Vineyards: 1,500 acres (607 hectares)
Top Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon
Average Annual Precipitation: 8-9 inches
The Burn of Columbia Valley is located in south-central Washington, west of Horse Heaven Hills. The triangle-shaped appellation is wholly contained within the larger Columbia Valley.
There are three distinguishing features of the appellation. The first is its soils, which are predominantly Walla Walla Silt Loam in arable areas. This is a slightly heavier soil relative to the surrounding region with increased water-holding capacity.
The second is climate. The Burn is a bit warmer than many of the immediate surrounding areas, with an average of 2763 Growing Degree Days. This is slightly above average for the larger Columbia Valley. However, The Burn also accumulates its heat over a longer season, with fruit among the last to come in during harvest. The Burn is also slightly wetter than the Columbia Valley, receiving an average of 8.76 inches of precipitation annually.
Due to its proximity to the Columbia Gorge, persistent winds whip through the region. This delays development during the growing season and also reduces canopy and berry size. Taking its notable winds, increased precipitation, and heavier soils together, winemakers say The Burn is a warm appellation that acts in some respects like a cooler one, creating a unique profile.
Finally, the appellation has distinct topographic features, lying on a generally southeast-facing bench above the Columbia River, which forms one of its borders. It has a gentle slope that averages just over 7% grade.
A total of 16,870 acres with approximately 1,500 under vine, The Burn is a younger growing region. Almost all of its acreage, which is contained within two vineyards, has been planted since 2015. A small number of plantings, however, date back to 2002. Cabernet Sauvignon is the main variety planted.
The origins of the name The Burn are unclear. It has been used to refer to this region for over 100 years.