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Washington State wine industry adds fifth appellation
Red Mountain viticulture area receives government approval

Red Mountain
American Viticultural Area
SEATTLE, WA, April 5, 2001 — The Washington State wine industry received government approval this week to add Red Mountain, as the state’s fifth American Viticultural Area (AVA) acknowledging the regions specific soil, warm climate, and topography or terroir. Encompassing approximately 3,400 acres, Red Mountain is part of the Yakima Valley and sits on a southwest-facing slope east of the Yakima River.

The official certification from the United States Treasury Department of Bureau, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) recognizes Red Mountain as the smallest, most focused viticulture region in the Northwest. Currently, only 700 acres of wine grapes are planted in this area, but potential exists to expand to 1,700 acres.

“Red Mountain is one of the state’s premier red wine growing regions,” said Steve Burns, executive director of the Washington Wine Commission. “Government approval allows the industry to distinguish the quality fruit produced on Red Mountain and differentiate itself among global competitors.”

After more than two years of research to prove Red Mountain’s unique characteristics, Washington winemakers using fruit from Red Mountain vineyards can now label wines specific to this AVA.

“Acknowledging Red Mountain as an official AVA, allows wine-knowledgeable consumers to recognize these wines in retail and restaurant venues,” said Lorne Jacobson, who spearheaded the Red Mountain approval process and serves as the sales and marketing director for Hedges Cellars. “Wines made from Red Mountain grapes are known for their great power, strength, and richness as well as demonstrate exceptional balance and age-worthiness.”

Other Washington State appellations and dates of establishment include:

  • Yakima Valley — 1983
  • Walla Walla Valley — 1984
  • Columbia Valley — 1984
  • Puget Sound — 1995
Red Mountain is home to some of the state’s top vineyards — Artz, Bel’ Villa, Ciel du Cheval, Grand Ciel, Hedges Estate, Kiona, Klipsun, Red Mountain Vineyards, Seth Ryan, Tapteil, and Terra Blanca. Wine grape varietals include mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc as well as smaller amounts of Syrah, Sangiovese, and Lemberger.

Washington wineries currently using Red Mountain wine grapes include — Arc-en-Ciel, Andrake, Andrew Will Cellars, Apex Cellars, Barnard Griffin, Betz Family Winery, Bookwalter, Cadence, Camaraderie Cellars, Canoe Ridge, DeLille Cellars, Gibbons Lane, Foris Vineyards, Hedges, Hightower Cellars, JM Cellars, Januik, Kiona, Kestrel Vintners, L’Ecole No 41, Matthew Cellars, McCrea Cellars, Owen-Sullivan, Mount Baker Vineyards, Quilceda Creek, Randall Harris, Ryan Cray, Sandhill, Seth Ryan, Seven Hills, Soos Creek, Terra Blanca, Three Rivers, Waterbrook, Wilridge, Woodward Canyon, and Yakima River Winery,

The Washington Wine Commission is a nonprofit organization based in Seattle, Wash., working to build awareness for Washington state wines among wine and non-wine media, trade, and consumers. For more information about Washington wines, touring, and tasting opportunities call (206) 667-9463 or visit www.washingtonwine.org.

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