If you’re fortunate enough to stop by Smasne Cellars on a day when both winemaker Robert Smasne and viticulturalist Dr. Alan Busaca are in the tasting room, plan on staying awhile. Because this dynamic team will educate you – in a captivating way – while you taste their magnificent wines.
Alan was there on the day we visited. With every word he spoke, this man oozed passion for the terroir and the role of soils in viticulture. As we tasted pours from the Alma Terra label, Alan told us about the Alma Terra project “that expresses terroir in every glass.”
Our Alma Terra tasting comprised of 2006 Syrahs from three northwest vineyards: Ciel du Cheval in Red Mountain, Coyote Canyon in Horse Heaven Hills and Minick Vineyard in Yakima Valley. For this project, grapes for each wine were treated the same way — from harvest to crush to fermentation to barrel and bottle.
These identical practices were combined with the unique climate, soils and geography of each vineyard. As a result, you can truly taste the differences in terroir. And as you know, terrior, along with great wine-making, is what makes every bottle of wine unique.
Because Alan was in the house when we visited the tasting room, we focused on the Alma Terra wines and didn’t taste any of the Smasne Cellars wines, or wines from Smasne’s value-priced Farm Boy label.
So I can guarantee that we will go back. And one day we hope to meet Robert too. He is a legend in Washington state and currently consults or custom-makes wine for 14 different labels in the northwest.