When we were in college we used to drink Red Mountain wine, a very bad tasting but cheap gallon of wine you could buy at Walgreen’s for $1. It was bulk wine from the Central Valley in California made by Gallo and now a long discontinued label. Last week in the Yakima Valley we tasted several wines that had on the label the designation “Red Mountain.” We could not help but chuckle a bit as we thought about those long-ago Red Mountain college days in contrast to the wines we now tasted from the Red Mountain AVA vineyards of the Yakima Valley. These wines are lush and complex and some of the best wines we have ever tasted. The man most responsible for the development of the prized-Red Mountain AVA is Jim Holmes, who began growing grapes here in 1975. We were lucky enough to do a vineyard walk and listen to how he manages and grows the grapes of his Ciel du Cheval Vineyards.
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