Thirsty for the Horse Heaven Hills (video)
It’s high time the Horse Heaven Hills AVA receives the attention it deserves for producing distinctive, individual, world-class wines known for their ideal balance between fruit, tannin, and acidity.
Quietly revered yet consistently prestigious, the Horse Heaven Hills has an abundance of varied terroirs according to elevation and proximity to the river. Some of Washington State’s best Merlots and Cabernets come from this AVA, conditioned by winds funneled through the Columbia Gorge and the moderating effect of the Columbia River.
The first plantings were in the early 1970s, and since then many renowned vineyards have established themselves as the source of quality fruit for the state’s most sought-after wines. With over 200 award-winning wines from just 32 vineyards and several rare 100-point ratings from Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, the Horse Heaven Hills is a hugely important AVA: to understand the wines of Washington, you need to understand the Horse Heaven Hills.
To explore this silent giant—with its deep history, premier vineyard sites, world-class winemakers, and distinguished style of wine—Andrews Family Vineyards hosted a virtual tour, featuring our own father-son duo Mike and Jeff Andrews and winemaker Ray McKee, alongside the region’s winemaking and viticultural powerhouses Paul Champoux (founder, Champoux Vineyards) and Rob Mercer (Mercer Estates Winery).