Log In / Join Now

Washington Wineries Seek New Appellation


Jacob Gaffney
Posted: April 24, 2000

Several Washington wineries and vineyards are asking the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to designate a new appellation in the eastern portion of the state. The proposed American Viticultural Area is called Red Mountain.

Red Mountain is also the name of an actual mountain in eastern Washington, where, in the springtime, the cheatgrass growing on the slopes turns reddish. The appellation would cover 3,500 acres on the southwest face of Red Mountain, of which 650 acres are presently being used for grapegrowing.

"Just about all of the important Washington wineries use Red Mountain grapes already," said Lorne Jacobson, sales and marketing director for Hedges Cellars, which is spearheading the movement for the proposed AVA. "We are codifying an exceptional grape area."

Five other wineries have joined Hedges in petitioning the ATF: Blackwood Canyon, Kiona, Sand Hill, Seth Ryan and Terra Blanca. They expect the designation to be approved sometime in June.

The proposed Red Mountain appellation is in an arid desert region, west of the Yakima and Columbia rivers, that receives an average of five inches of rain per year. The area is characterized by daytime temperatures of 90 degrees F, which help the grapes to ripen early in the year. At night, the temperature can drop below 50 degrees F.

# # #

Check out recent ratings of Hedges wines.

Would you like to comment? Want to join or start a discussion?

Become a WineSpectator.com member and you can!
To protect the quality of our conversations, only members may submit comments. Member benefits include access to more than 315,000 reviews in our Wine Ratings Search; a first look at ratings in our Insider, Advance and Tasting Highlights; Value Wines; the Personal Wine List/My Cellar tool, hundreds of wine-friendly recipes and more.

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.