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Securing the Quality of Chaleur Blanc: A New Partnership with Olsen Vineyards

We have big news for DeLille enthusiasts! We have a new partnership with Olsen Vineyards, planted at the east end of the Yakima Valley AVA. The 2023 vintage marked the start of this partnership, allowing us to source additional Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache, and Cabernet Franc from the site. This fruit will help to grow and enhance the quality of beloved wine programs like Chaleur Blanc, D2, and Le Dessein (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre blend). The winemaking team has been thrilled with the quality of the fruit, which will debut late this Summer with the release of the 2023 vintage of Chaleur Blanc.

In addition to sourcing fruit from mature vines, we began a ten-year agreement, planting five acres of highly sought-after Sémillon grapes, which will be ready for harvesting in 2026. This agreement effectively creates an estate vineyard for DeLille Cellars to protect and perfect the quality of Chaleur Blanc for years to come. 

History of Chaleur Blanc

Crafting a white Bordeaux-style blend was unheard of in Washington when DeLille Cellars first created Chaleur Blanc in 1995. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon, the wine is fermented sur lie in French oak barrels, imparting a memorable “crème brulee” finish. Served at the White House over three administrations and rivaling its French counterpart in quality and exceptional value, Chaleur Blanc has become one of DeLille’s most influential blends.

History of Olsen Vineyards

The Olsen family farm, founded by brothers Dick and Larry, have been growing grapes in the Yakima Valley since 1980. In addition to wine grapes, they grow other crops such as hops, apples, cherries, concord juice grapes, and organic blueberries in the Northeast area of Prosser near Rattlesnake Mountain. The vineyard has produced a wide variety of grapes planted in a collection of diverse sites, but it is particularly ideal for its contribution to amazing white wines due to the cooler temperatures at some of the higher elevation sites(~1,300 feet).

The Olsen Vineyards are in the East end of the Yakima Valley from North of Prosser and Benton City and are still managed within the family. Dick and Larry’s sons, Martin and Leif currently manage the family farm. 


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