By Kori ~ February 16th, 2009.
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the government agency that oversees all things wine, has established the 4,145-acre Snipes Mountain AVA as Washington Stateâ€™s newest American Viticultural Area (AVA); it becomes official this Friday, February 20. Snipes Mountain is located in Yakima County between Granger and Sunnyside. Some of the vineyards and wineries located within Snipes Mountain include: Eaton Hill Winery (Granger), Steppe Cellars (Sunnyside), Tefft Cellars (Outlook), and Upland Estates Winery and Upland Vineyards (Outlook).
Snipes Mountain is Washingtonâ€™s 10th AVA. It joins Rattlesnake Hills and Red Mountain to be the third AVA within the larger Yakima Valley AVA. It is Washingtonâ€™s second-smallest AVA, just a touch larger than Red Mountain. (Map from Washington Wine Commission)
While Snipes Mountain is the newest AVA in the state, it is actually one of the stateâ€™s oldest growing areas. Grapes were first planted in Snipes Mountain by William B. Bridgman in 1917.
Hereâ€™s a list of all 10 AVAs in Washington State and the year they were established:
Yakima Valley (1983)
Walla Walla Valley (1984)
Columbia Valley (1984)
Puget Sound (1995)
Red Mountain (2001)
Columbia Gorge (2004)
Horse Heaven Hills (2005)
Wahluke Slope (2006)
Rattlesnake Hills (2006)
Snipes Mountain (2009)
The next AVA in Washington will most likely be Lake Chelan. Approval is pending but many in the Washington wine industry expect the Lake Chelan AVA to be established sometime during 2009.
Filed under: American Wine, Washington State Wine