Ancient Lakes

  • Ancient Lakes of the Columbia Valley became the 13th AVA in Washington State on October, 18 2012.
  • Currently there are 1,603 acres planted to wine grapes in Ancient Lakes, but the AVA encompasses 169,153 acres in total.
  • The border of the Ancient Lakes is the Beezley Hills to the north, the eastern edge of the Quincy Basin defined by the manmade Winchester Wasteway canal to the east, the Frenchman Hills to the south, and the western shoreline of the Columbia River creates the border to the west. The famous Gorge Amphitheatre resides on the western edge of the AVA.  
  • Wine grapes have been planted in the Ancient Lakes region since the 1980s. Most vineyard acres are planted to white varieties such as Riesling and Chardonnay, but red varieties are also planted.  
  • Located within the Columbia Valley on soils left from the Missoula Floods, Ancient Lakes has elevations ranging from 570 at the edge of the Columbia River to 1,912 feet in the Frenchman Hills in the southern portion of the AVA.
  • There are 65 soil types within the Ancient Lakes AVA, with the most common 17 soils making up 88 percent of the land. The Ancient Lakes region soils are Aridisols, which are formed in arid conditions and contain little organic matter. Wine grapes thrive in these “poor” soils because less nitrogen in the dirt results in a smaller vineyard canopy and more intense flavors in the grapes.
  • The Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley has a 182 day growing season and receives very little rainfall, only 6” of rain a year.