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Washington is not about only clouds and rain only. If you love the bold, fruit-forward red wines, you will surely like Columbia Valley AVA a lot. Washington is the place where the sun doesn’t shine. And this couldn’t be any further from the truth.

300 days of sunshine is received by the eastern side of the state in a year. And if you compare Washington with Napa Valley, you will find that the Napa Valley receives about 260 days/year.

Washington is the place where you can enjoy a long, consistent growing season that allows it to produce some of the best red wine varieties around. These wine lists consist of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and even limited plantings of Petit Verdot, Mourvèdre, and Petite Sirah!

Here is the complete guide about Columbia Valley AVA to make you clear about what wines are the best and what you should know about Washington wine.

The Columbia Valley Facts

  • The Columbia Valley AVA is located on the eastern side of Washington State and a small part of Oregon. It was established in 1984.
  • The Columbia Valley AVA consists of 50,316 acres of vineyards. It represents 99% of Washington wine country. And these areas are bigger than Napa Valley. It consists of 45000 acres. 
  • Walla Walla Valley, Horse Heaven Hills, Red Mountain, and Yakima Valley are some of the best AVAs of the Columbia Valley. 
  • People of Columbia Valley enjoy an average of 6 to 8 inches of rainfall. If you compare this place with the other one, you will find a situation similar to Gobi Desert in Mongolia that generally gets 7.6 inches.
  • The region’s water for the agriculture work comes from the Columbia River as well as snowmelt and also from the Cascade Mountains. If you don’t know, Washington is the world’s largest producer.
  • The wines of Columbia Valley consist of increased aromatics because of predominantly loess.

Different Types of Wines from Columbia Valley

  • Red Wine:These wines are available in cherries, currants, cassis, and ground, dried herbs. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Grenache, Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc, as well as Bordeaux- and Rhône-style Blends are some of the best red wines from the region.
  • White Wine:These wines can be available in lemon, lime, green/golden delicious apples, white peaches, nectarines with moderate acidity. In Washington’s dry climate, white wine varieties are the most popular ones. This climate includes Riesling, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and of course, white Bordeaux-style blends.
  • Rosé Wine:This type of wine is dry, crisp, and refreshing. It is available in cranberry, strawberry, melon, and herbal notes. This is a fresh and refreshing drink.

Syrah is one of the best wines that shows impressive potential in the Columbia Valley. Still, this thing depends from one region to another. You can enjoy flowers, cocoa, and blackberry jam here and these things are made from wine. The grapes for the wine comes from the Western Yakima Valley, A Walla Walla Valley Syrah. These places also offer notes of roasted meats, olives, and iodine along with more lavish texture.

Different Regions for Wine in Columbia Valley

Columbia Valley is a large area that’s why they are split up into smaller AVAs. This is a nice thing because these different areas have different specialty and different characteristics. Here are some of the most important AVAs to know:

Yakima Valley

This place is completely different in terms of climate from west to east. This place is famous for the production of all types of red and white wine varieties. Yakima Valley is the Pacific Northwest's oldest AVA. Red Mountain, Snipes Mountain, and Rattlesnake Hills are the other three different sub-AVAs in Yakima Valley's own right.

  • Famous For:This place is famous for a number of things such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Riesling, Grenache, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Sangiovese, Viognier, Petit Verdot, Bordeaux-style Blends, GSM Blends, and Mourvèdre.

Red Mountain

Small in Size, but Mighty in Look: If you want to enjoy dark, tannic, red wine, Red Mountain is the place that you should visit. This is the hottest sub-AVA. 

  • Famous Things:Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot with high tannins and Chenin Blanc and some amount of Chardonnay.

Snipes Mountain

This is the place for some of Washington's oldest grapevines. You will find the unique soil here. First and melon-sized gravel deposits left behind by the ancient flow of the Columbia River.

  • Famous For:The latest releases of Grenache with AVA-designated are stupefyingly good.
  • Cool Fact:Snipes Mountain has been producing grapes since 1917and it consists of various Muscat of Alexandria vines.

Rattlesnake Hills

This region shares the even number of wines in red and white varieties. This region's superior level of elevation protects against spring, fall frosts and even hard winter freezes.

  • Famous Fore:Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Riesling, and some Chardonnay are some of the most famous things about this region.
  • Cool Fact:This region is centered on the most worshiped town of Zillah. This region consists of a place for worship called the Church of God-Zillah.
  • Cooler Fact:The most interesting thing about this church, it'solder than the very concept of Godzilla.

Walla Walla Valley

This place was first famous for wheat, asparagus, and sweet onions because it's one of the leading agricultural hubs. And as time passes, it becomes wine's next big producer. We can't define this place by single terroir, soils, precipitation levels, and elevations because they vary from the west to the east to the south.

  • Famous For: This region has too many things to explore that includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sangiovese, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Bordeaux-style Blends.
  • Cool Fact:Washington wine got the start from this place in the 1850s. And it was happened with Cinsault Plantings by Italian immigrants.

The Rocks of Milton-Freewater

This region is located in Oregon. This became the official AVA in 2015. Here you can get some amazing wine. But, you have to spend more money compared to other regions. The wines are expensive here.

  • Famous For:Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Malbec, Viognier are some of the famous things of this origin.


The above-described information will help you to purchase Columbia Valley Wine easily. There are plenty of flavors available in this wine so you might get confuse. But, with the help of the above discussion, you can easily understand the different regions and their famous wines. If you are a wine lover, you will surely love to enjoy this post as it provides complete information about Columbia Valley Wine. As the demand increases day by day, you can find many wine suppliers with Columbia Valley Wine at their place.

October 12, 2019 by Last WineDown