Seven Hills Winery
Established in 1988, Seven Hills Winery is proud to be among the founding estates of Walla Walla Valley. As pioneers who first championed the region, the winery’s heritage is built on longstanding relationships with the most renowned growers in the Northwest and a deep knowledge of the land.
The Seven Hills Story
Born to a farming family in Eastern Washington, Founder Casey McClellan learned about agriculture at a young age. Later, Casey and his wife, Vicky, began to cultivate an interest in wine and developed a long term vision to make wine from the family farm in Walla Walla Valley. They drew further inspiration during a European cycling trip through wine country, where they experienced wine as an integral foundation to these communities and an important, vital part of small town agricultural life.
In the early 1980s, Casey and his family planted the founding blocks of their future winery, 21 acres of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Eight years later, the McClellans established Seven Hills Winery. Over the past three decades, the winery’s endeavors have continued to reflect an unwavering commitment to creating wines that showcase the distinctive terroir of Walla Walla Valley.
Not only is Casey McClellan a fourth-generation farmer in Eastern Washington, but he also understands the commitment needed to help a community thrive. Over the years, Casey and Vicky have promoted a spirit of collaboration not just between Walla Walla Valley growers and winemakers, but within the whole community.
As proprietors of one of the area’s first vineyards, the efforts of Seven Hills Winery have helped strengthen a community that values environmental stewardship to protect the future. For the past 15 years, they have practiced sustainable agriculture in order to be responsible guardians of the land, and currently hold LIVE and Salmon Safe certifications for their estate SHW Founding Vineyard.
When Seven Hills Winery was established in 1988, it was one of only five wineries in the region. As a founding vintner, Casey McClellan helped shape the varietal focus and development of the appellation by forming relationships with top growers in the Northwest and cultivating an understanding of each vineyard’s character. Through this focused approach and following decades of careful study, Seven Hills Winery crafts Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines that reflect their distinct terroir and reach their highest potential.
McClellan helped plant the first significant vineyard dedicated to Bordeaux varietals in Walla Walla Valley. Over time, the founding blocks of the winery’s estate vineyard emerged as one of the Northwest’s most renowned sites. Today, SHW Founding Vineyard provides fruit for the winery’s marquee single vineyard wines, and their grapes are sought after by some of the region’s most respected wineries. Seven Hills also sources fruit from other esteemed vineyards they’ve been working with for many years, including McClellan Estate Vineyard and Summit View Vineyard in Walla Walla Valley and Ciel du Cheval and Klipsun Vineyard in the Red Mountain appellation.
Seven Hills Winery crafts wines that are well-balanced and taste true to their varietal characteristics and terroir. To that end, they let the outstanding quality of the fruit shine through, using traditional fermentation techniques and barrel selections that highlight the varietal grape flavours inherent in the wine. This philosophy allows them to create wines that pair well with a variety of foods and are meant to be enjoyed as part of a meal.
Seven Hills Winery founding Vineyard
The exemplary selection of land upon which SHW Founding Vineyard was planted was chosen through a combination of forward-looking vision and serendipity. When the McClellans set out to plant their first wine grapes in the early 1980s, they benefitted from having over 100 years of family farming experience in Eastern Washington. Not only did they have a deep knowledge of the land, they also drew on the wisdom they had gained over decades of observation, seeing what grows best where. This experience led them to a site on the southern edge of what would later be defined as the Walla Walla Valley appellation. Comprised of deep, silt loam soils over flood sediments and resting at an elevation of 1,000 feet, the 21-acre SHW Founding Vineyard lies in the optimal area for Merlot production in the region.
SHW Founding Vineyard was one of the first plantings of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in Walla Walla Valley. This land is named not only for its historical importance in the founding of Seven Hills Winery, but also for its critical role in leading the vision and helping shape the viticultural development of the region. These original vines have produced over 30 vintages of highly regarded Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and continue to do so today.