Wahluke Slope Disasters, Ice Age To The Present

Gretchen Neuman
VinoVerve Editor

(Editor’s Note: This is another in my on-going explorations of the AVAs in Washington State. Unfortunately, writing all of these posts at the same time has re-ignited my college years love of freaky titles. I apologize in advance.)

The Wahluke Slope is another small AVA located within the Columbia Valley. Established in 2005, it is known primarily for producing Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and is known as the warmest grape growing region in the State of Washington. Additionally, it is the only appellation that is a single geological landform. It is cradle by the Columbia River and protected by the presence of the Saddle Mountains to the north, but was formed when the Great Missoula Floods tore through ice dams at the end of the last ice age creating an alluvial fan of fine basaltic silt over a short period of time.

In terms of more modern disasters, the AVA is located across the Columbia from the Hanford Site, a decommissioned US DOE nuclear research facility. To the west is the Yakima Firing Range.

The appellation is home to more than 20 vineyards operated by wineries outside of the AVA. There are three wineries operating within the appellation as well.

Wahluke Slope AVA

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