Inside the Winemakers's Studio with Ali Harvey, Dumas Station Wines
Jamee: When did you fall in love with wine?
Ali: Are the feds going to hunt me down if I say that it was on a trip to France with my family when I was a teenager? My father (who owns Dumas Station) took me to little towns in France where we would share a ½ bottle of wine over a 3 hour meal. I probably consumed about a ½ glass total, but it was an amazing experience.
Jamee: What was your inspiration for your wine label? Why the picture of a train station? Ali: We make wine at an old train station so we wanted to preserve the history. Dumas Station started as an apple packing shed just outside of Walla Walla in the early 1900s, so all of our labels feature train pictures.
Jamee: What year did you release your first vintage? Ali: 2003
Jamee: How many cases of wine do you produce annually? Ali: Only about 1,000 cases, so we’re very small.
Jamee: What wines are you known for? Ali: Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s the only wine that we made the first two years, but now we’ve branched out a little bit.
Jamee: Though you may look up to many, name just one person in the wine business that you hope to emulate and why. Ali: Wow, that’s a tough one. I really admire Gord Venneri & Myles Anderson at Walla Walla Vintners. They took a humble approach to starting a winery in 1995 and have been producing consistently great wines at affordable prices ever since.
Jamee: What is your favorite place to drink wine, or who is your favorite person to drink wine with?
Ali: On Jay DeWitt’s patio just north of the Walla Walla airport, overlooking the wheat fields of the Valley. Jay & my father own the winery together and sometimes we’ll have a “meeting” at Jay’s house. It’s such a relaxed atmosphere that we actually get a lot done.
Jamee: What is your most memorable experience with your wine? (good or bad-could be production, pouring events, anything) Ali: We had Paul Gregutt, the wine writer for the Seattle Times, out for a vertical tasting of our Cabernet Sauvignon earlier this year. It was impressive to taste each vintage of Cabernet side-by-side, and since the fruit comes from the same vineyard each year, you could really focus on the nuances of each vintage. Wine geekiness at its best.
Jamee:What else would you like your fans to know? Ali: The wine industry is truly not as glamorous as it sounds, but if you want to find out for yourself, give me a call in October and we’ll put you to work for a day. We could use an extra set of hands.