About Yakima Valley
Washington's first appellation, Yakima Valley has over one third of the state's vineyards. The rolling foothills of the Cascades give the vines a good sun angle, so grapes are well-ripened come harvest time. Merlot dominates the plantings here, creating elegant wines with complex fruit, herbs & structure. Syrah continues to grow in popularity, creating blanced wines with spicy black fruit.A few smaller, but notable appellations that lie within or just outside of Yakima Valley include:
Rattlesnake Hills, which gained AVA status in 2006, lies in the north with 17 wineries.
Horse Heaven Hills, another recent sub-appellation hugs the south end of Yakima and is known for its outstanding vineyard sites that create incredible and collectible red wines.
Red Mountain, known for its intense and delicious reds, is located on the eastern side of Yakima Valley.
Washington State is exploding onto the world’s wine scene. The second largest wine-producing region in the United States, the number of wineries has more than doubled in the past decade to more than 900 today. The great majority of the state’s 50,000+ acres of vineyards are grown on the east side of the Cascade mountains, where they enjoy 300+ days of sunshine a year, well-draining soils and a diurnal shift ideal for wine grapes.
Washington is not defined by a single grape variety, with nearly 70 varieties to explore. Out of these, the top five are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Syrah. Winemakers and grape growers are driven by a pioneering spirit, and aren’t afraid to experiment with new techniques in an ever-growing quest to make world-class wine. With a state-of-the-art research program, near-perfect growing conditions and the possibility for exponential growth – Washington State is proving itself to be a force to be reckoned with.