most unique american viticultural areas (AVA) in the country. The distrinct trio of soil, geology and landscape is what sets Oregon's smallest AVA apart from the rest..."

The Rocks District Story

Oregon Wine Press: Rock Solid

“This incredible terroir produces an exotic, perfumed and textured style of wine that’s one of the most unique — and identifiable — in the world.”

The Rocks District Story

A Week in the Rocks Disctrict

Hawk Wakawaka spends a week in the Rocks District of MIlton Freewater and shares her adventures in terroir.