27 Jun In the Beginning…Kiona Vineyard Winery
Washington State’s wine industry began in the Yakima Valley. So it’s no surprise that some of the first historians in the region reside here. Take for example John Williams, who established Kiona Vineyards & Winery in 1975.
John and his then business partner were the first to plant vines on a sagebrush-covered hillside at the eastern end of the Yakima Valley called Red Mountain. Of the 84-acre parcel, they started with eleven acres divided among Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Riesling.
The first fruit was ready in 1978, but only two years would pass before Kiona Vineyards became Kiona Vineyards and Winery and produced the first wine under the name in 1980.
Since then, Kiona Vineyards and Winery has grown from a basement/garage operation to one of the premier wineries and grape sites in the United States.
Wine Spectator has placed two of Kiona’s wines on its prestigious “100 Best Wines” list and the Williams’ were among the inductees into the “Legends of Washington Wine” Hall of Fame in only its second year in existence. John Williams’ son, Scott is the winemaker and lead grower for the vineyard and his grandson JJ runs the sales of operations of the winery.
Kiona vineyards grow wine grapes for winemakers throughout the Pacific Northwest and the winery produces more than 15 different wines. A wine to take note of (and there are many) is the 2012 Estate Red Mountain Old Block Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine was made from the original Cabernet vines planted in 1975. The wine is only available at the winery, so you will need make a visit to get your hands on a bottle.
The tasting room is open noon to 5:00 daily. During a visit you will enjoy sweeping panoramic views of the estate vineyards and the Yakima Valley. It’s a rare sight in the world of wine to be able to see the very vineyards from which the wines in the tasting room are made.
Busses and groups of 8 or more please call ahead to schedule your tasting.