Two prominent Washington State winemakers have died in recent days. The Yakima Herald reports that Mike Wallace owner of Hinzerling Winery and one of Prosser’s original winemakers, died over the weekend after complications from pneumonia. And Scott Pontin, 53, died Monday, reportedly from a heart attack. He was the owner and winemaker for Pontin del Roza Winery in Prosser, the paper said.

Malbec grapes, known for their dark, inky color and robust tannins, need lots of sun and heat to ripen. The variety is one of the six grapes allowed in the blend of Bordeaux wine. Photo credit: Melissa Hansen

Malbec grapes

The Herald reports:

Wallace grew up in Seattle and moved to Prosser in 1972 to plant a vineyard with his father, Jerry. Together, they launched Hinzerling Winery in 1976. Wallace was involved in helping establish the Yakima Valley American Viticultural Area — the first AVA in Washington when it was approved by the federal government in 1983.


Pontin, who grew up in Prosser and no doubt was influenced by Clore. He was involved in the Clore Center from its origins more than a decade ago.