STOLEN: Thieves rip off rare Red Mountain wine grapes

September 23, 2010 

Thieves slipped into a young Red Mountain vineyard and stole more than 2,000 pounds of rare mourvedre wine grapes, valued at $4,000.

Mourvedre grapes from Grand Reve Vineyard near Col Solare were stolen sometime between Sept. 15 and Monday, said owner Ryan Johnson. Mourvedre is a red wine grape that is traditionally grown in the southern Rhône Valley of France. It is grown only in small amounts in Washington, and Johnson's vines are even more rare because they are "head trained" rather than trellised on vines. Such vines look more like bushes than traditional vineyards.

The grapes were to be harvested in the next 10 days and were to be sold to Syncline Cellars in the Columbia Gorge town of Lyle. Johnson said the resulting wine would have sold for at least $40 per bottle.

Read more in Friday's Tri-City Herald.

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