Rattlesnake Hills AVA, Washington State
The Rattlesnake Hills AVA contains the ideal growing environment for thick skinned, late ripening reds like Cabernet Sauvignon . The AVA lies within the larger Yakima Valley AVA which itself lies inside the much larger Columbia Valley AVA. The Rattlesnake Hills averages 2700 degree days a year which is 500 degree days more than the rest of theYakima Valley to the west and 100 degree days less than Red Mountain to the East ( Bordeaux gets roughly 2500 degree days and Napa gets 2900 degree days). Night time temps drop 40+ degrees during the growing season to preserve acidity and freshness. Rain is a seldom occurrence here with the area receiving just 7-10 inches of rain per year.
The Cabernet Sauvignon vines are planted in the Harwood-Burke-Wiehl series silt loams that distinguish the Rattlesnake Hills AVA. These soils are a combination of wind deposited ancient or sedimentary alluvials and decomposed basalt over a lime-silica hard pan. This combination provides both exceptional drainage and ideal soil alkalinity for growing Vinifera.