Yakima Valley: A taste of Washington’s oldest wine region

By on September 13, 2015
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Washington Chardonnay was first planted on Harrison Hill near Sunnyside, Washington.

Harrison Hill, a vineyard in the Snipes Mountain AVA near the Yakima Valley town of Sunnyside, was first planted with wine grapes in 1914. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

The Yakima Valley, a long, wide swath of land that stretches from the shadow of Mount Adams in the west to Red Mountain in the east, is the cradle of the Washington wine industry.

It was here where William Bridgman began planting wine grapes in 1914. It was here where Walter Clore spent his career with Washington State University studying and promoting the Washington wine grape industry. In 1983, the Yakima Valley became the Pacific Northwest’s first American Viticultural Area.

And today, Washington’s largest concentration of wine grapes is in the Yakima Valley. Many of the state’s best vineyards are in the Yakima Valley, a region also known for growing many crops, including Concord grapes, pears, peaches, apricots, apples, hops and corn.

And in communities such as Prosser, Benton City, Sunnyside and Zillah, dozens of wineries are sprinkled up and down the Yakima Valley.

Here are a dozen delicious wines we’ve tasted recently that use Yakima Valley grapes.

About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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