This year, Red Mountain celebrates 20 years as an American Viticultural Area, after two pioneering spirits—John Williams and Jim Holmes—decided to plant the first vines in 1975 amid a desertous valley filled with sagebrush. Since then, a growing community of viticulturists with grit, determination and commitment to experimentation have led to fascinating innovations in the vineyard. 

Aerial view of vineyards in rectangular blocks, with a large hill behind the blocks and mountains in the distance.
Kim Fetrow Photography

To help celebrate this occasion, we’ve asked the Red Mountain AVA Alliance about what sets their wine region apart. “Red Mountain’s excellence is rooted in the vineyard,” Alicia Brown, Executive Director of Red Mountain AVA Alliance, told us. “The region’s singular terroir has attracted winegrowers, viticulturists and winemakers throughout the world to this small corner of southeast Washington, and for very good reason.”

“The region’s sandy loess soils, high winds, southwest slope, low precipitation and an intense temperature swing create near perfect growing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. However, it’s not the extraordinary terroir alone that’s responsible for Red Mountain’s storied reputation, it’s the people.”

A person in a red vest walks away from the camera and between two rows of grape vines. Light hits the tops of the vines and the tan, gullied hill in the distance.
Brian Rudin of Canvasback walking his vineyards in Red Mountain

“Grapes grown on Red Mountain have gone on to become some of Washington’s most sought-after wines, bringing an international spotlight to the region. This is why we say: acclaimed by critics—superior by nature.”

We hope you will join Red Mountain, and us, in celebrating the wines coming out of this region. For more information, visit, as they have plenty of entertaining and educational content, including a series of recorded virtual tasting panels with Red Mountain winemakers and Washington wine expert, Dr. Owen Bargreen. The Red Mountain AVA Alliance will also be hosting its annual Taste Red Mountain event on August 7, 2021, where the variety of the region’s wine is on full display.

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