Screw cap (wine)
A screw cap is a metal cap that screws onto threads on the neck of a wine bottle with a metal skirt down the neck to resemble the traditional wine capsule. A layer of plastic, rubber, or other soft material is used as wad to make a seal with the mouth of the bottle, its use as an alternative wine closure is gaining increasing support as an alternative to cork for sealing wine bottles. In markets such as Australia and New Zealand screw caps on bottles have overtaken cork to become the most common means of sealing bottles. Compared to cork, screw caps reduce the wine faults of oxidation and of cork taint, although it is possible to find TCA contamination in a screw cap bottle. Screw caps are perceived as easier to open. Screw caps have a much lower failure rate than cork, in theory will allow a wine to reach the customer in perfect condition, with a minimum of bottle variation. However, cork has a centuries-old tradition behind it, there are concerns about the impact of screw caps on the aging of those few wines that require decades to be at their best.
Some argue that the slow ingress of oxygen plays a vital role in aging a wine, while others argue that this amount is zero in a sound cork and that any admitted oxygen is harmful. Producers in Champagne have aged their wines under crown cap for quite some time, the crown cap is replaced by the traditional cork at the end of the second fermentation; the converse of oxidation is reduction, it has been suggested that screwcapped wine leads to reductive characteristics. These include a sulfur smell which in some circumstances adds a pleasant pungency to the wine, or may be distasteful; the most known brand of wine screw caps is Stelvin, used in the wine industry as generic trademark for any brand of screwcap. The caps have a long outside skirt, intended to resemble the traditional wine capsule, use plastic PVDC as a neutral liner on the inside wadding; the Stelvin was developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s by a French company Le Bouchage Mécanique at the behest of Peter Wall, the Production Director of the Australian Yalumba winery.
In 1964 Peter Wall approached Le Bouchage Mécanique. The Stelvin cap was trialed in 1970 and 1971 with the Swiss wine Chasselas, affected by cork taint, was first used commercially in 1972 by the Swiss winery Hammel. From about 1973 Yalumba and a group of other wineries - Hardys, McWilliams, Seppelt, Brown Bros and Tahbilk - were involved in developing and proving up the concept and began using it commercially in 1976. Le Bouchage Mécanique was acquired by Pea-Pechiney, which became part of Alcan Rio Tinto Alcan and now Amcor; the brand was developed by Rio Tinto Alcan. It was trademarked in 1975, it was preceded as a closure by a Stelcap/cork combination: the Stelcap was a long-skirted screw cap, but with a different inner lining. In 2005, a modified Stelvin cap, Stelvin Lux, was introduced. Like the standard Stelvin cap, the outer shell is aluminium, but there is no externally visible screw thread or knurling, giving the closure a cleaner look more like a traditional foil capsule. Internally, there is a pre-formed thread, the sealing materials are the same as the standard Stelvin cap.
In the UK, acceptance by consumers more than doubled, from 41% in 2003 to 85% in 2011. Screw caps were adopted in the 1980s by Swiss winemakers, have shown wide adoption in the succeeding years. Screw caps met with customer resistance in Australia and New Zealand, were phased out in the early 1980s, only to be reintroduced in the 1990s. Since reintroduction, ever-increasing numbers of winemakers are using the screw cap within Australia and New Zealand. In New Zealand, adoption went from 1% in 2001 to 70% in 2004. Screw cap adoption in fine wines in Australia has proceeded in starts. In July 2000, a group of Clare Valley Riesling producers, led by Jeffrey Grosset bottled a portion of their wines in screw cap, earlier that year PlumpJack Winery announced it would bottle half its production of US$130 1997 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon in screwcap. Other announcements have followed, including one from Bonny Doon Vineyard in July 2002 that 80,000 cases of its "Big House" red and white wine would be bottled under screwcaps - followed by all the rest of its production by late 2004.
