Each vineyard and grape variety has a unique character that contributes to the quality, complexity and balance of our individual wines.
Zerba Cellars is a family-owned, estate winery located in the heart of the Walla Walla Valley. We own three estate vineyards in the appellation’s most exciting viticultural zones. We are fortunate to work with a wide range of grape varieties and vineyard sources. Each vineyard and grape variety has a unique character that contributes to the quality, complexity and balance of our individual wines. Each grape variety is hand-crafted separately and we conduct rigorous blending trials that combine discipline and creativity to produce wines that are greater than the sum of their parts.
We use a combination of new, 2nd and 3rd year American and French oak barrels. Sizes range from 225 liter to 265 liter barrels. We use predominantly medium plus toast with the occasional toasted head barrel. American oak is supplied and crafted by the French cooperage Nadalie out of their Napa, CA location. We source our American Oak from Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Our red wines are destemmed, crushed and then punched down twice daily in 1.5 ton open top fermentors until dryness. They are then pressed in a bladder press with a gentle hand to avoid overextraction. Our white wines are gently pressed as whole clusters before fermentation. We ferment and age our whites in mostly neutral French/American barrels for approximately eight months. Our red wines age for an average of 18 months with our Reserve Reds pushing closer to 24 months in barrel.
Doug is a Washington native who grew up on a pear orchard in the upper Wenatchee Valley. His early interests in science and agriculture led him to study Tree Fruit Production (WVCC) and Biology (PLU). Later, when he became interested in growing grapes and making wine he moved his family to California where he worked at St. Francis Winery in Sonoma Valley and Napa Wine Co. in Napa Valley. After these work experiences he enrolled at the University of California, Davis, and obtained his Masters degree in enology and viticulture before moving to the Walla Walla Valley. He spent his first two years here working at Long Shadows Vintners and Pepper Bridge Winery before taking up the winemaking duties at Zerba Cellars. He views winemaking as an art that should be subtly guided and helped by science. This philosophy fits well with the artisanal winemaking and grape growing style Cecil established for Zerba Cellars with the intent to produce elegant, balanced wines that are food-friendly, approachable, and crafted with environmentally sustainable methods from grape to bottle.