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Airfield Estates

Airfield Estates

Airfield Estates is a family-owned winery dating back to the 1920s, situated in Washington State's Yakima Valley, which is the state's oldest AVA (American Viticultural Area) dating back to 1983. The Yakima Valley, sheltered by the Rattlesnake Mountains, covers up to a third of the state's wine production, although the area is also known for its numerous fruit trees and the cultivation of hop bushes.

Howard Lloyd Miller settled in the area in 1907 and laid the foundation for the farm's future operations. There was no irrigation water in the area, so Howard decided to meet with President Roosevelt and managed to get political support for the establishment of an irrigation canal. In 1941, Howard leased part of his grounds for use as a World War II Army Air Force training ground. The farm's name goes back to these times, when the Airport Ranch, which focuses on the cultivation of livestock and various plants, began.

Donald Deets Miller, the next generation, planted the farm's first vines in 1968. The selected varieties were Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Cabernet Sauvignon. The following year, together with a local nursery, Don planted 20 more varieties, and in 1971 the farm's first vines intended for actual winemaking were planted. Don's son Michael Lloyd Miller joined his father in 1974, increasing the size of the farm's vineyards to its current size of 330 hectares. From the beginning, Airport Ranch sold its grapes exclusively to other wineries, until in 2005 Mike finally founded Airfield Estates Winery with his children, and the farm began producing its own wines. Today, siblings Marcus and Lori Miller, who represent the fourth generation of the family in running the farm, are responsible for the operation of the farm together with their father. Along with Marcus, the farm's winemaker is Travis Maple, and the farm's production uses only grapes from its own vineyards About 70% of the grapes grown on the farm are sold on and 30% are vinified for own use.

Lone Birch was born when a state law in 1937 allowed landowners to buy land around the Roza Irrigation Canal. The plots of land were marked with birches, which were planted in the corners of each plot as boundary markers. Over the years, most of the trees were moved away, but one 70-year-old birch still stands in the middle of the farm. For years, the farm's winegrowers took care of the tree, and today it is a significant part of the farm's history, and a daily reminder of how important it is to take care of the ecosystem's biodiversity and the plants and animals that live among the vines.

Chit Chat refers to the starlings that start flocking in the area after the harvest in late autumn, just before the start of winter. Along with them, they will bring a joyful life to the shelters filled with silence. In addition, with the name of the wine, the estate wants to remind everyone how wine is not only a drink, but also a catalyst for interesting conversations that brings people together, creating memorable moments.

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