Scaling the Peaks

1 of 4

Washington State’s winemaking ranks are well populated with ex-dentists, pharmacists, engineers, media producers and a physicist or two. The decision to veer away from a stable career to start a winery may have been the biggest gamble of their lives.

But for a small coterie of professional mountain climbers, making wine has been a safe refuge from the perils of their other work. Eric Murphy (Ott & Murphy), Rob Newsom (Boudreaux Cellars) and Chuck Reininger (Reininger Winery) have all reached the summit of their exhilarating, dangerous profession.

What can climbing mountains teach them in the seemingly mundane world of grape wrangling? Are the risks any less worrisome when it’s your bank account on the line, rather than your life? What’s the most terrifying challenge each has faced?

Meet the men who have traded their pitons for puncheons.

—Paul Gregutt
Photos by Patrick Bennett

1 of 4

See Other Slideshows

7 National Tequila Day Cocktails

Rethink the blended margarita with these Tequila libations.

Clos de Vougeot: Burgundy’s Community Vineyard

At last count, 86 different producers have a piece of the Clos, the ancient Burgundy vineyard first planted in 1098.

13 Great 2011 Pinot Noirs

California's 2011 Pinot Noirs are complex, focused and vibrant.

Top Beer Trends of 2014

Six sip-worthy trends to watch for this year.

Scaling the Peaks

1 of 4

Subscribe

You can unsubscribe at any time. View an example of our newsletter.

Shop

>

Related Web Articles