History

Red Mountain is relatively new to the fine wine scene.

The first wine pioneers to the region initially walked the land in the summer of 1972. They found a gently sloping sagebrush covered hillside that had been largely overlooked by both early settlers and local indigenous peoples. There were no roads, wells, power- lines or any other signs of civilization.

These wine pioneers were John Williams and Jim Holmes. They had been greatly influenced by the wine grape research conducted by Dr. Walter Clore and his staff at the WSU agricultural station in Prosser.

Three years later in 1975, after obtaining power, water and rights-of-way to the property, they planted the first ten acres of vineyard on Red Mountain. As wine hobbyists, they had imagined that planting a vineyard might be fun, and maybe even profitable. While they hoped that their efforts may one day produce acceptable wine, they had not envisioned the greatness that was to follow.

The first wines produced were remarkably good, and the reputation of Red Mountain began to grow. Vineyard expansion grew steadily and the pioneers sold their grapes to some of the wineries that are now recognized as some of the best.

The first Red Mountain winery was bonded in 1980. After that time, more people began to purchase land and plant vineyards, recognizing the superior quality of Red Mountain grapes and the potential for world-class wines.

AVA status was achieved in 2001. Red Mountain now hosts approximately fifty-four vineyards covering more than 2300 acres, making Red Mountain one of the most densely planted AVA's with 57% of the AVA currently planted.