Our Name – ALUVÉ
ALUVÉ is the realization of our dream, a journey many years in the making. A combination of the Italian words meaning Winged Grape, the name ALUVÉ symbolizes the connection between two of our passions, flying for our country and sharing great wine.
Like the name ALUVÉ, our label exemplifies the fusion of our two passions. The background transitions from a blue sky to that of a deep red wine, embossed with silver letters that mirror the color of Air Force Pilot Wings.
Culminating a Journey Many Years in the Making
Together, we fulfilled one dream—it was an honor and privilege to serve our country as Air Force pilots for more than 23 years. Now we are thankful for the opportunity to pursue a second dream—to cultivate, create and share the wines we love.
Beginning with our first visit to Walla Walla in 2000, we fell in love with the place, the people and the phenomenal wine. Something in that visit sparked a dream for both of us—to someday live on a small Estate Winery where we could cultivate, create and share our own world class wine with family and friends. Over time it became clear that Walla Walla offered the perfect union of people and place to realize our dream and create the wines we love.
Our Approach to Winemaking
The focus of our production is Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, cultivated and created from the vineyard that surrounds our home. Kelly and I believe all great wines begin in the vineyard, with each site expressing unique varietal qualities based on the intersection of terroir, climate and farming practices.
Our goal is to make beautiful, balanced wines we love to drink and share. Our winemaking philosophy is simple, combine exceptional fruit with traditional winemaking techniques to create wines that are unique expressions of the place where they were grown.
We make our wines in small production lots using fruit from our Estate and other carefully selected vineyards whose growers share our passion for quality and stewardship of the land, including several of our closest neighbors along Mill Creek. Each wine is extremely limited in availability and handcrafted with meticulous attention to detail to showcase the quality of Walla Walla and Washington state fruit.
We invite you to join us on this journey and experience the Walla Walla lifestyle with us either in person or in a glass!
Kelly and JJ Menozzi—Owners, Winemakers and Apprentice Vineyard Managers
After graduating as classmates from the United States Air Force Academy, Kelly and I began an exciting journey as Air Force pilots. During our 15+ moves around the world, we loved exploring nearby wine regions and learning to appreciate great wines. In 2000, while stationed in Idaho, this passion led us to discover Walla Walla. At the time there were less than 20 wineries in the Walla Walla Valley, an up-and-coming wine region increasingly known for its outstanding red wines. We visited several of the flagship wineries, met some of the area’s pioneer winemakers and fell in love with the phenomenal wines and friendly, supportive attitude of the local wine industry. Despite our Air Force journey taking us away from the area, we returned many times over the next decade, making several lifelong friends and eventually buying property on Mill Creek Road that is now our home and Estate vineyard. As we transition careers to pursue our passion for great wine, we’re extremely excited to “come home” to Walla Walla and begin this next chapter of our lives—cultivating, creating and sharing world class wine. Kelly and I are fortunate to live, work and play in this very special place.
Menozzi Estate Vineyard
While exploring potential locations for an Estate Vineyard and home site, we looked for many years across the Walla Walla Valley, eventually focusing on the upland Mill Creek area in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. We were captivated by the spectacular mountain views and amazed by the exceptional Cabernet being grown in this area. The higher elevation, cooler climate vineyards produced unique, beautifully balanced Cabernet Sauvignon wines and the increased precipitation in the foothills offered the rare opportunity for dryland grape cultivation. Our patience was rewarded in 2010, when we were fortunate to purchase 10 acres of pasture land at an elevation of 1,500’ on the North Side of the Mill Creek Valley. The deep, fertile loess soils and gentle southwest-facing slope serve as an ideal location for growing premium wine grapes.
In 2012, we planted more than 6,000 vines on just over five acres, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Chardonnay. The vineyard was established using dryland farming practices, and we closely monitor soil moisture levels throughout the year, augmenting with minimal irrigation if required. We are dedicated to growing the highest quality fruit utilizing environmentally sound farming practices that protect the precious natural resources we are fortunate to share with our neighbors along Mill Creek.
** Use of pictures, text and logos by trade and media is specifically authorized by Cielo LLC, dba Aluvé, 2017.