Domaine Laroche in Chablis, France has been bottling its Chablis, Premier Cru and Grand Cru under screw caps since 2001 vintage. In July 2004 Corbett Canyon became the first US million plus case brand to switch to screw caps for its entire production, shipping just over three million cases a year; some appellations ban the use including Valpolicella Classico. In 2008, the ban led Italian producer Allegrini to withdraw from the Valpolicella Classico denomination in order to use a screw cap. Cork material Closure Alternative wine closures Cork taint Stopper Screw cap
Vitis vinifera, the common grape vine, is a species of Vitis, native to the Mediterranean region, central Europe, southwestern Asia, from Morocco and Portugal north to southern Germany and east to northern Iran. There are between 5,000 and 10,000 varieties of Vitis vinifera grapes though only a few are of commercial significance for wine and table grape production, it is a liana growing to 32 m with flaky bark. The leaves are 5 -- 20 cm long and broad; the fruit is a berry, known as a grape. The species occurs in humid forests and streamsides; the wild grape is classified as V. vinifera subsp. Sylvestris, with V. vinifera subsp. Vinifera restricted to cultivated forms. Domesticated vines subsp.. Sylvestris is dioecious and pollination is required for fruit to develop; the grape is eaten processed to make wine or juice, or dried to produce raisins. Cultivars of Vitis vinifera form the basis of the majority of wines produced around the world. All of the familiar wine varieties belong to Vitis vinifera, cultivated on every continent except for Antarctica, in all the major wine regions of the world.
Wild grapes were harvested by early farmers. For thousands of years, the fruit has been harvested for both nutritional value. Changes in pip shape and distribution point to domestication occurring about 3500–3000 BC, in southwest Asia, South Caucasus, or the Western Black Sea shore region; the earliest evidence of domesticated grapes has been found at Gadachrili Gora, near the village of Imiri, Marneuli Municipality, in southeastern Republic of Georgia. Grape pips dating back to the V-IV millennia B. C. were found in Shulaveri. C. were found in Khizanaant Gora, all in the Republic of Georgia. Cultivation of the domesticated grape spread to other parts of the Old World in pre-historic or early historic times; the first written accounts of grapes and wine can be found in the Epic of Gilgamesh, an ancient Sumerian text from the third millennium BC. There are numerous hieroglyphic references from ancient Egypt, according to which wine was reserved for priests, state functionaries and the pharaoh. Hesiod in his Works and Days gives detailed descriptions of grape harvests and wine making techniques, there are many references in Homer.
Greek colonists introduced these practices in their colonies in southern Italy, known as Enotria due to its propitious climate. The Etruscans improved wine making techniques and developed an export trade beyond the Mediterranean basin; the ancient Romans further developed the techniques learnt from the Etruscans, as shown by numerous works of literature containing information, still valid today: De Agri Cultura by Cato the Elder, De re rustica by Marcus Terentius Varro, the Georgics by Virgil and De re rustica by Columella. During the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, the long crisis of the Roman Empire generated instability in the countryside which led to a reduction of viticulture in general, sustained only close to towns and cities and along coastlines. Between the 5th and 10th centuries, viticulture was sustained exclusively by the different religious orders in monasteries; the Benedictines and others extended the grape growing limit northwards and planted new vineyards at higher altitudes than was customary before.
Apart from ‘ecclesiastical’ viticulture, there developed in France, a ‘noble’ viticulture, practiced by the aristocracy as a symbol of prestige. Grape growing was a significant economic activity in the Middle east up to the 7th century, when the expansion of Islam caused it to decline. Between the Low Middle Ages and the Renaissance, viticulture began to flourish again. Demographic pressure, population concentration in towns and cities, the increased spending power of artisans and merchants gave rise to increased investment in viticulture, which became economically feasible once more. Much was written during the Renaissance on grape growing and wine production, favouring a more scientific approach; this literature can be considered the origin of modern ampelography. Grapes followed European colonies around the world, coming to North America around the 17th century, to Africa, South America and Australia. In North America it formed hybrids with native species from the genus Vitis. North American rootstocks became used to graft V. vinifera cultivars so as to withstand the presence of phylloxera.
V. Vinifera accounts for the majority of world wine production. In Europe, Vitis vinifera is concentrated in the southern regions.
