Joel Mackay, owner of MonteScarlatto Estate, lives on the property and manages the vineyard. He originally bought the 18.5 acres in 1994 when there was nothing but dirt and sage. At the time, purchasing that amount of land in the middle of nowhere was a definite risk. However, a few years later, Red Mountain AVA was established and Joel found himself planting grapes in 2007. With the help of family and friends, the vineyard was finished with design and vines in 2009. “The vineyard rows are actually designed in a way to lead back to the house,” explains Mackay. “A friend of mine saw the vineyard orientation and immediately said, ‘All roads lead to Rome’ and I laughed, but in our case, ‘All rows lead to home,’ which I think is pretty cool.” Joel and his son Nick, a recent graduate of Viticulture and Enology from Washington State University, walk the rows often to ensure proper growth, training and production. “Helping my dad plant the vineyard inspired me to pursue viticulture and learn more about grape growing.” Nick is a Viticulturist for Mercer Canyons and helps Joel manage MonteScarlatto Estate Vineyard. Slow growth is key for a small operation, and in 2015 Holly Wells joined as the Winery Manager. “I love the traditional style of winemaking we are doing on the Estate. All the fruit gets handpicked and we do manual punch downs during fermentation. There’s a lot of energy on Red Mountain and am thrilled to be a part of these beautiful wines.” Holly moved to Washington from Denver and has been in the wine industry since 2010. Having worked harvest with Duckhorn Wine Company, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and BookCliff Vineyards, she is excited to be a part of MonteScarlatto Estate and can now call Red Mountain home.
All of the Estate’s wines are crafted with love but one wine in particular holds a special place in the history of the vineyard. The Barbera is dedicated to the memory of Dawn Warren, with 10% of the proceeds donated to the Tri-Cities Cancer Center. She and Joel were engaged and pursuing the wine lifestyle when, in 2011, Dawn was diagnosed with cancer. After a courageous battle, Dawn passed away in 2012. The tasting room showcases the exuberant and loving spirit of Dawn and she will always be remembered as part of the journey of the winery.
MonteScarlatto Estate Winery is located in the Red Mountain AVA of Washington State. This area is known for its extraordinary terroir, producing wines famous for their complex tannin structure, deep color and rich flavor profile. Red Mountain sees the hottest days compared to all other AVAs in the state and consists of sandy loam soils, which create perfect conditions for grape growing. The hot days and cool nights allow for a steady growing season with intense fruit character. The entire production from vine to bottle takes place on the Estate, crafting 1200 cases per year. Varietals planted include Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Syrah.
MonteScarlatto Estate also has a small par-3 course surrounding the property, which is open to the public, and an inviting tasting room that has been converted from Mackay’s garage. We invite you to visit the winery and vineyard in transcendent desert beauty, play a few holes of golf and enjoy the 10th Hole tasting room, for which the red blend was named. The atmosphere is fun and relaxing, you’ll be glad you made the trip. Salute’