Food & Drink

From military base to vineyard site

What once was a World War II military training base in the Yakima Valley has evolved into a great vineyard site and provides grapes for one of the region’s best wineries.

Airfield Estates is part of a four-generation farming family. Don Miller, the family’s second generation in the valley, began planting wine grapes in 1968 on the advice of Walter Clore, a Washington State University researcher known as “the father of Washington wine.”

Today, son Mike Miller’s 900 acres of vineyards include 27 grape varieties. Marcus Miller, Don’s grandson, is the winemaker for Airfield Estates, which launched in 2006. Miller learned winemaking at Walla Walla Community College’s vaunted Center for Enology and Viticulture, then went to work as a winemaker at Tsillan Cellars in Lake Chelan before returning home.

Miller’s wines for the family operation tend to be not only universally delicious, but also nicely priced.

The winery and tasting room at the Vintners Village in Prosser is built to look like an old airplane hangar, resembling those that once existed at the vineyard after World War II.

In addition, Airfield also has a tasting room in Woodinville, not far from Chateau Ste. Michelle.

Here are a few Airfield wines we've tasted in recent weeks. Ask for them at your favorite wine merchant or contact the winery directly.