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Flashcards in Washington Deck (56):

Washington AVAs (14)

Ancient Lakes AVA est 2012
Columbia Gorge AVA est 2004
Columbia Valley AVA est 1984
Horse Heaven Hills AVA est 2005
Lake Chelan AVA est 2009
Lewis-Clark Valley AVA ext 2016
Naches Heights AVA est 2011
Puget Sound AVA est 1995
Rattlesnake Hills AVA est 2006
Red Mountain AVA est 2001
Snipes Mountain AVA est 2009
Wahluke Slope AVA est 2005
Walla Walla Valley AVA est 1984
Yakima Valley AVA est 1983


What are the four AVAs Washington shares with another state?

Columbia Valley, Columbia Gorge, and Walla Walla with Oregon

Lewis-Clarke Valley with Idaho


Who is known as the 'father of Washington wine"?

Dr. Walter Clore spearheaded efforts in Washington to prove that vinifera grapevines could withstand the harsh Washington winters. In 1937, Clore accepted a horticultural position at a Washington State University irrigation research station in Prosser, WA. Clore planted an experimental plot of vinifera in 1940. In 1960 he partnered with ex-Napa winemaker Charles Nagel to begin cultivating experimental vinifera vineyards around the state. Previous experiments in the 1950s were mostly unsuccessful—cold snaps every few years would destroy entire vine canopies, and sometimes kill the root systems too—but Clore proved to a young generation of pioneering winegrowers that the vine, if sited appropriately, could survive Washington winters. His name is linked to many of today’s old-time growers and most of the state’s oldest vinifera vineyards.


What are the most planted white grapes in Washington?

Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gewurztraminer.


What are the most planted red grapes of Washington?

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Cab Franc.


What are the two most planted grapes in Washington? How much do they comprise?

Cab Sauv and Merlot; the two grapes make up one-third of the states total acreage.


What state is the second largest producers of premium wines in the United States?

Washington, accounting for 5% of the nations total production.


When did red varieties surpass whites in total acreage in Washington state?



Who is the largest producer in Washington?

What do they own?

What is their flagship site?

-Ste Michelle Wine Estates

-Controls more than one-third of all vineyard land in Washington and 60% of total output.

-Range of labels which includes Chateau Ste Michelle, Michelle, Columbia Crest, and Northstar, with important high-quality joint ventures with Ernst Loosen of Germany (for Eroica Riesling) and Piero Antinori of Italy (for Col Solare).

-Their flagship site is Cold Creek Vineyard, which they own in its entirety. It is east of Yakima Valley and is one of the state's warmest areas.

-World's largest producer of Riesling.


What parallel does Washington fall on?

At or above the 46th parallel.


What mountain range creates a rain shadow effect for nearly 95% of Washington's vineyards? What effect does the rain shadown have on the land?

The Cascade Mountains. Most of the state's wine regions are located east of the mountains.

Turns the land arid and necessitates irrigation. Rainfall is often less than 10-12 inches a year.


What type of climate is found in Eastern Washington?

A true Continental (hot summers average and cold winters: frost and winter freezes are serious concerns for growers, but ripeness is easily achieved in the state's warm growing seasons)
-average afternoon summer temperatures 103 F for rapid sugar ripening, while cool nights preserve acid.


What is the bedrock in Washington?

Basalt, overlaid by sediments deposited by the Missoula Floods. Basalt is a dark, fine-grained volcanic rock.


Name two techniques used as "insurance" in the most brutal Washington winters?

-Dual-trunk training-Growers train two separate trunks on the same vine in parallel, just an inch or two apart.

-Buried canes- If the canopy dies over winter, the grower can pull the fruiting canes up from under the soil and still get a crop the following year.


Columbia Valley AVA
2 other facts?
Nested AVAs?

-AVA est. 1984
-largest AVA in Washington (11 million acres; 1/4 of the state, and 95% of WA’s vinifera vineyards)
-covers part of Oregon as well.
-nested AVAs:
Ancient Lakes, Naches Heights, Yakima Valley, Rattlesnake Hills, Snipes Mountain, Red Mountain, Horse Heaven Hills
Walla Walla Valley, The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater (in Oregon),
Wahluke Slope, Lake Chelan.
-key vineyards outside of nested AVAs-Sagemoor (major fruit source for wine industry; today sells to 75 different wineries from Gramercy Cellars and Long Shadows to Gallo and Ste. Michelle), Cold Creek, and Stillwater Creek


What is the annual rainfall of Washington State?

