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 boundary lines of this globally distinctive wine-growing region inform an authentic wine expression, predicated on only one soil 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.

The Rocks District Story

The Rocks District is receiving international acclaim for its wines; particularly Syrah. The distinctive character of these wines is discernible, and global recognition is fueling the planting of new vineyards. Simply, this growing region has been recognized as one of the most distinctive in the world! What makes the future so exciting is that modern day wine grape farming within the AVA is only a couple decades old. 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 2021

  • 472 planted wine-grape acres
  • 133 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

The Numbers

52 Vineyards
100 Vertical feet of Subterranean rocks

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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Marc Leahy, Winemaker

Marc has had the good fortune to work with hedonists, old-world craftsmen and craftswomen, academics and enological technicians,

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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 Rudin, Winemaker

“There was a sense of excitement early on that our region was capable of producing world-class wines,”

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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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Morgan Lee, Winemaker

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

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Marie-Eve Gilla, Winemaker

Marie-Eve is a nature lover, and enjoys exploring the vineyards to become intimate with her grapes, in order to shape wines that fully reflect the potential of each site and varietal.

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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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Chris Dowsett, Winemaker

“I think about individual rows and blocks, and what makes them distinct, and I then I try to preserve those elements all through the process.”

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Winemaker, Deborah Hansen

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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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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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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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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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Kurt Schlicker, Owner & Winemaker

The passion Kurt has for winemaking is abundantly evident in his enthusiasm chatting about our winery.

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Ashley Trout, Owner/Winemaker

In search of the best ways to combine a love of wine making with a goal for community betterment.

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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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Ryan Raber, Winemaker

As his interest in wine grew he decided to pursue a career path that would eventually lead him to become the winemaker for Tertulia Cellars.

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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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Mike Martin, Founder & Owner

Mike Martin has realized a dream of producing Pacific Northwest wines, with the help of an amazing team.

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Casey McClellan, Founder and Winemaker

Casey has helped to champion the diversity of the Northwest’s most renowned appellations and vineyards, and has earned a reputation as one of the region’s most knowledgeable and respected winemakers.

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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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Tom Glase, Winemaker

Tom Glase works closely with Tom Waliser to create wines that expertly express the unique character of Beresan's Estate Vineyards.

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Winemaker: Peter Devison

Peter has won many accolades for his unique approach to winemaking

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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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Brad Binko, Winemaker

Brad now has 2 Walla Walla tasting rooms and has numerous 90+ point scores.

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Andrew Brown, Winemaker

Long committed to sustainable farming practices, the Brown family has nurtured a deeply rooted passion for world-class wines from the diverse soils of its estate vineyards.

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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.