Cinsault is most often used as a blending grape in the Rhone Valley of France. It adds bright red and purple fruit notes and sometimes a bit of acidity to the blends, which mainly comprise of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre. Here in the United States it’s often used in the same manner, though not always. The climate in Eastern Washington suits Cinsault well, with hot days and cooler nights. This allows the grapes to accumulate sugar and ripen but the cool nights help retain acidity.
I was introduced to the owners of 7 Mile Vineyard by a fellow winemaker, who was buying Grenache grapes. Unfortunately I was unable to buy any Grenache, so I had to settle for something else, but I did not want to buy Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or Merlot. Since I take pride in working with somewhat obscure grapes, the opportunity to make Cinsault held a lot of appeal. This is one of only a handful of 100% Cinsault varietal wines made in the Pacific NW.