Winemaking or vinification is the production of wine, starting with the selection of the fruit, its fermentation into alcohol, the bottling of the finished liquid. The history of wine-making stretches over millennia; the science of wine and winemaking is known as oenology. A winemaker may be called a vintner; the growing of grapes is viticulture and there are many varieties of grapes. Winemaking can be divided into two general categories: still wine production and sparkling wine production. Red wine, white wine, rosé are the other main categories. Although most wine is made from grapes, it may be made from other plants, see fruit wine. Other similar light alcoholic drinks include mead, made by fermenting honey and water, kumis, made of fermented mare's milk. There are five basic stages to the wine making process which begins with picking. After the harvest, the grapes are prepared for primary ferment. At this stage red wine making diverges from white wine making. Red wine is made from the must of red or black grapes and fermentation occurs together with the grape skins, which give the wine its color.
White wine is made by fermenting juice, made by pressing crushed grapes to extract a juice. White wine is made from red grapes. Rosé wines are either made from red grapes where the juice is allowed to stay in contact with the dark skins long enough to pick up a pinkish color or by blending red wine with white wine. White and rosé wines extract little of the tannins contained in the skins. To start primary fermentation yeast may be added to the must for red wine or may occur as ambient yeast on the grapes or in the air. Yeast may be added to the juice for white wine. During this fermentation, which takes between one and two weeks, the yeast converts most of the sugars in the grape juice into ethanol and carbon dioxide; the carbon dioxide is lost to the atmosphere. After the primary fermentation of red grapes the free run wine is pumped off into tanks and the skins are pressed to extract the remaining juice and wine; the press wine is blended with the free run wine at the winemaker's discretion. The wine is kept warm and the remaining sugars are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
The next process in the making of red wine is malo-lactic conversion. This is a bacterial process which converts "crisp, green apple" malic acid to "soft, creamy" lactic acid softening the taste of the wine. Red wine is sometimes transferred to oak barrels to mature for a period of months; the wine must be settled or clarified and adjustments made prior to bottling. The time from harvest to drinking can vary from a few months for Beaujolais nouveau wines to over twenty years for wine of good structure with high levels of acid, tannin or sugar. However, only about 10% of all red and 5% of white wine will taste better after five years than it will after just one year. Depending on the quality of grape and the target wine style, some of these steps may be combined or omitted to achieve the particular goals of the winemaker. Many wines of comparable quality are produced using similar but distinctly different approaches to their production. Variations on the above procedure exist. With sparkling wines such as Champagne, an additional, "secondary" fermentation takes place inside the bottle, dissolving trapped carbon dioxide in the wine and creating the characteristic bubbles.
Sweet wines or off-dry wines are made by arresting fermentation before all sugar has been converted into ethanol and allowing some residual sugar to remain. This can be done by chilling the wine and adding sulphur and other allowable additives to inhibit yeast activity or sterile filtering the wine to remove all yeast and bacteria. In the case of sweet wines, initial sugar concentrations are increased by harvesting late, freezing the grapes to concentrate the sugar, allowing or encouraging botrytis cinerea fungus to dehydrate the grapes or allowing the grapes to raisin either on the vine or on racks or straw mats. In these high sugar wines, the fermentation stops as the high concentration of sugar and rising concentration of ethanol retard the yeast activity. In fortified wines, such as port wine, high proof neutral grape spirit is added to arrest the ferment and adjust the alcohol content when the desired sugar level has been reached. In other cases the winemaker may choose to hold back some of the sweet grape juice and add it to the wine after the fermentation is done, a technique known in Germany as süssreserve.
The process produces wastewater and lees that require collection and disposal or beneficial use. Synthetic wines, engineered wines or fake wines, are a product that do not use grapes at all and start with water and ethanol and adds acids, amino acids and organic compounds; the quality of the grapes determines the quality of the wine more than any other factor. Grape quality is affected by variety as well as weather during the growing season, soil minerals and acidity, time of harvest, pruning method; the combination of these effects is referred to as the grape's terroir. Grapes are harvested from the vineyard from early September until early November in the northern hemisphere, mid February until early March in the southern hemisphere. In some cool areas in the southe
Cork is an impermeable buoyant material, the phellem layer of bark tissue, harvested for commercial use from Quercus suber, endemic to southwest Europe and northwest Africa. Cork is composed of a hydrophobic substance; because of its impermeable, buoyant and fire retardant properties, it is used in a variety of products, the most common of, wine stoppers. The montado landscape of Portugal produces half of cork harvested annually worldwide, with Corticeira Amorim being the leading company in the industry. Cork was examined microscopically by Robert Hooke, which led to his discovery and naming of the cell. There are about 2,200,000 hectares of cork forest worldwide. Annual production is about 200,000 tons. Once the trees are about 25 years old the cork is traditionally stripped from the trunks every nine years, with the first two harvests producing lower quality cork; the trees live for about 300 years. The cork industry is regarded as environmentally friendly. Cork production is considered sustainable because the cork tree is not cut down to obtain cork.
