Vines in the desert
It may not be a real desert, but it certainly looks like one. In the Walla Walla Valley, wheat rules the landscape. The golden expanse is broken by an oasis of luxuriant vines that produce wines of rare elegance. Welcome to Spring Valley.
Love-struck in the desert
We drove more than an hour through this desert-like environment before we finally came upon the ranch. Located at the foot of a hill, it’s a unique place with incredible contrasts that instantly captured our hearts. We immediately understood why Serge Laville, who originally came to visit his friend Devin Corkrum in 2000, wanted to stay here permanently.
The Corkrum-Derby family: Farmers of the Far West
The family has been living in the region since 1865, farming their rolling land for generations. In 1993, they converted their fields into vineyards—a wise move made by Dean Derby and his wife Shari, who is the granddaughter of Uriah Corkrum, the man who founded the Spring Valley ranch, as it is still known today.
All in the family
Family and tradition are central to the way these new winegrowers operate. The estate’s first wine, a Merlot blend, was crafted by Devin, who named it Uriah after his great-grandfather. Since then, every wine extracted from the family land has been named after a member of the family: Nina Lee, Frederick, Katherine, etc.
At Spring Valley, traditional methods are used as much as possible. Each cluster is handled with great care and the vines are delicately surrounded with soil before the onset of winter to protect them from the cold as they await spring’s return to the valley.
Fine and authentic
Generally, hot-weather wine regions produce opulent, powerful reds. Those made at Spring Valley are fine and elegant, with an Old World signature that can be attributed to Serge. It’s especially noticeable in the Merlots and Cabernets. There’s no lab in the wine cellar, and no additives are used—authenticity has the last word here.