Butch and Jerry Millbrandt are among the largest landholders in Washington State, and are the owners of the greatest area of vines in the state with 2,500 acres spread over 12 different vineyard sites.
Incredibly, this great expanse has been built up since 1997 when the brothers planted their first vines following a proud family history of farming in Minnesota, Nebraska and Oregon before the move to eastern Washington in 1950 when the brothers were young boys. They have deep roots here in every sense. As well as making their own wines they make wines for others and sell grapes to some prestigious Washington wineries too. Their own winery was built in 2005 and their first Millbrandt label wine was launched in 2007. In that short time the company has shown itself to be a producer of the first rank.
The vineyards are varied, with white grape varieties being grown on more elevated sites to benefit from the cooler conditions and the reds in the warmer locations. The first vines were planted in the Columbia Valley AVA which is pretty much a windswept desert spread across a range of undulating hills. It is the low rainfall, sandy soils, moderate temperatures and long sunshine hours that attracted the Millbrandts to the area for their first plantings, and they have now planted in the more recent Wahluke Slopes and Ancient Lakes AVAs, which benefit from the same conditions.
Head winemaker Joshua Maloney emphasises the purity of the fruit flavours married to intensity on the palate that shines in the best wines of Washington State. He can draw upon experience at Stags Leap and Estancia in California as well as fellow Washington wine producer Château Sainte-Michelle. At Millbrandt he oversees a huge range of different varieties, from cabernet sauvignon, merlot and chardonnay, to nebbiolo, mourvédre and primitivo, with many points in between.