Rocky Pond Estate Winery, the Washington producer crafting wines from their beautiful and sustainably farmed riverside and lakeside estate vineyards, has reached an agreement with highly regarded and accomplished winemaker and viticulturist Steve Leveque. He will join the team for the 2020 growing season and will lead all winemaking activities alongside their established Winemaker Shane Collins and current vineyard management team led by Javier Rocha.
“We are filled with excitement and anticipation as we welcome Steve to the team,” stated Owners and Founders David and Michelle Dufenhorst. “This is another building block in our mission to elevate Rocky Pond as the top Eastern Washington wine destination. We believe in the potential of this special region, its micro-climates, and soils. By adding Steve to share his wealth of experience and to guide our excellent winemaking and vineyard teams, we hope to take our offering to the next level.”
Leveque’s list of winemaking work is impressive, extensive, and full of household names like HALL, Chalk Hill, Opus One, and Mondavi. His addition to the Rocky Pond team is a monumental investment in the future of wine quality and vineyard management that will further elevate and expand the burgeoning program for decades to come.
Leveque honed his winemaking techniques during his 10-year tenure as winemaker at Robert Mondavi Winery. He also gleaned cutting-edge ideas from leading viticulture research and visionary collaborators including prominent wine consultant Michel Rolland. Steve went on to work as executive vice president and winemaker of Chalk Hill Estate Winery in Sonoma, where he handcrafted an award-winning portfolio from small-lot Bordeaux varietals and Chardonnay.
Leveque has also earned three 100 Point scores from Wine Advocate, two 100 Point scores from Jeb Dunnuck and the #2 Wine in the World from Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2011. Over 80 of Steve’s wines have been rated 99-95 Points from the elite wine publications.
“I am excited and humbled to be working with such a dedicated and talented team. The level of commitment and leadership shown by the Dufenhorst family is something I rarely get to experience, and I can’t wait to make wine from their amazing vineyards,” states Steve Leveque. “The Double D and Rocky Reach vineyards, with an abundance of rock and glacial silt soils, coupled with ideal climatic conditions, makes me confident that world-class wines will be the standard at Rocky Pond.”
The Dufenhorsts have been actively compiling quite the all-star team. They are laser-focused on increasing quality across the board through innovation in winemaking, sustainable vineyard practices, and elevated hospitality experiences. Leveque will work alongside current Rocky Pond Winemaker and native of Lake Chelan Shane Collins in addition to President John Ware who recently took the reins after twenty years at Quilceda Creek.
Rocky Pond currently operates two beautifully adorned tasting lounges – one in Chelan and the other in Woodinville – for their beloved wine club members and wine lovers alike. They invite guests for wine tastings, bottle purchases, and culinary chef specials created by their in-house Executive Chef each week by reservation at www.rockypondwinery.com.