The ‘Twin Peaks’ star has his own Walla Walla winery, Pursued by Bear.
KYLE MACLACHLAN HAS proved that no matter how big a star you become, there’s something special about coming home again.
MacLachlan, who lives in New York and Los Angeles and has enjoyed a successful Hollywood career, uses Washington’s wine industry to keep his connection to his home state.
Growing up in Yakima, MacLachlan and his father loved to get out to wine country regularly. One of their first visits was the now-shuttered Wineglass Cellars in the Yakima Valley. Their wine travels took them farther, until they reached Walla Walla, where they met Eric Dunham, who hit it off with the younger MacLachlan. The two became friends, getting together whenever Dunham visited New York on travels for Dunham Cellars.
Three to try
Pursued by Bear is sold directly through the winery website and is available in some wine shops.
Pursued by Bear 2013 reserve cabernet sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $85: Quality starts in the vineyard, and the sources for this (DuBrul and Klipsun) speak clearly, starting with aromas of black licorice, boysenberry, maple syrup and cocoa. It’s all backed by smooth tannins and a lingering red fruit finish.
Pursued by Bear 2013 Baby Bear syrah, Columbia Valley, $60: A beautifully balanced syrah opens with aromas of black truffle and dusty blackberries, followed by flavors of plum, pie cherries, a sprinkle of cocoa and a hint of red currants.
Pursued by Bear 2017 Blushing Bear rosé, Columbia Valley, $28: A whiff and a sip will possibly transport you to the south of France, enjoying a salade Niçoise in a seaside cafe while sipping pink Bandol. This grenache-based rosé is stunning from the start, with fresh cherries and watermelon through a finish of fresh-picked strawberries at the height of ripeness.
MacLachlan, meanwhile, graduated from the University of Washington, then headed to Hollywood to pursue acting, finding fame in movies such as “Dune” and “The Doors” and TV shows such as “Twin Peaks,” “Sex and the City” and “Portlandia.”
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He never forgot his roots, and when he got married in 2002, he wanted to serve Dunham Cellars syrah, which had become a favorite.
A few years later, he was chatting with Dunham, who brought up the idea of starting a winery. MacLachlan was keen on the idea, if Dunham would partner with him. They began with cabernet sauvignon from the 2005 vintage, using the same Yakima Valley vineyards that Dunham used.
MacLachlan called the brand Pursued by Bear, a whimsical nod to his acting career and a line in Act III of Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale,” in which an actor is directed to exit the stage … while being pursued by a bear.
Dunham passed away in 2014, but Daniel Wampfler, who recently left Dunham Cellars to take over the winemaking at Abeja, continues to work with MacLachlan on the Pursued by Bear wines. This is no a vanity project for MacLachlan, who has grown his brand to nearly 1,000 cases. You can find him walking the vineyards in the weeks leading up to harvest, and his hands are purple during crush. He loves the fact that wine has brought him home, and he is thoroughly vested as a Washington vintner.