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Wahluke Slope AVA

Sandwiched between the Columbia River to the south and the Saddle Mountains to the north, the Wahluke Slope AVA sits in the heart of the broader Columbia Valley AVA.

Although most other AVAs throughout Washington contain a variety of soils and microclimates, what sets Wahluke Slope apart is its relatively uniformity. Its proximity to the Columbia River lessens the risk of winter frost and a steady diet of warm summer days, coupled with consistent soil types across the region, has allowed growers to perfect their cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and syrah plantings. Today, the region is home to more than 20 vineyards and at least three production facilities.

Cities and Towns

The Wahluke Slope is more geographically isolated than most of Washington’s AVAs, so you’ll encounter fewer nearby cities and towns for staying the night. That said, the Tri-Cities, Yakima, Ellensburg, and Moses Lake are all within 60 to 90 minutes.

Key Touring Routes

State Route 243 follows the Columbia River along the western and southern border of Wahluke Slope — and sits within a short drive of most of the region’s wineries. Following the AVA’s eastern border is State Route 24, somewhat separating Wahluke Slope from the nearby Hanford Reach National Monument. Meanwhile, Road 24 SW runs east-west through the AVA, taking visitors to wineries in its interior.

Selected Winery

Milbrandt Vineyards hosts a tasting room in Prosser, although most of its wine grapes are sourced from Wahluke Slope. Founded in 1997, Milbrandt Vineyards has gone on to produce numerous 90-point wines.

Please remember to designate a driver.

– Written by John King. Updated by Matthew Wastradowski in September 2020

Interested in planning your next road trip with AAA Washington? Call your travel agent directly or your nearest AAA store to get pro tips, TripTik maps, and more. Find more Pacific Northwest scenic drives and road trips.

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