The name Yakima has been translated to mean black bear (from yah-kah, meaning black bear, and the plural ending ma), or runaway.
Today, Yakima Valley is home to more than 60 wineries and 12,000 vineyard acres, two additional AVA's (Red
Mountain and Rattlsnake Hills) have recently been formed and focuse on premium wine production. The distinct microclimates and diverse soils, combined with warm days and cool nights, make growing conditions ideal for
producing more than 48 wine varieties. .
EARLY YEARS — WASHINGTON'S STORY BEGINS HERE
There is evidence that wine grapes were planted in the upper Yakima Valley as early as 1868. Wine grapes
were planted in the Sunnyside area in 1917. The next chapter of Washington wine history began in the
Yakima Valley in 1937, when Dr. Walter Clore began his career at the Washington State University Research Station near Prosser. Clore started experimenting with wine grape growing and as they say, the rest is
history. In 1964 the Washington Wine Project headed by Charles Nagel made wine from grapes grown by
Clore in the Yakima Valley.