The tree continues to grow. The sustainability of production and the easy recycling of cork products and by-products are two of its most distinctive aspects. Cork oak forests prevent desertification and are a particular habitat in the Iberian Peninsula and the refuge of various endangered species. Carbon footprint studies conducted by Corticeira Amorim, Oeneo Bouchage of France and the Cork Supply Group of Portugal concluded that cork is the most environmentally friendly wine stopper in comparison to other alternatives; the Corticeira Amorim’s study, in particular, was developed by PricewaterhouseCoopers, according to ISO 14040. Results concluded that, concerning the emission of greenhouse gases, each plastic stopper released 10 times more CO2, whilst an aluminium screw cap releases 26 times more CO2 than does a cork stopper; the cork oak is unrelated to the "cork trees", which have corky bark but are not used for cork production. Cork is extracted only from early May to late August, when the cork can be separated from the tree without causing permanent damage.
When the tree reaches 25–30 years of age and about 24 in in circumference, the cork can be removed for the first time. However, this first harvest always produces poor quality or "virgin" cork. Bark from initial harvests can be used to make flooring, shoes and other industrial products. Subsequent extractions occur at intervals of 9 years, though it can take up to 13 for the cork to reach an acceptable size. If the product is of high quality it is known as "gentle" cork, ideally, is used to make stoppers for wine and champagne bottles; the workers who specialize in removing the cork are known as extractors. An extractor uses a sharp axe to make two types of cuts on the tree: one horizontal cut around the plant, called a crown or necklace, at a height of about 2–3 times the circumference of the tree, several vertical cuts called rulers or openings; this is the most delicate phase of the work because though cutting the cork requires significant force, the extractor must not damage the underlying phellogen or the tree will be harmed.
To free the cork from the tree, the extractor pushes the handle of the axe into the rulers. A good extractor needs to use a firm but precise touch in order to free a large amount of cork without damaging the product or tree; these freed portions of the cork are called planks. The planks are carried off by hand since cork forests are accessible to vehicles; the cork is stacked in piles in the forest or in yards at a factory and traditionally left to dry, after which it can be loaded onto a truck and shipped to a processor. Cork's elasticity combined with its near-impermeability makes it suitable as a material for bottle stoppers for wine bottles. Cork stoppers represent about 60% of all cork based production. Cork has an zero Poisson's ratio, which means the radius of a cork does not change when squeezed or pulled. Cork is an excellent gasket material; some carburetor float bowl gaskets are made for example. Cork is an essential element in the production of badminton shuttlecocks. Cork's bubble-form structure and natural fire retardant make it suitable for acoustic and thermal insulation in house walls, floors and facades.
The by-product of more lucrative stopper production, corkboard is gaining popularity as a non-allergenic, easy-to-handle and safe alternative to petrochemical-based insulation products. Sheets of cork often the by-product of stopper production, are used to make bulletin boards as well as floor and wall tiles. Cork's low density makes it a suitable material for fishing floats and buoys, as well as handles for fishing rods. Granules of cork can be mixed into concrete; the composites made by mixing cork granules and cement have lower thermal conductivity, lower density and good energy absorption. Some of the property ranges of the composites are density, compressive strength and flexural strength; as late as the mid-17th century, French vintners did not use cork stoppers, using instead oil-soaked rag
Wine is an alcoholic drink made from fermented grapes. Yeast consumes the sugar in the grapes and converts it to ethanol, carbon dioxide, heat. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts produce different styles of wine; these variations result from the complex interactions between the biochemical development of the grape, the reactions involved in fermentation, the terroir, the production process. Many countries enact legal appellations intended to define qualities of wine; these restrict the geographical origin and permitted varieties of grapes, as well as other aspects of wine production. Wines not made from grapes include rice wine and fruit wines such as plum, pomegranate and elderberry. Wine has been produced for thousands of years; the earliest known traces of wine are from Georgia and Sicily although there is evidence of a similar alcoholic drink being consumed earlier in China. The earliest known winery is the 6,100-year-old Areni-1 winery in Armenia. Wine reached the Balkans by 4500 BC and was consumed and celebrated in ancient Greece and Rome.
