Rio Vista Wines
When planning a trip to Rio Vista, pack a little bit of will power. Once you arrive and look down the sloping lawn onto the river, you won’t want to leave. It’s a place that engenders languid ease – exactly what you want on a day off.
Whether you arrive by seaplane, boat or road vehicle, you’ll find yourself loading up a case of Looney Red or Wacky White. Winemaker John Little’s signature blends are a snapshot of the natural beauty of the land, the cultivated precision of the vineyard and the artistic soul of the Little family.
Winemaker, John Little, with help from his wife, Jan, is at the reins in all phases of the grape-growing and wine-making process.
John grew up on a farm in Port Angeles, WA, under the shadow of Hurricane Ridge. He spent his time milking cows (when he wasn’t sneaking off to do a little fishing in the creeks near the farm.) He was, however, exposed to wine at a young age and enjoyed a sip or two of his grandpa’s homemade fruit wine on holidays.
John graduated from Central Washington University and taught school in Seattle for 9 years. But the big city was not where his heart lay. He realized that farming was the profession that held the most interest for him so he and Jan and their 4 kids moved to Eastern Washington where they purchased an apple orchard which he farmed for 10 years. During this time he also began experimenting with wine making.
After the orchard, John worked as head carpenter at Wenatchee Valley College and retired in 2004. Jan retired from teaching at the same time. They then moved full time to Rio Vista and became serious winemakers.
John is a believer that good wine is made in the vineyard and the wine’s ultimate potential comes from the winemaker’s skills and practices in the field. He does it all, from pruning to wine making and making all the important decisions that go with it.