Wine Identity – Willow Mountain Winery in Montana

Wine identity comes down to the place which grows the grapes. This gives Montana wineries a unique conundrum stemming from the inherent shortage of locally grown, high-quality, consistently available, wine grapes. For those who wish to produce wine, from the grape, through the processes of fermenting, fining, aging, and bottling, reliable access to wine grapes commonly comes from out of state. A debate then arises over the identity of the resulting wine, sometimes made entirely in Montana, but still linked to the origin of the grapes. ‘Yeah, they may make it here, but the grapes come from Washington, so it’s really a Washington wine.’  Willow Mountain Winery in Montana is an estate vineyard/winery born from the idea that when given the right circumstances, the opportunity, and the freedom of expression, Montana vineyards can produce an elegant, and distinguishable wine identity and style absolutely singular to itself.

Perhaps you will agree Montana is largely about its natural resources. From mining to recreation, to wildlands, to agriculture, there is much natural about Montana which cannot be truly replicated elsewhere. The wine grapes growing in Willow Mountain’s Corvallis vineyard reflect the granite and volcanic soils, the irrigation from the Bitterroot and Sapphire Mountains’ snowpack, and the northerly breezes, the elevation, and the long, sunny days and cool nights of summer.  The wines are fortunate if left unincumbered by human intervention, and true to the grapes, to reflect that which is Montana.  In this spirit, our blossoming vineyard/winery industry, with guidance and luck, will find its footing as, yet another “natural resource” that provides the flavor, and tells the tale that is born, grown, and made in Montana.  

If you’ve yet to browse our wines, take a stop by our shop and peruse through our varietals and releases soon to come. 

Until next time – Brian McGuire
Co-owner and Manager for Willow Mountain Winery in Montana.