Winemaker, John Little, with help from his wife, Jan, is at the reins in all phases of the grape-growing and wine-making process at Rio Vista Wines.
John grew up on a farm in Port Angeles, WA, under the shadow of Hurricane Ridge. He spent his time milking cows (when he wasn’t sneaking off to do a little fishing in the creeks near the farm.) He was, however, exposed to wine at a young age and enjoyed a sip or two of his grandpa’s homemade fruit wine on holidays.
John graduated from Central Washington University and taught school in Seattle for 9 years. But the big city was not where his heart lay. He realized that farming was the profession that held the most interest for him so he and Jan and their 4 kids moved to Eastern Washington where they purchased an apple orchard which he farmed for 10 years. During this time he also began experimenting with wine making.
After the orchard, John worked as head carpenter at Wenatchee Valley College and retired in 2004. Jan retired from teaching at the same time. They then moved full time to Rio Vista and became serious winemakers.
John is a believer that good wine is made in the vineyard and the wine’s ultimate potential comes from the winemaker’s skills and practices in the field. He does it all, from pruning to wine making and making all the important decisions that go with it.
Rio Vista — once a horse ranch from Decanter Banter
24415 SR 97
Chelan, Wa. 98816
Check out Rio Vista Wine’s website here.