Throughout history, wine has been consumed for its intoxicating effects. Wine has long played an important role in religion. Red wine was associated with blood by the ancient Egyptians and was used by both the Greek cult of Dionysus and the Romans in their Bacchanalia; the earliest archaeological and archaeobotanical evidence for grape wine and viniculture, dating to 6000–5800 BC was found on the territory of modern Georgia. Both archaeological and genetic evidence suggest that the earliest production of wine elsewhere was later having taken place in the Southern Caucasus, or the West Asian region between Eastern Turkey, northern Iran; the earliest evidence of a grape-based fermented drink was found in China, Georgia from 6000 BC, Iran from 5000 BC, Sicily from 4000 BC. The earliest evidence of a wine production facility is the Areni-1 winery in Armenia and is at least 6100 years old. A 2003 report by archaeologists indicates a possibility that grapes were mixed with rice to produce mixed fermented drinks in China in the early years of the seventh millennium BC.
Pottery jars from the Neolithic site of Jiahu, contained traces of tartaric acid and other organic compounds found in wine. However, other fruits indigenous to the region, such as hawthorn, cannot be ruled out. If these drinks, which seem to be the precursors of rice wine, included grapes rather than other fruits, they would have been any of the several dozen indigenous wild species in China, rather than Vitis vinifera, introduced there 6000 years later; the spread of wine culture westwards was most due to the Phoenicians who spread outward from a base of city-states along the Mediterranean coast of what are today Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. The wines of Byblos were exported to Egypt during the Old Kingdom and throughout the Mediterranean. Evidence includes two Phoenician shipwrecks from 750 BC discovered by Robert Ballard, whose cargo of wine was still intact; as the first great traders in wine, the Phoenicians seem to have protected it from oxidation with a layer of olive oil, followed by a seal of pinewood and resin, similar to retsina.
Although the nuragic Sardinians consumed wine before the arrival of the Phoenicians The earliest remains of Apadana Palace in Persepolis dating back to 515 BC include carvings depicting soldiers from Achaemenid Empire subject nations bringing gifts to the Achaemenid king, among them Armenians bringing their famous wine. Literary references to wine are abundant in Homer and others. In ancient Egypt, six of 36 wine amphoras were found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun bearing the name "Kha'y", a royal chief vintner. Five of these amphoras were designated as originating from the king's personal estate, with the sixth from the estate of the royal house of Aten. Traces of wine have been found in central Asian Xinjiang in modern-day China, dating from the second and first millennia BC; the first known mention of grape-based wines in India is from the late 4th-century BC writings of Chanakya, the chief minister of Emperor Chandragupta Maurya. In his writings, Chanakya condemns the use of alcohol while chronicling the emperor and his court's frequent indulgence of a style of wine known as madhu.
The ancient Romans planted vineyards near garrison towns so wine could be produced locally rather than shipped over long distances. Some of these areas are now world-renowned for wine production; the Romans discovered that burning sulfur candles inside empty wine vessels kept them fresh and free from a vinegar smell. In medieval Europe, the Roman Catholic Church supported wine because the clergy required it for the Mass. Monks in France made wine for years. An old English recipe that survived in various forms until the 19th century calls for refining white wine from bastard—bad or tainted bastardo wine; the English word "wine" comes from the Proto-Germanic *winam, an early borrowing from the Latin vinum, "wine" or " vine", itself derived from the Proto-Indo-European stem *win-o-. The earliest attested terms referring to wine are the Mycenaean Greek me-tu-wo ne-wo, meaning "in" or " of the new wine", wo-no-wa-ti-si, meaning "wine garden", written in Linear B inscriptions. Linear B includes, inter alia, an ideogram for wine
California wine is wine made in the U. S. state of California. Three quarters the size of France, California accounts for nearly 90 percent of American wine production; the production of wine in California is one third larger than that of Australia. If California were a separate country, it would be the world's fourth largest wine producer; the state's viticultural history dates back to the 18th century when Spanish missionaries planted the first vineyards to produce wine for Mass. Today there are more than 1,200 wineries in the state, ranging from small boutique wineries to large corporations with distribution around the globe; the state of California was first introduced to Vitis vinifera vines, a species of wine grapes native to the Mediterranean region, in the 18th century by the Spanish, who planted vineyards with each mission they established. The wine was used for religious sacraments as well as for daily life; the vine cuttings used to start the vineyards came from Mexico and were the descendant of the "common black grape" brought to the New World by Hernán Cortés in 1520.
