Wine is now produced by Fruitland Valley Vineyard. The Winery is located in Fruitland, Washington on property owned by Kathy Benson, right on HWY 25 in Stevens County across from the Fruitland Service Station. The Winery is just a short distance from the vineyard, located down the road on Lake Roosevelt. We are currently in production at this facility and run a adjoining tasting room with small food menu. Currently it is open seasonally with many events both public and private throughout the year.
Over a century ago, Kathy’s great-grandfather owned this property, and Ed and Clem Newbill constructed the building 1957 after a fire destroyed the original store. The community flocked to its doors and it soon served as a multi-functional hub for the locals. It was not just a general store, but a gathering places where people came to dance and socialize. Kathy remembers how her great-grandparents used to purchase fresh local cider and sell it by the glass or jug all fall season out of large barrels to families, including women and children. But as fall turned to winter and the cider fermented, they restricted access, allowing only men in the back to drink this sweet alcoholic brew. This is, of course, one of many anecdotes that live on about the old building.
Nowadays, it has a shiny new roof, siding and interior and serves as the hub for Fruitland Valley Vineyard’s Winery. Construction continues on the building with dreams of a tasting room and gardens with picnic area.
Head winemaker Brian Benson follows a traditional path of winemaking and keeps the winemaking process simple, letting the fruit tell its own story. We, like many winemakers, know good wine starts in the vineyard, where our head manager and son-in-law John Schuldheisz tend the vines using sustainable farming practices. Our wines are then aged – reds in oak barrel and whites in stainless steel – before being introduced to the bottle.
Winemakers Brian and Kathy Benson have always had a passion for winemaking, as they have dabbled in the art for over 3 decades. They started with strawberry and raspberry wines and champagnes made from apples and honey. They later moved to grape-based kit wines from their local brewery supply store, and soon started dreaming of developing this hobby into a sustained agricultural profession. Finally making the plunge five years ago, they planted a beautiful vineyard along the cliffs above Lake Roosevelt with the aid of their daughter Leah and son-in-law John Schuldheisz, both of whom are experienced agriculturists. They are now very proud to offer their forth vintage. Grown here, tended by hand, fermented with simplicity, and bottled with love, their dreams are now realized.