Candy Mountain near the Tri-Cities is Washington’s newest, and smallest, American Viticultural Area, or AVA.
The designation was announced by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau on Sept. 25, making it the 16th AVA in the state.
At 815 acres, Candy Mountain is the smallest AVA in Washington, according to a news release from the Washington Wine Commission. About 110 acres are planted to vineyards. It lies within the larger Yakima Valley and Columbia Valley areas.
Candy Mountain is characterized by excellent cold air drainage, southern facing slopes and shallow soils that allow vine roots to penetrate underlying basalt bedrock or ice age flood deposits, the news release said.
The announcement comes just weeks after the agency declared Royal Slope, also in Eastern Washington, the state’s 15th AVA. To qualify as an AVA, a wine grape-growing region must have distinguishable climate, soil, elevation and physical features.
—by Ross Courtney