The grape's association with the church caused it to become known as the Mission grape, to become the dominant grape variety in California until the 20th century. The California Gold Rush in the mid-19th century brought waves of new settlers to the region, increasing the population and local demand for wine; the newly growing wine industry took hold in Northern California around the counties of Sonoma and Napa. The first commercial winery in California, Buena Vista Winery, was founded in 1857 by Agoston Haraszthy and is located in Sonoma, California. John Patchett opened the first commercial winery in the area, now Napa County in 1859. During this period some of California's oldest wineries were founded including Buena Vista Winery, Gundlach Bundschu, Inglenook Winery, Markham Vineyards and Schramsberg Vineyards. Chinese immigrants played a prominent role in the developing the Californian wine industry during this period - building wineries, planting vineyards, digging the underground cellars and harvesting grapes.
Some assisted as winemakers prior to the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act which affected the Chinese community in favor of encouraging "white labor." By 1890, most of the Chinese workers were out of the wine industry. The late 19th century saw the advent of the phylloxera epidemic, a type of parasite similar to aphids, which had ravaged France and other European vineyards. Vineyards were destroyed and many smaller operations went out of business. However, the remedy of grafting resistant American rootstock was well known, the Californian wine industry was able to rebound, utilizing the opportunity to expand the plantings of new grape varieties. By the turn of the 20th century nearly 300 grape varieties were being grown in the state, supplying its nearly 800 wineries. Worldwide recognition seemed imminent until January 16, 1919 when the 18th Amendment ushered in the beginning of Prohibition. Vineyards were ordered to be uprooted and cellars were destroyed; some vineyards and wineries were able to survive by converting to table grape or grape juice production.
A few more were able to stay in operation in order to continue to provide churches sacramental wine, an allowed exception to the Prohibition laws. However, most went out of business. By the time that Prohibition was repealed in 1933, only 140 wineries were still in operation, it took time for the Californian wine industry to recover from this setback. By the 1960s, California was known for its sweet port-style wines made from Carignan and Thompson Seedless grapes; however a new wave of winemakers soon emerged and helped usher in a renaissance period in California wine with a focus on new winemaking technologies and emphasizing quality. Several well-known wineries were founded in this decade including Robert Mondavi, Heitz Wine Cellars and David Bruce Winery; as the quality of Californian wine improved, the region started to receive more international attention. A watershed moment for the industry occurred in 1976 when British wine merchant Steven Spurrier invited several Californian wineries to participate in a blind tasting event in Paris.
It was to compare the best of California with the best of Bordeaux and Burgundy - two famous French wine regions. In an event known as The Judgment of Paris, Californian wines shocked the world by sweeping the wine competition in both the red and white wine categories. Throughout the wine world, perspectives about the potential of California wines started to change; the state's wine industry continued to grow as California emerged as one of the world's premier wine regions. In 2010, it was reported for the first time in 16 years; this was not due to a decrease in drinking wine as much as it was a decrease in customers' willingness to spend top dollar on wine. Jon Fredrikson, President of Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates said that sales of $3 to $6 a bottle wine and $9 to $12 wine had seen growth, but the sales of wine over $20 had stagnated. In addition, most of this loss in market was occurring in overseas sales, as opposed to U. S. sales. California is a geologically diverse region and varies in the range of climates and terroirs that can be found.