Eight inches (20.32 cm) in Eastern Washington (the major grape growing region) 48 inches (121.92 cm) in Western Washington


What river follows the outline of Columbia Valley AVA?

Columbia River Basin


What are the three most important AVA's within Columbia Valley AVA.

Yakima Valley
Walla Walla Valley
Horse Heaven Hills


Yakima Valley AVA
2 facts?
Nested AVAs?
Top vineyards?

-Est. 1983-Washington's first AVA

-contains over one-third of state's vineyards, third largest AVA in state.

-over 70% of the nation's hops are grown here (cascade hops)

-three nested AVAs:
Snipes Mountain, Rattlesnake Hills, Red Mountain

-top vineyards: Red Willow vineyards (first syrah vines in WA), Boushey vineyards (planted in 1980 by revered viticulturist Dick Boushey), Otis vineyards (first Cabernet Sauvignon vines in 1957)
-top producers: Delille Cellars


Yakima Valley AVA

2 facts?
Nested AVAs?
Top vineyards?

-Est. 1983-Washington's first AVA

-contains over one-third of state's vineyards, third largest AVA in state.

-over 70% of the nation's hops are grown here (cascade hops)

-three nested AVAs:
Snipes Mountain, Rattlesnake Hills, Red Mountain

-top vineyards: Red Willow vineyards (first syrah vines in WA), Boushey vineyards (planted in 1980 by revered viticulturist Dick Boushey), Otis vineyards (first Cabernet Sauvignon vines in 1957)
-top producers: Delille Cellars


What are the three AVAs not within the larger Columbia Valley AVA?

Columbia Gorge AVA
Puget Sound AVA
Lewis-Clark Valley AVA


Red Mountain AVA
What defines the AVA?
Grape varieties?
Name origin?
Notable vineyards?
Notable producers?

Est. 2001

-The smallest, warmest and most densely planted AVA in WA
-Reputation for noteworthy, tannic, Cabernet Sauvignon.
-Called “Red” mountain due to being rendered a dullish red in the springtime by abundant cheatgrass
-Important Vineyards: Kiona (John Williams) and Ciel du Cheval (Jim Holmes)(both areas first grapevines, planted weeks apart from each in 1975) along with Klipsun vineyard.
-Important producers-Col Solare (collaboration between Antinori and Ste Michelle), Force Majeure, Upchurch Vineyards),


Snipes Mountain AVA
What defines the AVA?
famous vineyard plot?
who forms the core of the appellation?

Est. 2009

-AVA defined by elevation: 750 ft on the southern slope to 1310 ft.
-contain the oldest Vinifera plantings in the state: William Bridgman’s small plot of 1917 Muscat of Alexandria vines on Upland Vineyards.
-Uplands Vineyards forms the core of the appellation and owner Todd Newhouse drafted the AVA petition.


Where is Col Solare from and who makes it?

Red Mountain; a prestige collaboration between Tuscany’s Antinori and Washington’s Chateau Ste. Michelle


Three reasons Yakima valley (and the nested AVAs) are protected from winter’s icy grip and fall and spring frosts?

Along with lying in the rainshadow of the Cascade mountains, vineyards are planted in higher elevations. Also the Yakima Range to the north blocks the full impact of cold artic blasts.


Walla Walla AVA
Notable producers?

-AVA est. 1984 (WA second AVA)
-AVA shared between Washington (2/3) and Oregon (1/3).
-vineyard acreage close to 3,000 acres acclaimed for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah comprising over 80% of its current plantings.
-Soils consists of basalt bedrock and thin alluvial topsoil deposited by the Missoula Floods. Loess (wind blow silt) covers everywhere creating very arable, fertile soils, but in WA arid to semi-arid climate that is not a drawback.
-notable producers: Cayuse (Chris Baron), Pepper Bridge (Norm McKibben) Gramercy Cellars (MS Greg Harrington), Leonetti, and Woodward Canyon
-notable vineyards: Pepper Bridge (on the valley floor), Seven Hills Vineyard (overlooking the Rocks in Oregon)


What three rivers converge to the east of Walla Walla AVA?

Columbia, Walla Walla, and Snake Rivers

-Walla Walla translates in to “many waters”


Rattlesnake Hills
Grape varieties?
Top vineyards?

Est. 2006

-Located in the north central party of Yakima Valley and contains the highest points in the valley; slightly cooler than the other sub AVAs;
-Cab Sauv, Malbec, Merlot, Syrah, Chard and Riesling. Riesling has historically been an important variety here.

