Our Story

Mike and Cindy Jacobsen worked in public education as school psychologists on the west side of Washington for 50-plus years combined. Upon retirement, with a passion for wine, they became partners in a wine shop/wine bar in Enumclaw, WA. They spent many happy weekends in the Prosser area, tasting wine and joining wine clubs. To their utter delight, they found property on the Yakima River with Semillon vines planted in 1982 and purchased the property in 2016.

The vines had originally been sourced to wineries such as L’Ecole and Kiona but had been neglected for many years. Thus began their frequent treks over the Cascades in the fifth wheel to work on the vineyard in order to bring it back to industry standards.

Joining Forces

When the gifted winemaker Ron Bunnell offered to make the Semillon for them, Above the Curve Vineyard was born and the first vintage was bottled in 2018. The year 2020 saw Mike and Cindy also able to sell some of their grapes to Barnard Griffin.

In 2020, Tim Schwanke and Patti Ruppert purchased the three lots next door with Merlot grapes that were planted in 1979. They moved from their lifelong home in Anchorage and immediately began work on their vineyard. The couples became fast friends and the Merlot joined the Above the Curve Vineyard family, with the first vintage released in 2021.

owners of Above the Curve
owners of Above the Curve
grape vine
walking in a vineyard

About the Vineyard

The Yakima Valley AVA was the first American Viticultural Area in Washington, established in 1983. Reliable information suggests that the Merlot vines of Above the Curve Vineyard were planted by a local farmer in 1979 and the Semillon in 1982. The original vineyard was about 14 acres in total.

At the time, there were other older vineyards in the Yakima valley, such as Upland on Snipes Mountain. Many Semillon vines in the Yakima Valley were removed to plant more popular varietals, but the Vineyard on the River remained, sourcing to such wineries as Le’Ecole and Kiona.

After many years of neglect, the Merlot and Semillon vines are looking healthy and producing abundant quality fruit.