Perhaps you’ve heard the almost mythical story, how the brash, young French Vigneron visited the then little-known town called Walla Walla, and fell in love with a few acres of seemingly useless, stone-covered farmland. While the nay-sayers nayed, Christophe Baron deftly turned that field of stones into the acclaimed Cayuse Vineyards. And the rest, as they say, is history—and a whole lot of spectacular wine.
Christophe purchased the property and planted his first vineyard in the Stones of the Walla Walla Valley on March 21, 1997. “People said I was crazy, that I’d break my equipment and waste my time and money,” he recalls. “But I knew that vines need to struggle in difficult ground in order to provide their best.”
He called the venture Cayuse Vineyards, after a Native American tribe
whose name was derived from the French word “cailloux”—which means “stones.” In the following years, it has grown to five vineyards, encompassing a little more than 47 acres.
What was considered by many a foolish gamble on that field of stones has been rewarded year after year with some of the most acclaimed wines in the region—and in the nation.