Wild Rose Vineyards, a Family Affair
- Published on 2018-07-02 16:46:43
The Manson Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony, which included balloons and a cake, that marked the grand opening of Wild Rose Vineyards, the 14th tasting room to call downtown Manson, WA home. Representing the Chamber were Debbie Conwell, Executive Director and Mariah Pyle, Chamber Secretary. Taking part in the ceremony were owners David and Devoney Johnson and David’s sister, Mikael Ann and her husband Bill Scott, their daughter Madison and Cousin Karl Koster.
David, Devoney, Madison, Bill and Mikael Ann
Mariah Pyle, Manson Chamber Board member get the sizzors ready
David Johnson started making wine in his garage in 2001. He was assisted by his cousin Karl Koester, owner Four Lakes Winery. David helped Karl with his vineyards and in return Karl would bring a truck load of grapes to the west side so David could experiment. Soon David got pretty dang good at making wine and the competition to see who could make the best wine still goes on to this day. David said, “Karl is the senior winemaker in our business but I’m a close second!” Their love of art and science collided to produce some amazing wine. This fun pasttime quickly became a dream for David.
Bill and Karl talk wine while enjoying cake
David's dream became a reality when they purchased land in Manson, WA in 2005. The Johnson family have been vacationing in the Chelan Valley since the 1950s and love it here. Eric Johnson, David's father, retired from Alaska Airlines in 2006 and along with his wife Dayrl, joined the Wild Rose team. Eric managed the 15-acre vineyard located on Wapato Lake Road until 2017. The first harvest took place in 2009 with the entire family helping out. David, Eric and Karl focused on growing the best grapes to make the wines they and their family love best - deep, rich, complex reds and floral, subtle whites. They spent the following 12 years perfecting their wine making, selling excess grapes and some of their liquid to other Washington wineries.
David's dad, Eric Johnson
Bill Scott and wife Mikael Ann (David’s sister) moved from Philadelphia and joined the team in 2008. Bill and his family decided to jump head first into the business and threw in with David in 2017. Three months later, they'd moved 170 miles across the mountains to allow Bill to work full time on the vineyard, winery and help launch the tasting room. Bill previously owned a bar on University of Penn's campus, The Blarney Stone, which is still a popular hangout for the students. He's also been a contractor, managed Starbuck stores, and has most recently been a stay at home dad for three years, raising their daughter, Madison. Mikael works at Amazon, driving back and forth over Highway 2, helping support this business as it gets off the ground.
David and Devoney live in Snohomish and split their time equally between there and Manson. David is a tax consultant working for Fortune 500 companies and Devoney is a health care auditor working for Blue Cross. They have a 21-year-old daughter.
Wild Rose Vineyards makes 1,200 cases of wine a year, four reds and four whites. All are “estate” wines with AVA distinction. David’s favorite is the 2013 Cab Franc but he loves all of them.
On June 30, 2018, David's dream finally became reality with the opening of their tasting room in the Manson Village Center. The Johnson family is very excited to share the wine they've enjoyed as a family with you, their friends and neighbors. Stop by, say hello and enjoy their great wines.
By Norm Manly