Yakima Valley remains the cradle of Washington wine

By on March 5, 2017
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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)

The Yakima Valley is the heart of the Washington wine industry. It is dripping with history, leading us to dub it the cradle of the industry.

It is home to some of the oldest vines – dating back a century – along with Cabernet Sauvignon blocks stretching into the ’50s and ’60s. Here is where some of Washington’s first wineries started, and where the famous Walter Clore conducted research to prove Washington’s climate could succeed with world-class European wine grapes.

When America began to identify grape growing regions – known as appellations in Europe and American Viticultural Areas in the United States – the Yakima Valley was rightly the first in Washington, being approved by the federal government in 1983. Today, several AVAs exist within the Yakima Valley, including Red Mountain, Snipes Mountain and the Rattlesnake Hills.

Today, the Yakima Valley is home to more than 13,000 acres of vineyards, making it the most planted area in the state.

Here are a dozen delicious wines we have tasted recently 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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