New Walla Walla Winery: Devison Vinters

Some things never change. Spring eventually comes, a rebirth takes place in gardens and vineyards, and the latest rosés are released for consumption. Last year my beverage of choice for sipping on the deck in the days of sunshine and warmth was the beautiful Devison Vintners Rosé. My latest order of the wine from Walla Walla winery Devison Vintners recently arrived on our Seattle doorstep. Clearly, spring is here!

A new vintage of blushing wine is a reminder that there are still exciting things happening. For Peter and Kelsey Devison, it means the launch of their brand, Devison Vintners, along with highly anticipated newly released wines. Coincidentally, the couple also have a baby on the way! So, let’s hold onto a sense of optimism, talk about the winemaking, and dive into a couple of their fantastic new bottles with eager anticipation.

Photo courtesy of Devison Vintners

Winemaking Style

In the winemaking process, yeast is what converts the sugar in grapes to alcohol during fermentation. To help this process along, some winemakers inoculate the grape must with commercial yeast. Seasoned winemaker, Peter, is one of those who favors native fermentation. What does that mean? To Peter it means uninoculated. He instead relies on the yeast that comes in on the grapes and lives in the winery (there is yeast present all around us). It’s a risky choice. Native fermentations can be difficult and may get “stuck” meaning the sugars don’t entirely convert to alcohol. So, why would a winemaker take such a gamble? According to Peter, the process creates complexity and texture, and the wine’s richness is also enhanced. In other words, it’s worth it. If you’ve ever tasted any of Peter’s fantastic wines, I think you’d agree.

During a recent online interview with Decanted Podcast, Peter explained that he wants the Devison Vinters wines to express a sense of place, to serve as a reminder of the variety, vintage, and vineyard. The only control he wants is over the choice of vineyard, pick date, and good hygiene in the cellar. In essence, he explains, the goal is to tell a story that starts in the glass and works backwards. Then, upon reaching that first page it all makes sense.

Devison Vintners Wines

The current releases include six wines. Read on to assess whether the stunning Rosé or Sauvignon Blanc may be to your taste. I haven’t yet experienced the red wines, but here’s a hot tip: the GPR is priced for value and incorporates wine that Peter purchased from the recently shuttered Cadaretta winery where he was winemaker. Get some!

2019 Rosé

Boushey Vineyards, Yakima Valley AVA
75% Mourvèdre; 25% Grenache
$24 SRP
Native fermentation in concrete and neutral French oak. Aged on the lees for 5 months, unfined.
Simply put, this wine is utterly gorgeous! Pale pink and visually appealing, it leads on the palate with bright strawberries. It’s an exceptional wine and I highly recommend it.

A sample bottle of Sauvignon Blanc was also included in the shipment.

2019 Sauvignon Blanc

$25 SRP
Fruit for this wine is sourced from Evergreen Vineyard in the Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley AVA (for you concert goers, that’s near the Gorge in George). This special location offers a slightly higher elevation, cooler climate, and caliche soil. Therefore, the vineyard is solely planted to white wine grapes. The goal for this wine, according to Peter, is texture and tension. Mission accomplished!

This vibrant Sauvignon Blanc offers an extremely aromatic nose of citrus and freshly mowed grass. On the palate I pick up lemongrass and that aforementioned texture in the form of minerals and chalk. It’s not only made for seafood, this vibrant wine paired perfectly with a pasta primavera inspired dish.

I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that small family wineries, especially those based in a remote location like Walla Walla, could really use some extra support right now. When you make a purchase of 6 or more bottles of Devison Vinters wine through April it’s a win/win because shipping is included. So, if you’re looking to fill your glass with some compelling wine you needn’t look any further.


Devison Vinters website
Learn more about Devison Vintners
Decanted Podcast (the episode with Peter is available in May)
Food pairing for rosé