This year we celebrates the 100th birthday of our iconic Fenchtown schoolhouse illustrated on our label with the release of a new Columbia Valley red wine.
Frenchtown, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, is the newest addition to L’Ecole’s lineup of acclaimed wines. “Established acreage contracts with some of Washington’s oldest, most proven and highly managed vineyards, provide us with the consistent, premium quality synonymous with L’Ecole,” says Clubb. “As with all of our red wines, handpicked grapes are fermented in small lots for optimal blending to create this beautifully balanced and focused Frenchtown wine.”
About the Frenchtown Schoolhouse
Frenchtown, Walla Walla Valley’s first settlement, was founded by French Canadians in the early 1800s. By the 1860s a thriving viticulture and winemaking community was established. This Frenchtown wine salutes these early pioneers.
The historic two-room Frenchtown Schoolhouse was built in 1915 and served the children in surrounding communities until the building closed in 1974. The winery founders, Jean and Baker Ferguson, purchased the building in 1977, equipped it for winemaking, and opened the doors to L’Ecole (French for “the school”) in 1983, making it one of Walla Walla’s earliest family wineries. Marty Clubb and his wife Megan, the Ferguson’s daughter, traded in their corporate jobs in the Bay Area to join Jean and Baker as winery owners in 1989. They have never looked back.
Today, L’Ecole is one of the most visited tasting rooms in the Walla Walla Valley, in part because of the care the Clubbs take in preserving the character and originality of the old schoolhouse. Their stewardship is evident in the original chalkboards and other artifacts including light fixtures, windows, fir floors, a children’s water fountain, and a hand-painted Christmas mural in an area of the cellar that once served as a school stage.
In honor of the 100th birthday of our beloved Frenchtown Schoolhouse, we have planned a full slate of events throughout the year. Learn about all of our Frenchtown Schoolhouse 100th Birthday Events.
We hope to hear you ringing the Schoolhouse bell on a visit soon! Plan your visit.