-Top vineyards: Andrew Will’s estate Two Blondes Vineyard; Cote Bonneville’s Dubrul Vineyard (both producers label wines as Yakima Valley AVA, due to local opposition of the creation of this AVA)

-A lot of opposition to Rattlesnake Hills as an AVA. One of its most notable opponents was grower Dick Boushey of Boushey Vineyards in the Rattlesnake Hills (but not within the boundaries of the AVA). Boushey argued that the area did not have distinctive terroir that would merit an AVA stating "I know of no regional style, specific variety or type of wine that is unique to this proposed area. The granting of this proposal would confuse consumers and undermine the existing Yakima Valley Appellation."


What two subregions of Walla Walla Valley are current hotspots and may achieve their own AVA status one day?

Mill Creek (Washington side of the border) and North Fork of Walla Walla Valley (Oregon side; in Milton Freewater)


What is the oldest operating bonded winery in Washington?

Leonetti Cellar


Rocks of Milton-Freewater AVA
notable producer?

-Est. 2015
-Nested in Walla Walla AVA, but completely within Oregon.
-features a topsoil of basalt cobblestones that draws comparisons to the galets of Châteauneuf-du-Pape—and producers are just beginning to explore its potential for Rhône-style wines.
-Cayuse (Chris Baron)


What mountain range runs along Walla Walla Valley?

The Blue Mountains buttresses to the eastern side of Walla Walla. They act as a "rain backdrop", which allows for more rainfall than other Washington regions.


Who are the "founding fathers" of modern viticulture and winemaking in Walla Walla?

Gary Figgins (Leonetti Cellar) first to plant vinifera in the valley in 1974, founded Leonetti in 1977.

Rick Small (Woodward Canyon Winery)

Baker Ferguson (L'Ecole)

Eric Rindal (Waterbrook)


Where would you find the vineyard sites Pepper Bridge and Seven Hills Vineyard?

Walla Walla


What bodies of water are the mitigating factors of Western Washington?

Western Washington is mild and damp year round because of the proximity of the Pacific Ocean and the inland sea called the Puget Sound.


What body of water provides much-needed irrigation for Eastern Washington's desert climate?

Columbia River provides most the irrigation in the summer and early autumn.


What producer is credited with establishing "the Rocks" as an AVA?

Cayuse with their focus on Rhône varieties and pushing viticulture into a barren, cobblestone-covered, nearly flat area across the Oregon border.


What are the three Washington AVAs that are not apart of the Columbia Valley AVA?

Columbia Gorge AVA, which straddles Washington and Oregon, Puget Sound AVA, and Lewis Clark Valley AVA. All other vineyards in eastern Washington fall within the 11 million-acre/4.4 million-ha embrace of the Columbia Valley AVA.


Why are most vines in Washington ungrafted?

Eastern Washington soils tend to be sandy loam, generally an inhospitable environment for Phylloxera.


List three reasons phylloxera is virtually unknown in Washington?

-severe winters
-inhospitable sandy soils
-great physical distances from one vineyard to the next.


Name four big player wine brands in Washington, not including Ste. Michelle.

Hogue Cellars
Hedges Family Estate
K Vintners
Gallo (purchased Columbia Winery in 2012.


Horse Heaven Hills
Grape Varieties
Notable sites?

-Est. 2005
-has 1/4 of Washington's acreage
-Cabernet and Merlot are real stars with finesse and long elegant tannins.
-overall slightly warmer than the western end of Yakima Valley but slightly cooler than Red Mountain. Its gentle, unprotected hills are the constant recipient of winds funneled inland through the Columbia Gorge. Wind and low rainfall keep fungal pressures low and berries small and thick-skinned. Proximity to the river moderates the extremes of summer highs and winter lows, but frost can still be a danger—in 2010 a frost swept the hills at Thanksgiving, eradicating 30 acres alone at Champoux Vineyard and slimming the following year’s yields throughout the appellation.

-Notable sites: Champoux vineyard is the standard-bearer for quality fruit, supplying top names like Quilceda Creek and Andrew Will. Other sites include Alder Ridge, Phinny Hill, Canoe Ridge (houses Ste. Michelle’s red winemaking facilities and resembles an overturned canoe). Longshadows’ Benches Vineyard, which hugs the high basalt cliffs overlooking the Columbia itself, a stone’s throw from the Wallula Gap.

-AVA is a reminder of the disconnect between vineyard and winery; in 2015 the AVA had more than 12,000 acres, but only 12 wineries.


What vineyard is the best known vineyard out of Horse Heaven Hills? Who established it and when?

