Please welcome Washington State’s twelfth American Viticultural Area (AVA): Naches Heights. One million years ago a giant flow of Andesite lava from the Cascade Mountains filled the Tieton and Naches river valleys all the way to Yakima. Now, one million years later, the Andesite lava has been filled in by the prevailing winds with pockets of deep, rich “loess” soils that are perfect for many crops, including wine grapes.
Naches Heights is distinguished by the tall Andesite lava cliffs, which flank the boundaries of the AVA and also protected the loess soils from the historic Missoula floods that shaped much of Eastern Washington State. You can hike and climb on the Andesite cliffs and taste organic wines grown on the loess soils at Wilridge Vineyard, 250 Ehler Road, just five minutes west of Yakima, up Highway 12 toward White Pass and Mount Rainier.