Cayuse

Cayuse is a domaine located in the Walla Walla Valley. Over the past 20 years, Christophe has made it his mission to craft food-friendly wines of incredible depth, individuality and character—all from fruit grown entirely using biodynamic farming

After studying viticulture in Champagne and Burgundy, Christophe realized he wasn’t yet ready to enter the family business and gave in to the urge to travel. “In Burgundy, I had fallen in love with Pinot Noir, and had met some Americans with land in Oregon,” he says. “My English was terrible, but I wanted to go there.” 

An unexpected internship at a winery brought Christophe to the Walla Walla Valley for the first time in 1993. After one year, he traveled the world gaining experience in Australia, New Zealand, Romania and Oregon. He intended to buy some land and start a vineyard from scratch, but all those plans came to an abrupt halt on an April morning in 1996.

Christophe had returned to Walla Walla for a strictly social visit, and was wandering the countryside with a friend. As they drove near the Oregon/Washington border, he spied an open field littered with acres of softball-sized stones. Plans to move to the Willamette Valley were quickly discarded, and Christophe resolved to buy the property and plant a vineyard. 

While others thought the ten acres of the Walla Walla Valley farmland was only good for orchards he saw something different with enormous potential. The terroir reminded him of the cobblestones of the southern Rhone valley and Châteuneuf-du-Pape in his native France. “I almost fell on my derrière when I saw those stones,” he says. “And I’ve been living the dream ever since.”

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