The Tri-Cities area is one of the least interesting places I have been to on my trip so far. It is a very functional area, as the gateway to the South East, and there are many new communities that have blossomed in housing estates. But it is generally a city without much heart and soul. I was fairly glad to be heading off along the Yakima River towards Seattle, as it would take me through areas where a third of the fruit is grown in Washington. After trying many wines from the Yakima AVA I was keen to see how the environment influenced the wines. The most South Eastern sub-region of the Yakima Valley is Red Mountain, where many of the best reds come from. Whilst it is at least a quarter of the size of the Walla Walla Valley, it amazingly grows more fruit. It is very dry, and probably gets very hot in summer. In a way it reminded me of the Barossa Valley, so naturally Rhone varieties like Shiraz do very well here. This is certainly not white wine country, otherwise it would be called Red & White Mountain.
|Red Mountain AVA|