Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
04.03.2012  
 

Vineyard Plantings Increase on Red Mountain

Washington wine industry takes advantage of plantable acreage; water district expansion holds promise for future

 
by Paul Franson
 
 
red mountain
 
Red Mountain appears more like a large hill, with elevations from 500 feet to 1,400 feet.
Benton City, Wash.—While few winegrowers have been planting in California during the past five years, it’s a different story in Washington’s Red Mountain appellation. The American Viticultural Area, arguably Washington’s best known, has numerous vineyards being planted and planned.

At present, about 1,500 acres are planted in the 4,040-acre AVA near Benton City, with about 100 acres being planted this year and around 100 acres next year, according to Jim Holmes from Ciel Du Cheval Vineyard.

The geography
Most people wouldn’t call the area a mountain, more like a large hill with elevations from 500 feet to 1,400 feet. The gently sloping, southwestern-facing site also includes flat land near the Yakima River. The sides of the small peak on the north are too steep for most vineyards.

The site is the warmest in the area and receives the longest daily sunlight in the Yakima Valley—about 2 hours more than Napa, Calif. It also has very cool nights, which help maintain acidity in the grapes grown there. Almost all the vines planted are red grapes, and the fruit is consistently among the most expensive in the state.

The red color in the name comes from the dark red springtime hue of the drooping brome or “cheatgrass” in the area.

The AVA contains only a few wineries. The Ste. Michelle-Antinori joint venture Col Solare dominates the landscape with its Tuscan-inspired bell tower. Hedges Family Vineyards also has a large winery there, as do a number of smaller operations. Most of the AVA’s fruit goes to premium wineries around the state.

As the area gets only about 5 inches of water per year, irrigation is vital, and water rights are valuable. Water is supplied by wells and the Yakima River, but is carefully controlled. When more water becomes available from the Kennewick Irrigation District, as is expected in a few years, another 500 acres in the appellation will be available to plant.

Recent plantings
When all planned and anticipated planting is complete, 2,200-2,500 acres should be under vine, close to the limit of plantable acreage. Recent plantings include:

A very large project is under way through the grower partnership of Dick Shaw and Paul Killnick. They will have planted around 400 acres after they finish next year.

Kiona Vineyards has been planting 20 acres per year.

Terra Blanca recently added 5 acres and will have 96 by the end of the year.

Charlie Hoppes of Fidelitas is buying 10 acres on Red Mountain adjacent to his present 5 acres, which includes a contemporary visitors’ center.

Infrastructure
Fidelitas has its production facility in Richland that also makes wine for other wineries. The facility offers custom products, barrel storage space and room for clients to make their wines. Hoppes shares space with a bottling and filtering company that also offers mobile services.

In addition, Benton County plans significant infrastructure development to support the area, including a new freeway interchange and a village of amenities aimed at tourists. A distillery and the large Pacific Rim Winery are nearby.

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
February 2015 $643 million
7%
$7,954 million
5%
February 2014 $601 million $7,560 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
February 2015 $132 million
4%
$1,823 million
14%
February 2014 $126 million $1,598 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
February 2015 275
26%
238
16%
February 2014 219 206
     
 
MORE » Released on 03.13.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • March 31
     
    Wine Market Council Consumer Research Conference
     
  • April 17
     
    Newsom Grape Day
     
  • April 17-19
     
    Earth Day Food & Wine Festival
     
  • April 21
     
    Ahead of the Curve
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Is Organic Grape Growing Possible in the East? »
 
Some Long Island, NY, vineyard farmers are already using nearly organic methods. They have worked...
Reader: envcat
 
Article: Loosening AVA Regulations »
 
When I see 'Napa Valley'on a wine label, it doesn't only suggest the flavors I...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Loosening AVA Regulations »
 
I should be able to live in MA, buy Napa, CA grapes, truck them across...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: The Stark Disparity in Critical Tastes »
 
The disparity is all well and good for consumers. More opinions and a kind of...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Commercial Teaching Winery for the Midwest »
 
Please visit www.lakemichigancollege.edu/wine for more information about the program.
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Siop Analyst
 Benicia, CA
General Administration and
 West Region Manager
 Sebastopol, CA
Sales and Marketing
 State Wine Manager Ct ...
 Boston, MA
Sales and Marketing
 Tasting Room Associate
 Woodinville, WA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Hospitality Specialist
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 2015 Harvest Intern
 Santa Rosa, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Cellar Master
 Dundee, OR
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Laboratory/Quality Con...
 Napa, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Tasting Room Associate
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Part-Time Bookkeeper
 Napa, CA
Finance
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.