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Walla Walla's L'Ecole Winery grows up with a new label

One of Washington's oldest and most recognizable wine brands, L’Ecole, is growing up a bit with a new, sleeker label.

L'Ecole is French for "the school" and that's because the winery operates out of a nearly 100-year-old school house. The old label was a child's colorful drawing of the facility. The new label sports a sepia-toned oil painting of the historical school house soon after it was constructed in 1912.

Winery owner Marty Clubb says L'Ecole's new label reflects the quality in the bottle, and that Washington wines have grown up and become world players.

Clubb says he realized his wine quality had reached a new level a few years ago at a Wine Spectator event in New York. There, some top Bordeaux French wine makers tried his wines.

"They kind of think that they are basically the best. So some of these French winemakers would come around to the table and try our wine. You would never hear a verbal compliment out of the French, but they would look at you with this raised eyebrow of respect and then wonder off and bring their friends back to the table to taste our wines," says Clubb.

He says the new, grown-up labels will have appeal beyond the Northwest to the entire United States and 20 other countries where L'Ecole wines are now sold.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.