Producer Profile: Bergevin Lane Vineyards

Staff Writer
This young Walla Walla vineyard is making wines that truly impress.
Producer Profile: Bergevin Lane Vineyards

Elaine and Scott Harris

In the beginning months of 2001, Annette Bergevin and Amber Lane co-founded Bergevin Lane Vineyards with Gary Bergevin (Annette's father). Annette and Amber's goal was to "leave the rat race behind" in California and get back to what they each wanted from life. Annette wanted to be close to her family and long-time friends, and Amber wanted to take on new challenges and continue her personal path of growth and education.

The winery — a 20,000 square foot modern industrial building in downtown Walla Walla, Wash. — officially opened its doors in May 2003. Although the vineyards' production is 11,000 cases, it has the capacity to produce over 22,000. Winemaker Steffan Jorgensen is originally from Denmark but brings winemaking experience from France, Chile, and Sonoma, Calif. All of the day-to-day winemaking operations and production are under his supervision. Together, this group of friends has combined their respective talents to produce some very high quality wines. 

Recently, Amber Lane made a stop in Las Vegas to show off her wines at Morels French Steakhouse in The Palazzo Resort and Casino. When wine director Alexandre Brard joined Morels, he immediately began developing new ways to introduce guests to boutique wines from around the globe. "Bergevin Lane offers some amazing, high-scoring wines," said Brard. "We are pleased to have them come to Morels to introduce their label to our guests."

The first wine sampled was their 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley. Amber explained that 2008 was a compelling and complicated year — compelling because of the balance the wines were already showing at this very early stage, and complicated because of the somewhat cooler season. The cooler temperature made for very intentional and thoughtful picking decisions and it required them to wait for the fruit to ripen before the frost took over. All of the fruit ripened later than normal but the longer hang time allowed for the development of more complex flavors in the grapes.

This lovely Cabernet is a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdo, and 3% Malbec to finish it off. The 2008 vintage was aged for 20 months in 87.5% French and 12.5% American oak and only has a production of 769 cases. In the glass, deep red to purple colors show off the medium bodied wine. On the nose, classic notes of cassis, smoke, and black fruit lead into a palate of mineral, blackberries, and nicely balanced tannins for a long, elegant finish. It's well deserving of its 92-point Wine Advocate score.