Champoux Vineyard, first planted in 1972 by Don Mercer in consultation with Walter Clore.


Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley

-Est. 2012
-North of Wahluke Slope and, like Wahluke Slope, it is incredibly arid, but its temps are moderated by a series of 35 glacial lakes that knife through the region.
-White grapes are the focus (80%) and Riesling is its most planted variety.
-Milbrandt Vineyards is the AVA’s largest operation. (Also located in Wahluke Slope)


Wahluke Slope (“Wah-luke”)
What does Wahluke mean?
Where is it located?

Est. 2005
-driest AVA in all of Washington; rainfall barely scratches six inches a year, necessitating irrigation.
-ironically AVA means “watering hole”
-North of Yakima Valley where they Columbia River takes a sharp eastward turn and south of Ancient Lakes.
-Runs from the Saddle Mountains in the north to the Columbia River on the west and south.


What Is LIVE?

-Low Input Viticulture and Enology (LIVE) Program
The non-profit organization is committed to a more sustainable future for its member wineries and promotes an overall reduction in the number of raw materials—from water to chemical fertilizers and pesticides—required in the vineyard and winery.
-offers third-party sustainability certification for vineyards and wineries in Oregon (since 1999) and Washington (since 2006).
-may use the LIVE logo on labels, provided the winery is LIVE-certified and at least 97% of the grapes come from a LIVE-certified vineyard.
-Many of Willamette Valley’s top wineries now carry LIVE certification.


What is VINEA the Winegrowers' Sustainbale Trust?

-an organization of Wallla Walla wineries committed to promoting sustainability—if not wholly organic practices—amongst its members.

-provides guidelines and guideposts to move toward sustainable, environmentally friendly practices in the vineyard.


Lake Chelan

-Est. 2009
-Northernmost nested AVA within Columbia Valley; only region outside of the area impacted by the Missoula Floods.
-Pinot Noir and Riesling have emerged as early favorites in the young AVA.


How many bonded wineries in Washington?

Over 650


What shelters the Washington wine region from harsh winters and icy polar masses from the north and the east?

The Rocky Mountains


Where would you most likely find dry farming in Washington?

Columbia Gorge AVA.

-rainfall quadruples from 8 inches to 36 inches or more from the 40 mile span east to west of the AVA.


What is crown gall? What is it also known as?

Bacterial disease, also known as black knot, occurs on over 600 plant species, including vines. Regions with freezing winter temperatures are especially vulnerable to crown gall because freeze injuries provide a wound
where the disease can initiate.

All vinifera varieties are susceptible, but some V. labrusca varieties are more tolerant, one reason why such species tend to be grown in very cold climates.

The major symptom is the growth of fleshy galls (tumours) on the lower trunk which can girdle the trunk and portions of the vine above may die.

In the north eastern United States, the growers train the vines with up to five trunks so that there is always a young healthy trunk to replace dead or dying ones.


Which AVAs are the warmest and receive the most sunshine hours due to their aspect being on the south side of the anticlinal ridges?

Red Mountain
Horse Heaven Hills
Wahluke Slope


Explain how the cyclical flooding of Lake Missoula have affected modern viticulture in Washington.

What is the gap that allowed this to happen?

What are Touchet beds?

Largest documented catastrophic floods in earth's history. Vast lake stretching across parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana had formed behind a series of glaciers after the end of the last ice age(Between 18,000 and 12,000 years ago).

At the Wallula Gap, a water gap in the basalt anticline marking the southern edge of the Pasco Basin, each successive flood hit a bottleneck. As water backed up behind it, sediment scooped up along the entire pathway where the flood was deposited. The waters slowly drained out the Wallula Gap, spit westward through the Columbia Gorge. This happened over and over again, for thousands of years, carving deep channels into the basalt in some areas while deposits of gravel and other fine flood sediments accumulated in others.
These nutrient-rich deposits, known as Touchet beds, are over a hundred feet deep at the lowest points of the Columbia, Walla Walla, and Yakima Valley floors, but they quickly thin along the anticlines' slopes. The topography of Eastern Washington is littered with rocks and boulders brought by the floods adding geologic diversity to volcanic past.


What is the most important vineyard in Columbia Gorge?



What is the Yakima Fold Belt?
How does it affect temperature?

The Yakima Fold Belt is a series of east-west ridge-lines formed during the Miocene Epoch by the tectonic plate compression. The result is that cold air becomes trapped in the deep synclines, forcing warm air to travel up the slopes. As a result, the higher the elevation slopes have a warmer climate.