For four generations, the Monson family has been innovating and building a diversified agriculture business in Eastern Washington. What started with our grandfather raising cattle in the early 1900s has grown into a fully operational ranch featuring estate wine grapes, apple and cherry orchards, as well as winemaking and now craft spirits from our Monson Ranch Distillery.
M.L. Monson, who we affectionately called Monsy, hopped a train leaving North Dakota towards Washington State in the late 1930’s. Chasing opportunity with nothing more than a love for the land and a dream of building a family farming business, he climbed his way up in the Washington Agriculture community. Monsy built a thriving cattle operation.
By the early 1970s, Monsy’s son Arvid and his wife Suzanne were continuing the family business and opened their own cattle fed yard.
The Monson’s first apple orchard was planted in 1979, spearheaded by Arvid Monson’s children, Bill, Valerie and Molly. The apple and following cherry orchards were the Monson family’s first step outside of the cattle business before planting the vineyards.
In spring of 1998, Bill Monson channeled the family’s fearless entrepreneurial spirit into another new venture on a special piece of land, we now know as Goose Gap. Together, Arvid and Bill planted 2,000 acres of estate vineyards, starting what is well-known today as Goose Ridge Estate Vineyards & Winery.
Arvid Monson decided to plant grapes on the sun-drenched hill adjacent to Red Mountain, he did so under the guidance of Dr. Walter Clore, considered by many to be the “father” of the Washington wine industry. Dr. Clore was impressed by our site’s gentle, south-facing slope and the growing area’s warm temperatures. We’ve always known our property was special and in 2021 our suspicions were confirmed when the TTB recognized its geology, soils and slope direction as clearly unique to this area, naming Goose Gap Washington’s 19th American Viticultural Area (AVA).