Most of the state's wine regions are found between the Central Valley. The Pacific Ocean and large bays, like San Francisco Bay, serve as tempering influences to the wine regions nearby providing cool winds and fog that balance the heat and sunshine. While drought can be a vinicultural hazard, most areas of California receive sufficient amounts of rainfall with the annual rainfall of wine regions north of San Francisco between 24-45 inches and the more southern regions receiving 13-20
Yakima Valley AVA
The Yakima Valley AVA was the first American Viticultural Area established within Washington State, gaining the recognition in 1983. Part of the larger Columbia Valley AVA, Yakima Valley AVA is home to more than 11,000 acres of vineyards, giving the area the largest concentration of wineries and vineyards in the state of Washington; the most planted varietals in the area are Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot gris, Syrah. Nearly 40 % of Washington state. In addition to grapes, the Yakima Valley is home to several fruit orchards growing apples, nectarines, peaches and plums. Around the town of Zillah, there is the Zillah Fruit Loop driving tour through the area's orchards and vineyards; the area is home to nearly 80% of the US hop production. The Yakima Valley's borders include the sub-AVA of the Rattlesnake Hills to the north, the Horse Heaven Hills to the south and Red Mountain forming parts of its eastern boundaries; the Snipes Mountain AVA lies within its boundaries. To the west, the Cascade Range forms a natural border and creates a rain shadow over the area which requires the use of irrigation in viticulture.
The appellation covers 600,000 acres of land, contained within Yakima County, Washington with the eastern edge extending into Benton County. The cities of Yakima and Prosser are the main commercial centers with many wineries located in or around them. To the west, Mount Adams dominates the landscape along with the Yakima River on its eastward flow to the Columbia River. Overall, the temperature of the Yakima Valley is more temperate than the rest of the greater Columbia Valley AVA, with average temperatures being 5 °F to 10 °F cooler. A French winemaker from Alsace-Lorraine named Charles Schanno is credited with planting the first vines in the area in 1869. Schanno purchased the cuttings from a vineyard in The Dalles and the Hudson's Bay Company outpost at Fort Vancouver. In the early 20th century, an attorney from Tacoma named William B. Bridgeman pioneered the modern wine industry in the Yakima Valley. Bridgeman helped draft some of the state's earliest irrigation laws for wine growing and planted his first vineyard in 1914.
Many of the vineyards established in the Yakima Valley during this period came from Bridgeman's cuttings. Following the repeal of Prohibition, Bridgeman opened Upland Winery and hired Erich Steenborg as winemaker. Together they were influential in promoting the use of varietal labelling for wines made in the Yakima Valley, including the state's first dry Riesling. In 1917, the Washington State Legislature passed an act setting aside 200 acres of sagebrush desert near Prosser to become an agriculture research center known as the Irrigation Branch Experiment Station; the first crop was 6 acres of apples used in an irrigation study. In 1937, the research center hired Walter Clore as an assistant horticulturist. Under Clore's guidance, the center expanded into grape growing with Vitis labrusca, Vitis vinifera and American hybrid grape plantings. Research from the center would become vital to the growing Washington wine industry. In the 1980s, along with the rest of the Washington wine industry, the Yakima Valley saw a boom in the plantings of new vineyards and the openings of new wineries such as Hogue Cellars and Covey Run both opening in 1982, followed by Chinook Wines in 1983.
The Yakima Valley AVA is home to some of the state's oldest vineyards with nearly every major Washington wine maker securing at least some of their grapes from this appellation. Red Willow Vineyard near Wapato stands at the highest point in the Yakima Valley AVA at 1,300 feet above sea level; the vineyard is known as the primary grape supplier to Columbia Winery. It was from this vineyard. Chardonnay is a popular planting in this cool climate appellation with most wine growers preferring a single clonal variety. Nearly any grape can ripen at some location within this diverse AVA; the most sought after sites are located on the eastern edge of the AVA near Red Mountain and Benton City. The AVA includes Boushey Vineyard, ranked by as one of the top vineyards in Washington State; as the Washington wine industry began to focus more on terroir, three sub-appellations have been created for areas within the Yakima Valley AVA that demonstrate unique microclimates and soil conditions which crafted different wines from their neighboring areas.
The Red Mountain AVA was created in 2001, the Rattlesnake Hills AVA was created in 2006 and the Snipes Mountain AVA created in 2009. Yakima Valley Wine Region