My Latest in Winebusiness.com :
Approval of Rocky Reach AVA adds to the diversity of Washington State wine
by L.M. Archer
Approval of Rocky Reach AVA add to the diversity of Washington State wine.
Orondo, Wash. – On June 3, 2022, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) announced approval of Rocky Ridge AVA (American Viticultural Area), Washington State’s 20th wine growing region.
“Each new AVA further defines our grape-growing regions, signifying growth for our state as a whole,” says Chris Stone, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Washington State Wine Commission. “Each AVA can help educate on the specific and complex terroirs we have here in Washington wine country.”
Tucked atop Columbia Valley’s northern corner south of Lake Chelan, Rocky Reach AVA spans 50 miles along the Columbia River, and offers a colorful history.
The name ‘Rocky Reach’ derives from nearby Rocky Reach Dam and Rocky Reach Reservoir (also known as Lake Entiat). Anecdotally, 19th century steamboat captains once dubbed the rapids along that stretch of the Columbia River ‘Rocky Reach’. Together, the Columbia River and Rocky Reach Dam account for nearly 24 percent of the new appellation’s total acreage.
The modern history of Rocky Reach AVA starts in 2012, when entrepreneur David Dufenhorst, owner of Rocky Pond Estate Winery, purchased 30 acres along the Columbia River in Orondo from developer Jamie Pierre. Inspired by family bicycle trips to Europe, Dufenhorst dreamed of planting a world-class winery and vineyards on the former fruit orchard.
In short order, Dufenhorst acquired 200 contiguous acres. Next, he conducted extensive soil analyses, before planting vines in 2013. “We picked our first fruit in the fall of 2015,” recalls Dufenhorst. Encouraged, the pioneer grape grower convinced the Pierres to plant vines, too. READ MORE HERE.