Boushey Vineyard is a grape-growing estate located in the Yakima Valley AVA, north of Grandview, Washington. Grapes grown in the vineyard have been used to produce some of the most critically acclaimed Washington wines with the name Boushey regularly being featured on vineyard designated wines. Paul Gregutt, wine writer for the Seattle Times and Wine Enthusiast, list Boushey as one the "top ten" vineyards in the entire state. The vineyard is owned and managed by viticulturist Dick Boushey who was honored in 2002 by the Washington State Wine Commission as Washington's "Grower of the Year" and in 2007 by Wine & Spirits as their "Grower of the Year". After Red Willow Vineyard, which was planted with David Lake and Mike Sauer, Boushey was one of the first Washington wine growers to plant Syrah. Today, Boushey Vineyard is considered by wine experts such as Jon Bonné to be "One of the state's top Syrah spots" with many Washington Syrahs made from Boushey's grape receiving critical acclaim.
Dick Boushey, a cherry and apple grower first planted Boushey Vineyard with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in 1980—three years before the Yakima Valley was recognized as an American Viticultural Area. Boushey Vineyard was located in a cooler region of the Yakima Valley and the grapes grown here soon earned distinction for the unique terroir they exhibit that was different from grapes grown in the warmer Red Mountain to the east and Wahluke Slope to the north. At the request of Rhone Ranger winemaker Doug McCrea of McCrea Cellars, Boushey began planting Rhone varietals and was one of the earliest Washington vineyards to grow Syrah.
Opposition to the Rattlesnake Hills AVA
Boushey Vineyard is located among the Rattlesnake Hills but when part of the Rattlesnake Hills west of his vineyard was proposed as an American Viticultural Area, Dick Boushey was in opposition to the plan. Boushey argued that the area did not have distinctive terroir that would merit an AVA stating "I know of no regional style, specific variety or type of wine that is unique to this proposed area. The granting of this proposal would confuse consumers and undermine the existing Yakima Valley Appellation."
Vineyard and grape varieties
Boushey Vineyard is actually composed of 5 locations, all near each other and Dick Boushey's home in Grandview. Across these locations the elevation varies from 800–1400 feet and include a diverse range of vineyard soils. The highest blocks of the Boushey Vineyard feature relatively shallow silt loam overlying fractured basalt. The vineyard blocks at elevations below 1100 feet have thick silt loam soils that overlie layered slack-water deposits of the Missoula floods. The vineyard receives an average of 2600 Growing degree-day a year, putting it on the Winkler scale as a Region II.
Among the grape varieties grown in Boushey Vineyard include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Sangiovese, Roussanne, Grenache blanc, Marsanne and Picpoul. The variety most often associated with Boushey is Syrah.
Boushey Vineyard grows some of the most highly sought-after grapes in Washington. Dick Boushey works closely with the winemakers who use his grapes, willing to accommodate them on viticultural issues such irrigation, canopy management, vine training and thinning, selling only to a core group of winemakers who produces wines that match the style produced by his vineyard.
A few of the wineries who use Boushey grapes (including those who produce vineyard-designated wines) include Avennia, Barrage Cellars, Betz Family Winery, The Bunnell Family Cellar, Chinook Wines, DeLille Cellars, Chateau Ste Michelle, Fidelitas Wines, Gorman Winery, McCrea Cellars, Three Rivers Winery, Two Vintners, Forgeron Cellars, Ross Andrew Winery, W.T. Vintners and Long Shadows. For Long Shadows, Boushey provides Syrah grapes for Australian winemaker (and former Penfolds Grange head winemaker) John Duval and Sangiovese for Tuscan winemakers Ambrogio & Giovanni Folonari.
- P. Gregutt "Washington Wines and Wineries: The Essential Guide" pg 85-86 University of California Press 2007 ISBN 0-520-24869-4
- Seattle Times "Terroir Is Not A Small Dog!" Sunday Magazine. November 11th, 2007
- Thomas P. Skeen "Wine auctions have turned into popular big-money raisers" Seattle Times. August 21st, 2002
- Wine & Spirits Magazine "Features-Grower of the Year Archived July 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine" November 2007. Accessed: January 1st, 2010
- Jon Bonne "The Chronicle Recommends: Washington Syrah" San Francisco Chronicle. October 3rd, 2010
- P. Gregutt "Yakima Valley wineries see a fruit-full future Archived June 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine" The Seattle Times. March 29th, 2009
- Shannon Dininny "New wine grape-growing region recognized" Seattle Times. February 22nd, 2006
- Howard G Goldberg "New AVA for Washington" Decanter Magazine. March 1st, 2006
- Andy Perdue "Washington: Yakima Valley" Wine Press Northwest. March 29th 2009
- Kori Voorhees "The Golden Touch" Tasting Room Magazine. March 1st, 2011
- Long Shadows "Boushey Vineyard Archived August 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine" Vineyard Profiles. Accessed: January 1st, 2010