Horse Heaven Hills
Mach One is an incredibly scenic hillside vineyard in the southeastern corner of the Horse Heaven Hills AVA. Moderated by the Columbia River, this warm, 40-acre vineyard sits just 50 feet above its banks at a point where the width of this mighty waterway is over a mile. Mach One was first planted to Cabernet Sauvignon in 2009, and we admired its powerful yet elegant fruit so much that we planted additional acreage in 2015-2017 and 2020-2021.
An Extra Month on the Vine
Mach One’s low elevation and proximity to the Columbia River make it one of the warmest sites in Washington State, and the vineyard typically enjoys over 300 days of sunlight. Mach One sits in an amphitheater of rock, and radiant heat from basalt-lined cliffs to the north force early bud break, approximately two weeks before most Horse Heaven Hills vineyards. But strong winds off the river cool the vineyard down at night, and the diurnal temperature shift is typically about 40 degrees. The result is a long growing season, nearly 30 days longer than many sites, allowing ample time for Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to develop full physiological ripeness and flavor.
“The unique geological formation of Mach One coupled with its shallow soils and strong winds make this a vineyard where winegrowing is extreme. The vines are stressed, but the thick-skinned grapes they produce are second to none.”
— Paul Golitzin, President & Director of Winemaking
The soils at Mach One are known as loess, windblown particles of sandy, silt loam that sit atop underlying basalt (from lava) and river rock. Densely planted at 1815 vines per acre, Mach One’s vine roots reach deep down through these shallow, infertile soils to reach the layers of rock, which may account for the hint of minerality in its wines. We prize these loess soils precisely for their infertility because it gives us more control over vine and fruit development. Using pristine, pH neutral water from the Columbia River, we drip irrigate our vines, giving them water only in the amount and when they need it.