Ep 046 – Columbia Valley

Golden autumn colors on grape vines, Columbia River Gorge AVA, Washington photo from Washington State Wine


Columbia Valley is a special place. It sits in the same latitude as Burgundy but the terrior is so different. Columbia Valley seems like the ideal place to to grown grapes; dry, lots of sunshine and low nutrient soil causing the vines to grow deep. Thanks to it’s large size, if it’s Washington wine, it’s Columbia Valley.

photo from Washington State Wine


This week we tackle the Columbia Valley AVA and we discuss:

  • The size and scope of Columbia Valley AVA
  • The History of Washington wine
  • Terrior of Columbia Valley
  • The wines of Columbia Valley


Since Columbia Valley is a huge AVA so a large amount is split into ten sub-AVAs: Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Wahluke Slope, Rattlesnake Hills, Horse Heaven Hills, Snipes Mountain, Lake Chelan, Naches Heights and Ancient Lakes. Each with it’s own terrior and micro-climate.


Wine Recommendations:

In episode 4 we recommended Chateau Ste. Michelle Harvest Select Riesling and in episode 30 we recommended the Treveri Sparkling Gewurztraminer which are both from Columbia Valley.



Chateau Smith Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 – priced around $17. This wine is off dry with decent tannins with flavors of dark berries and spice. Currently the 2014 is out from Charles Smith Wines.









Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2012 – priced around $13. Another great wine from Charles Smith Wines and the 2015 is currently out. Not too sweet but balanced and really good. Bright and crisp with citrus and green apple. 








Two Mountain Cabernet Franc Reserve 2013 – priced around $35 but well worth the price! A pronounced nose of rose, oak, vanilla, white pepper and green pepper. This wine is dry wine with medium acidity and light tannins. Well balance with medium body and flavors of wood, lavender, green pepper, and blackberry. It’s delicious now but could age a few more years.







Books: The World Atlas of Wine, 7th Edition, The Oxford Companion to Wine (Oxford Companions)

Websites: Washington State Wine, Wine Folley, Wikipedia, Columbia Valley Wine


That does it for this episode of Weekly Wine Show! Thanks for listening and if you enjoy the this podcast, please share it with someone this week.





About Betty Notto

Betty Notto is a wine lover based in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. She is the co-creator and co-host of Weekly Wine Show Podcast. Find her out in the interwebs via Twitter @weeklywineshow @bettynotto