The Red Mountain wine region in Washington state produces some world-acclaimed wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Malbec. Located on the eastern edge of the Yakima Valley, the Red Mountain wine region has a climate that is perfect for grape growing, as well as wineries and vineyards that are committed to producing quality wines. It is encompassed by the Yakima Valley AVA, which is part of the Columbia Valley AVA. Below is information regarding this Washington American Viticultural Area (AVA), including history, climate, vineyards, wineries, and recommended wines.
History. Grape growing was pioneered in the Red Mountain AVA back in the 1970s. By the 1980s, wines from this region had begun to receive recognition for their unique flavors. This Washington AVA was established in 2001, and contains more than 700 vineyard acres and 15 wineries. Other Washington wineries also obtain their grapes from the Red Mountain AVA.
Climate and Soil. The Red Mountain AVA has a desert climate, with about five inches of rainfall each year. During growing season, its nighttime temperatures of 50 degrees and daytime temperatures of 90 degrees create the optimal climate for growing wine grapes. Its elevations vary from 500 to 1500 feet, and its southwest facing slopes have warmer temperatures and more sunlight (averaging more than 17 hours per day) than any other region of the Columbia Valley AVA. The soil is gravelly (providing good drainage), with a high pH.
Wines. The Red Mountain AVA produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Sangiovese and other wines. Intense, powerful red wines are the signature of this Washington AVA.
Vineyards and Wineries. For just a few of the amazing Washington vineyards and wineries in the Red Mountain AVA, see below.
Terre Blanca Winery and Estate Vineyard. This 300 acre estate is located in the southwest corner of the Red Mountain AVA. This winery produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and many other wines. They also have vineyards in the Yakima Valley AVA which produce Malbec, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and others. For an outstanding example of Washington wines, try their 2004 Winemaker’s Barrel Select Syrah. This Red Mountain wine has aromas of peaches and flavors that include black licorice and cherry. Also try their 2005 Onyx, a vintage blend with flavors of blackberry and chocolate. For more information on this Washington winery, click here.
Buckmaster Cellars. This small winery (660 cases per year) in the Red Mountain AVA produces wines from Washington vineyards, including Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel. Be sure to sample their excellent 2002 Pinot Gris, with aromas of lemon and apple, and flavors that include butter and smoke. Also try their 2001 Merlot, a luscious red wine with aromas of black cherry followed by flavors of plum and spice. For more information on this Washington winery, click here.
Blackwood Canyon Vintners. Established in 1982, this is one of the first wineries to operate in the Red Mountain AVA. Unlike many wineries, these Washington vintners age their wine for ten, twenty and even thirty years before releasing it. As a result, the wines from this Red Mountain AVA have made such prestigious lists as the top 100 and top 1000 wines in the world by various critics. To experience one of their fine wines, try the 2005 Chardonnay, an unoaked, rich white wine that is perfect for any Chardonnay lover. For more information on this Washington winery, click here.