After that, we had the unique privilege of having a private tour of Yakima Valley, Rattlesnake Hills and Horse Heaven Hills on our way to the
Red Mountain AVA. Jim Holmes, the owner of Ciel du Cheval Vineyards atop Red Mountain, shared the history of the land. Geologically speaking,
this land is young at 13,000 years old and is also Washington state's smallest AVA (American Viticulture Area). The land composition was the
result of a catastrophic flood, where rocks from Idaho and the Rockies came over during the great ice age. Underneath the soil dust about
two feet down are the rocks that traveled over long distances, some as large as cars!
This flood happened when Glacial Lake Missoula formed as the Cordilleran Ice Sheet dammed the Clark Fork River just as it entered Idaho.
The rising water behind the glacial dam weakened it until the water burst through in a catastrophic flood that raced across Idaho, Oregon,
and Washington toward the Pacific Ocean. Thundering waves and chunks of ice tore away soils and mountainsides, deposited giant ripple
marks, created the land formation of eastern Washington and carved the Columbia River Gorge. The force that the 2,000-foot flood wall created moved at a strength that was equal to the force of sixty Amazon rivers!
As a result, the soil of Red Mountain has a great calcium carbonate (limestone) content and is fairly high in pH so it becomes the perfect soil
for the basis of strong Bordeaux varietals with great structure. All one needs to do is taste the wines that come from this fruit to be wowed!
Folks, the wines of Washington are second to none, and the value point is fantastic as well. Next time you're out dining, ask for Washington's
wines. Here's a link to those on WineMatch.
Yeah, you'll be blown away, or is that "washed" away?