Only three other people in the world hold the titles Doug Frost does. In addition to holding both the titles of Master Sommelier and Master of Wine, Frost is also the author of three books on wine, the creator and host of the Emmy Award-winning short series “FermentNation,” the co-creator of spirits and cocktail education organization BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource) and the list goes on.
With all this on his plate Frost — amazingly — still had enough time on his hands to open a new winery in the Northwest’s Walla Walla Valley. Because Frost says, “all wine is an echo of its landscape,” he appropriately named the new venture, Echolands Winery.
Echolands is releasing its first three wines this summer: the 2018 Seven Hills Vineyard Red, 2018 Les Collines Vineyard Syrah and a 2019 Grenache from the Rivière-Galet Vineyard. A combination of precipitation, wind-deposited soils and the warm days and cool nights of this region create the ideal climate for Frost’s wines that “echo” that landscape.
1) Why did you decide the Walla Walla Valley was the best place for your first winery?
My family is from Eastern Washington, so I’ve always had a personal connection to this region. That’s another reason we chose the name Echolands for the winery — I travel back and forth [from Walla Walla] and when I’m away, it’s almost like the land’s echoes are calling me back. I also think more than anything the community of Walla Walla is really unique and special.
2) Is there a certain memory you have of when your interest in wine started?
One of the first memories I have with wine was from when I was younger, at a family dinner. I was a teenager, and I had never really tasted wine before. I was asked to choose a wine that would pair with dinner. The responsibility of choosing the wine to go with dinner was a new thing for me, I had no idea what I was doing, but it opened my eyes to this whole world of wine. I think this memory stands out to me because it was the first time I really became aware of the depth and complexity of wine.
3) You say that wine “is an echo of its landscape,” what do your wines echo?
I wanted to create wine that was reflective of the land it came from, but also elegant. It had to have the right balance. I knew that for the wine to have all the characteristics of the land, and be expressive and delicious, that this part of the Walla Walla Valley would reflect that really well in the wine.
4) What should we know about the upcoming releases?
Our commitment to sustainability and biodiversity was important in the planning of this winery. We’re promoting a sustainable environment through a number of methods, one way is by avoiding the use of toxic chemicals like herbicides and pesticides. When we take care of the land, I think the care and efforts show in the wine it produces.