Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Paterson, Wash., announced that its well-known H3 tier of wines from Columbia Crest would transition into a stand-alone H3 brand.
Named for the Horse Heaven Hills AVA where the wines hail from, H3 wines were an immediate success when they were originally launched by Columbia Crest in 2008. H3 wines were the first wines sourced from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA, it says.
“We’re thrilled at the success of our H3 wines and are bullish on the future of this brand,” said Ste. Michelle President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Mortensen in a statement. “H3 is ideally positioned for growth with both Gen X and millennial consumers who are hungry for wines with a true sense of place and H3 wines deliver that in spades.”
In addition to its well-known H3 Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Red Blend and Sauvignon Blanc, the brand will also introduce a Rosé, a blend of Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The line also includes new packaging for the brand, which leans into the winged horse or Pegasus imagery, an homage to the Horse Heaven Hills name. The new H3 wines now are available throughout Washington state, Oregon and California and select retailers nationwide.
H3’s lineup highlights high-quality fruit sourced from family farms in the Horse Heaven Hills with which the brand has long-standing relationships, it says. Currently, about 90 percent of the fruit for H3 wines is sourced from these local farms. The back label of each H3 bottle also will include a scannable QR code where consumers can learn more about the family farmers as well as ingredient and nutritional information (available beginning fall 2020).
“My inspiration for making this wine comes from working hand-in-hand with our family farmers from the vine to the bottle,” said H3 Winemaker Katie Nelson. “We’re out there with them throughout the season, walking the vines and checking in on the fruit quality. These wines represent the Horse Heaven Hills terroir in every way, not only the land but the people as well.”