History runs deep in soils of Yakima Valley wine country

By on August 28, 2016
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Red Willow Vineyard is in the western Yakima Valley in Washington state.

A steep slope covered in vineyards leads up to the iconic stone chapel atop Red Willow Vineyard in Washington’s western Yakima Valley. (Photo by Great Northwest Wine)

Washington’s Yakima Valley not only is the Pacific Northwest’s oldest wine region, but it’s also among its most diverse.

Grape growing and winemaking has been going on here since before Prohibition, and Washington’s oldest vines still used in wine production are here in the valley, planted in 1917.

The Yakima Valley was the Northwest’s first approved American Viticultural Area when the federal government gave it the nod in 1983. And within the broader Yakima Valley are three additional AVAs: Red Mountain, Rattlesnake Hills and Snipes Mountain.

And the region also has some of the state’s best vineyards, including: Red Willow, Boushey, DuBrul, Elephant Mountain, Ciel du Cheval and Kiona. These make up a diverse region that goes from reasonably cooler areas around the town of Prosser to the state’s warmest area on Red Mountain.

Here are a dozen delicious wines that use grapes from the Yakima Valley. Ask for them at your favorite wine merchant or contact the wineries directly.

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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