The Manz Family, with occasional help from friends, are the labor force behind Mountain Dome Winery. Our success relies in our ability to remain a small, family-run winery, producing only the finest sparkling wine possible.
Mountain Dome Winery produces exclusively sparkling wines made in the traditional French methode champenoise. The technique of the second fermentation occuring in the bottle is what creates the tiny bubbles at Mountain Dome. All our grapes are grown in the cooler regions of Washington State. A number of different sites were choosen to bring complexity to our blends while insuring a balance between varietal tastes, sugar and acid levels.
We use three kinds of grapes. The Chardonnay adds softness and complexity to the cuvèe or blend while Pinot Noir contributes the backbone and power to our wines. A small amount of Pinot Meunier adds strength and character. Pinot Meunier is an offshoot of Pinot Noir and commonly used in wines of Champagne. The juice is fermented in small French oak barrels. This allows our wines to gain in depth and complexity while causing them to age well. Small French oak barrels also aid in controlling the temperature of fermentation as well as adding complexity in the taste. We use yeast that is available only from Champagne France to add to the bouquet as well as producing tiny bubbles.
Once the wine is bottled, it is aged between three to five years in our temperature controlled winery. This extended aging sur lattes contributes to the complexity of the finish in our wines and adds to the nutty-toasty character. Riddling is the process of carefully turning each bottle multiple time while the bottle is sitting in a shaped rack or pupitre. This motion allows the yeast to move down into the neck of the bottle and lodge behind the crown cap. This riddling is done both by hand and by Gyro-Matic machines that simulate the hand movements.
Then the bottles are carefully transfered to a neck freezer which traps the yeast in a plug of frozen wine. This allows the yeast to be removed and a small amount of dosage or sugared reserve wine is added to each bottle to balance the acid level in the sparkling wine. The juxtaposition of the sugared dosage in the acid wine while in the presence of the bubbles produces a balanced sparkling wine of great complexity and depth. Finally the wine is aged four to six months before it is brought to the market. View all Mountain Dome Wines
About Columbia Valley
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.