Columbia Gorge

  • Established in 2004
  • Approximately 36 percent red grapes to 64 percent white grapes.
  • Average rainfall is 10 to 36 inches
  • One of the few appellations in Washington where there are more white grapes grown than red.
  • Area of Columbia Gorge AVA is 186,610 acres, approximately 300 square miles. 66,604 acres are in Washington, and 120,012 are in Oregon.
  • Approximately 381 planted acres of vinifera on the Washington side.
  • Located within a National Scenic Area, sixty miles east of Portland/Vancouver.
  • The Columbia Gorge wine region is defined by the Columbia River Gorge, a narrow passage that marks the dramatic transition from eastern desert to cool maritime climate as the Columbia River cuts through the Cascade Mountain Range on its way to the Pacific Ocean. 
  • The region encompasses the corridor flanking the river in both Washington and Oregon and includes the Columbia Gorge and the southwestern part of the Columbia Valley American Viticultural Areas (AVAs).
  • Within the compact area of the Columbia Gorge lays an extraordinary combination of climate, soil and geology creating distinctly different “micro-climates” perfect for growing premium grapes of almost every variety from Albarino to Zinfandel. 
  • Passing through the Columbia Gorge from west to east, the rainfall diminishes at almost an inch per mile while sunshine increases dramatically. 
  • Western vineyards have a cool, marine influenced climate where it rains 40 inches a year -- ideal for cool-weather loving varietals like Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling. 
  • Eastern vineyards have a continental high desert climate with just 10 inches of annual rainfall but plentiful sunshine to ripen hot-weather Bordeaux, Rhone and Italian varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel and Barbera. 
  • Soils vary just as dramatically as the rain and sunshine; from red from old volcanic mudstone to gray showing fragments of basalt rock.
  • Vineyard altitudes vary from near sea level to close to 2000’.