Kontos Cellars Pt 1

Kontos Cellars Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today's Fruit Grower Report, I'm Bob Larson. Kontos Cellars may be as representative of the Walla Walla wine scene as any, with a family that dates back six generations in the community.

Winemaker and partner, Cameron Kontos says it was his father Cliff who got the family started in the wine business with Fort Walla Walla Cellars in the late 90s ...

KONTOS ... "And so, he and his old golfing buddies started making just garage wine, and they're like, wow, this is good stuff. Why don't we just start making it commercial? And so, 2001 was the first commercial year. So they started, just two of them, went into business together, two of the original twelve, and had a nice run for a while and then eventually got to the point where they wanted to go golfing instead, so they closed up shop and went golfing."

So for him, Cameron says winemaking drew his interest early ...

KONTOS ... "I was 18 when he and his golfing buddies started making wine, senior year in high school, and just was learning how to make wine with them and at one point, after I finally graduated from high school and everything, and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do."

But, Kontos says he needed a wakeup call ...

KONTOS ... "I went up to dad at one point when he was racking wine and said, how do you find a passion? And, he just kind of looked at me, like wow, I wasn't expecting that. And, he says, well, I see the way you are with the wine and you have a great pallet, you know what you're doing, you catch on quick. I think you've already found it. And, I just had one of those 'Ah-Ha-moments'."

Listen tomorrow for more on Kontos Cellars and when Cameron decided to take that leap of faith.


BL: Welcome back to another "Fruit Bites" brought to you by Valent U.S.A. With us again is Valent's Allison Walston. And this week Allison, tell me what happens to fruit trees over the winter?

AW: To survive subfreezing temperatures, fruit trees need to have entered a true dormancy. This is triggered by daylength & cooler temps to reach full winter hardiness by Dec.

BL: What about those cold snaps around Thanksgiving?

AW: Those freezing temps can do some damage. To encourage the tree to enter dormancy faster, growers can defoliate in fall using abscisic acid. This natural plant hormone triggers plant dormancy & gets the nutrients moving out of leaves, and shutting down sap flow.

BL: What about warm spells during the winter?

AW: Warm weather in the winter, if long enough, the trees start sap flowing. Also snow cover & reflecting sunlight warm trunks & gets sap flowing, In both cases when temps drop at night, the trunks split open. Tree protectors will help to reduce trunk splitS.

BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I'm Bob Larson.

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