From the Golden Hills at Kiona Vineyards
This week, we’re paying homage to Kiona Vineyards, from Red Mountain AVA, in Benton County, Washington. This family-owned and -operated winery was founded in 1975 by John Williams. Only one person can claim to be the first in anything and John is that person on Red Mountain: he saw the potential, took the risk, and planted 12 acres of grapes on what has turned out to be one of the most sought after vineyard sites in the hemisphere.
All of their wine is from estate-grown fruit. The 250+ acres are planted in many different varietals, and produce excellent fruit. Most wineries are just wineries and most vineyards are just vineyards, but, at Kiona, they do it all. This is where I find Kiona so refreshing: a no frills business dedicated to consistenly making fine wine. Truly a founding family of Washington wine makers.
You would need to visit Kiona Winery and where its state-of-the-art building is located to understand why the AVA is called Red Mountain. These vineyards have their home in some of the most unique geology in all of Washington. Here is a hint: there is a lot of red clay on that mountain. Kiona is the original Yakima Nation Native American name for the Red Mountain area. Translated, it means “Brown Hills”. Personally, I think “Gold Hills” would be a better description, as wine from Kiona Vineyards fully shines and sparkles. It gets even better: these wines are easy on the pocket book. John always said, “I want to sell my wine to my friends.”
2012 Estate Cabernet/Merlot $19.99
Washington’s shining star. Merlot from Washington and Red Mountain has garnered a reputation as some of the world’s finest. This vintage is no exception. Four different blocks of Merlot and years of experience creates a character that is fruit-forward, well-balanced, loaded with Merlot. Made from 100% free-run juice to ensure a long, velvety finish to this wine.
2012 Cabernet/Merlot Blend $14.99
Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (50%) and Merlot (15%), with six other red varietals making up the balance. This smooth-drinking, incredibly balanced blend showcases Washington state’s penchant for over-delivering on quality when compared to wine-producing regions of the world. Refined tannins and long finish tasting of dark berry and earth on the palate a well rounded experience.