Christophe Baron's Walla Walla adventure

Christophe Baron

As Americans celebrate independence, we look at a particularly independent, if controversial, vigneron who is putting Washington State wine on the map.

Were it not for one road trip through Oregon in the 1990s, The Rocks District in Walla Walla – today one of America’s most coveted regions for Rhône grapes – might have stayed in the winegrowing shadows.

That pivotal trip was taken by Christophe Baron, the youngest in a current line of vignerons from the centuries-old Champagne house of Baron Albert. Baron had previously cut his teeth working in his family’s vineyards, studying in Burgundy and working harvests...