Snipes Mountain AVA
|Type||American Viticultural Area|
|Part of||Columbia Valley AVA, Washington, Yakima Valley AVA|
|Climate region||Region II|
|Precipitation (annual average)||7 inches (18 cm)|
|Soil conditions||aridisols (82%)|
|Total area||4,145 acres (1,677 ha)|
|Grapes produced||Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot noir, Semillon, Syrah|
Snipes Mountain AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in the Yakima Valley of Washington State. It was approved by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on January 21, 2009 making it Washington's 10th federally designated AVA. It is the second smallest AVA in the state, after the Red Mountain AVA, and has one of the state's longest viticultural histories. The 4,145 acres (1,677 ha) appellation is a sub-AVA of the Yakima Valley AVA and the Columbia Valley AVA. It is located above and between the towns of Sunnyside and Granger around Outlook, Washington, in the southeast corner of the Yakima Valley.
The viticultural area is located on Snipes Mountain, a seven mile (11 km) long anticline ridge, including a peak 1,290 feet (393 m) high, that rises from the floor of the Yakima Valley with comparatively unique, rocky soils, called aridisols. The viticultural area also includes Harrison Hill, which lies contiguously east of Snipes Mountain and has similar soil and topography.
The Snipes Mountain AVA, like much of Eastern Washington, is located in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains which contributes to the warm and dry climate of the region. Soil deposits below the area are composed of gravels and settlements left by ancient river beds that the Columbia River once followed. These deposits range in size from that of a human fist to large melons. The mountain itself was created by fault activity.
The petition to create the Snipes Mountain AVA was filed by Upland Vineyards, which was first planted in 1917 by Washington State wine pioneer William B. Bridgman. The vineyard on Snipes Mountain was one of the first to plant the European Vitis vinifera varieties of Semillon and Pinot noir in Washington.
- I. Stegemoeller "Washington's Snipes Mountain AVA among oldest wine regions" Wine Press Northwest, January 22nd 2009
- The Federal Register "Establishment of the Snipes Mountain Viticultural Area" CFR Citation: 27 CFR Part 9 (2007R- 300P)
- Associated Press "Outlook vineyard seeks federal recognition" Wenatachee World, May 26th, 2008[dead link]