Forming the Castle

December 2009
By Wine Press Staff

Castillo de Feliciana Vineyard & Winery is one of the newest wineries to open in the Walla Walla Valley this year.

Owned by Samuel and Deborah Castillo, Castillo de Feliciana is reminiscent of Southern Spain where both Sam and Deb share their ancestry.

Complete with a red roof, white stucco and Spanish façade, the winery’s beauty is framed by its elegant surroundings. Encompassed by estate vineyards and a view of the Blue Mountains to the east, the winery exudes another place and time. Visitors can enjoy the patio area, soaking up the sun in the spring and summer, or sitting around the fire pit in the fall and winter. Flamenco and tango music complete the ambiance.

The winery gets its name from the family name Castillo, which means “castle” in Spanish, and from Deb’s great aunt Feliciana.

As a child, Deb would visit Feliciana with family. When Deb was bored, her aunt would send her to get some gum out of her purse. Years later, the fond smell of Feliciana’s black purse came to Deb when tasting a particularly fine bottle of red wine. The purse has since become a sort of coat of arms on the wine’s label, a tribute to Deb’s love of her tía.

With a name like Castillo de Feliciana, it’s no wonder they are producing Spanish and Latin American-style wines. This spring, the Castillos planted Tempanillo and Albariño—both Spanish varietals—along with Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet to make what winemaker Ryan Raber calls their “Bordeaux-meets-Argentina” blend.

Raber recently joined the winery but was responsible for the previous vintages for Feliciana during his tenure at Tertulia Cellars, also in the Walla Walla Valley. He has over eight years of experience in the wine industry and brings to Castillo de Feliciana his love and passion for making wine, as well as his Paella pans.

“This is a great place to work,” said Raber. “The dreams Sam and Deb have for the winery are something everyone can get behind: making great wines in a beautiful setting, surrounded by family and friends. Above all, we have fun; this place is truly dreams made into reality.”


Castillo de Feliciana Vineyard & Winery

Address: 85728 Telephone Pole Rd., Milton-Freewater
11 a.m.–5 p.m., Fri.–Sun.; or by appointment.

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