The Yakima Valley AVA was the first American Viticultural Area established within Washington State, designated in 1983. Part of the larger Columbia Valley AVA, Yakima Valley cultivates 17,000 acres of wine grapes with 80 local wineries. Acclaimed brands include: Quilceda Creek, DeLille Cellars, Andrew Will, Col Solare, Cote Bonneville, Betz Family and Owen Roe.
Nearly 40% of Washington state yearly wine production is made from Yakima Valley grapes. In addition to grapes, the Yakima Valley is also home to several fruit orchards growing apples, cherries, nectarines, peaches, pears and plums. Around the town of Zillah, there is the Zillah Fruit Loop driving tour through the area’s orchards and vineyards. The area is also home to nearly 80% of the US hop production.
The Red Mountain AVA was created in 2001, the Rattlesnake Hills AVA was created in 2006 and the Snipes Mountain AVA created in 2009. To the west, the Cascade Range forms a natural border and creates a rain shadow over the area which requires the use of irrigation in viticulture.
You can visit wineries in Prosser and the Tri-Cities too.