Not a mountain, nor red in color, the Red Mountain AVA is nevertheless known for growing some of Washington’s most popular grapes. This warm region is a sub-AVA of the broader Yakima Valley AVA that sees very little rainfall (just five inches per year). Its warm daytime temperatures average 90 degrees Fahrenheit, making Red Mountain the ideal location for growing several varieties of red wine grapes, including cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, sangiovese, malbec and petit verdot.
Cities and Towns
Given that it is the smallest of Washington’s 14 AVAs, Red Mountain isn’t home to any major cities or towns that might make an ideal home base for regional wine-tasting. That said, it’s just outside Richland (one of the Tri-Cities along with Kennewick and Pasco). Really, anywhere in the Tri-Cities area would make a solid starting point for tasting your way through the Red Mountain AVA.
Key Touring Routes
The only highway running through the Red Mountain AVA is State Route 224 — which connects to Interstate 82 at the southern edge of the AVA. You’ll find most of the region’s wineries along State Route 224 and North Sunset Road, which runs north-south through the AVA.
Col Solare is the partnership between two of the world’s most influential wineries: Tuscany’s Marchesi Antinori and Woodinville’s own Chateau Ste. Michelle. Since 2007, the Col Solare tasting room on Red Mountain has poured highly regarded wines that showcase the unique topography of the popular AVA. Meanwhile, Hedges Family Estate hosts a tasting room in the midst of its vineyards, prides itself on biodynamic farming and, of course, pours some of the region’s most coveted reds.
Please remember to designate a driver.
– Written by John King. Updated by Matthew Wastradowski in September 2020