Yakima Valley matures

Viticulturist Ryan Johnson surveys WeatherEye vineyard in Washington State

Red Mountain continues to lead the way in Yakima, Washington State's first-ever AVA, but there are other areas worth a look. Above, viticulturist Ryan Johnson atop WeatherEye Vineyards.

This year (2023) marks the 40th anniversary of Yakima Valley, Washington’s first AVA. And while these days it is often thought of as a sub-AVA of the Columbia Valley, Yakima is large enough that it contains one-third of the state’s planted acreage and, as I found out on a recent trip, is a 75-mile (121-km) drive west to east. (See map here.)

Unfortunately, Yakima’s potential for name recognition was somewhat cannibalised...