Wine Wednesday: Varieties with varietals at Kitzke Cellars - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wine Wednesday: Varieties with varietals at Kitzke Cellars

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RICHLAND, WA - There's a lot of risk involved when you differ from the norm of wineries: will you stand out from the crowd and thrive, or fall short of expectations?

Kitzke Cellars thrives, thanks in part to grape varietals you won't find in many other area wineries.

"I wanted to set ourselves apart from the other wineries, and I love the Sangiovese and the Grenache and the Mourvedre," said Vickie Kitzke. "It's just really fun to work with different varietals and get known for that. People then come up here expecting and getting to try something on a different side."

Kitzke Cellars is a break from usual selection of wines that most area wineries are producing; wineries that might have a little less taste for risk-taking, because once you find a formula that works, you tend to stick with it.

"A lot of them are going with what's been in the ground for a long time, and it's usually your Bordeauxs," Kitzke said.

It's known around Washington wine country that Bordeaux varietals thrive here due to similar geographic characteristics to the Bordeaux region in France.

But the Kitzkes offer Sangiovese, an Italian grape; Grenache, a Spanish grape, Mourvedre, originating in other regions of France...and several others.

Vickie let us know what her favorite varietal is.

"The Grenache. Grenache has spicy, Christmassy tones to it. It says, 'Turn the fireplace on, blanket, book, and my glass of Grenache.' That's happy," she said.