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A brief history

Woodward Canyon Winery was established in 1981 by Rick Small and his wife, Darcey Fugman-Small. The winery was named for the canyon where Rick's family farmed for multiple generations and where the Woodward Canyon Estate Vineyard is now located. Woodward Canyon was the second winery in the Walla Walla Valley, and the Smalls were instrumental in the process of obtaining federal approval of the Walla Walla Valley Appellation in 1984. The winery has consistently produced premium, age-worthy cabernet sauvignons, Bordeaux-style blends and merlots as well as chardonnays. From the outset, it was determined that quality would take precedence over quantity.

The family’s roots run deep in the land that they have farmed for four generations. Rick and Darcey’s children, Jordan and Sager, share in the ownership of Woodward Canyon and are transitioning into leadership roles in the winery and vineyard as their parents step back from the day to day operations. Winemaker Kevin Mott was made a partner in 2011 as well.

Rick planted the first of forty-one acres of the Woodward Canyon Estate Vineyard in 1976 on his family’s dryland wheat ranch. The hillside vineyard now includes cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay as well as several experimental Italian and Rhone varieties. The Estate Vineyard is Certified Salmon Safe. The Smalls are also experimenting with organic and bio-dynamic farming practice. The winery purchases grapes from select growers and is a partner in Champoux Vineyard which lies above the Columbia River in the Horse Heaven Hills appellation. Woodward Canyon has a strong belief that the quality of the wine starts in the vineyards; grape-growing and winemaking after all, are still agriculture.
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Established in 1981

11920 W. Highway 12
United States, Washington




Meet The Team

  • Kevin Mott

    Kevin Mott graduated from The College of Idaho with a degree in Chemistry. He began his career in the wine industry in 1986 at Ste. Chapelle Winery in Caldwell, Idaho, progressing from Cellar Worker and Laboratory Technician to Winemaker. In 1999 he was responsible for the development of Chalone Wine Group's Sagelands Vineyard in Washington's Yakima Valley and acted as General Manager and Winemaker until moving to Canoe Ridge Vineyard in 2002. Mott served as Winemaker there, overseeing both winery and vineyard operations. He came to Woodward Canyon in the summer of 2003 as Winemaker. In 2011, Kevin became a shareholder in Woodward Canyon.

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