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Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Gorge

Both Horse Heaven Hills and the Columbia Gorge are right on the Columbia River, with Columbia Gorge as a cross-AVA with the state of Oregon. We put them together in this lesson solely based on this geographic fact, for the similarities end there.

Horse Heaven Hills is a big red wine producing machine, and contains some of the top and oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the state. It’s rather desolate, focused on farming, and few tourists. It’s also wholly contained in the Columbia Valley AVA.

Columbia Gorge is distinctive for its range of weather patterns from west to east, along with abundant tourism with history buffs, hikers, beer buffs, and windsurfers competing for hotel space with wine lovers. It’s also one of the few Washington regions not in the Columbia Valley AVA.

Horse Heaven Hills

Winesearcher: Horse Heaven Hills AVA

Washington Wine Commission: Horse Heaven Hills AVA

Horse Heaven Hills Winegrowers

The Vintner Project: The Wine Grower Families Pioneering Horse Heaven Hills

The highest scoring wines of Washington State are from here: Quilceda Creek

Columbia Gorge

Whenever you see “Columbia Gorge AVA” on a label, remember two things. 1) This AVA spans across two states. 2) This AVA goes from pine trees to the west, to desert in the east.

It’s a fascinating area, and a great visit if you’re in the Portland area. Easy to get to, only an hour out of town.

Winesearcher: Columbia Gorge AVA

Washington Wine Commission: Columbia Gorge AVA

GorgeWine.com – great resource to learn more, especially ahead of a visit

Jancis Robinson’s website: Gorge for Wine Lovers (guest post from Donna Moyer)