Jim Holmes (left) and John Williams at the site of the Kiona Estate vineyard on Red Mountain.
It’s an exciting time on Red Mountain.
We’ve been here a long time. Through the decades we’ve seen the dialogue surrounding the area slowly but surely change.
In 1970, the sentiment may have been, “this just might be a damned good place to grow wine grapes.”
In 1975, you may have heard, “this is going to work.”
In 1985, people could be heard saying, “The Red Mountain region in Yakima Valley is pretty special.”
In 1995, phrases like “international recognition” and “strong regionality” were commonplace.
By 2005, Red Mountain is widely considered one of “America’s Great AVAs.”
By 2015, we’re regarded as the “Grand Cru of Washington Wine.”
So now, in 2019, Red Mountain has entrenched itself as one of the world’s premier grape-growing regions. Kiona Vineyards and Winery may have started Red Mountain, but this isn’t just our story to tell anymore. Thousands of acres of wine grapes are grown at dozens of highly-acclaimed vineyards which are farmed by brilliant, talented viticulturists. Some of the world’s most respected “wine people” have planted their flag on our little hill, and that is immensely gratifying. Most people that have at least a passing interest in wine have heard of the Antinori family of Italy or the Duckhorn Winery of Napa. And everyone has heard of Microsoft, the NFL, and the NHL. Now we can count folks affiliated with all of those entities as Red Mountain neighbors, which is pretty cool.
The fresh faces are a welcome sight. Everyone that joins our community, whether they’re connected to a massive operation or a tiny one, come for the same reason: Quality. There’s no other reason to be here. If you’re interested in the new frontier of quality New World wine, you’re interested in the Red Mountain AVA.
So while we’re still beating the same drum we always have been, we’re joined now by a venerable cohort of writers, winemakers, viticulturists, and wine nerds. Our bullhorn is larger than it has ever been. In fact, I’d go so far as to call it a “quality cacophony."
And it's only getting louder.