Our Story

For more than twenty centuries, torrential floodwaters from melting ice-age glaciers sculpted eastern Washington’s Columbia Valley leaving in their wake deep deposits of sandy, rocky, alluvial soils. Today, framing the Columbia River, broad plains of ancient sediment constitute one of the world’s finest wine grape growing regions.

Gravel Bar was established in 1985 with a mission, to deliver quality Washington wines at an affordable price that anyone can enjoy. Situated in the heart of the Columbia Valley, Gravel Bar has access to the great Columbia Valley American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). Because of this Gravel Bar has been able to fulfill its mission of providing quality Washington wines at an affordable price.

the gravel bar alluvial red, cabernet sauvignon, and chardonnay stand staggered behind a chessboard
headshot of Gravel Bar winemaker joshua maloney

The Winemaker

Joshua studied chemistry at Cornell University, and during his final semester he took “Introduction to Wines.” During the lecture on Burgundy, the class tasted several wines, including a 1959 Vosne-Romanée. That’s when he had an epiphany; that wine moved him emotionally; similar to great music, art, or literature.

“Right around the end of my first year in winemaking, I started thinking more seriously about my career. I knew that evenually I wanted to have my own winery, but at the time I didn’t know enough about winemaking to make a wine I could truly be proud of. I knew that the best place for me to gain the right winemaking experience was on the west coast.”

This pivot to the west coast eventually landed Joshua in Washington, where he fell in love with the nuances of each appellation and has pursued excellence with fruit from nearly every AVA in Washington. During his career he has created blends as small as 71 cases, to as large as 300,000 cases and earned more than 100 scores of 90 or higher from the major wine publications.