Floods, terroir and fab wine in Columbia River Valley

There is some seriously smart design behind the creation of some of the world’s best wine countries. The terroir that births the grapes of great wine isn’t just happenstance… it’s shaped by years of occurrences. The Columbia River Valley was created by a massive flood ripping through the eastern corner of the state and then ultimately leaving behind beneficial deposits. Immense flooding that carved out an efficient drainage system is just a part of the puzzle. Look at this eastern Washington AVA a little closer, for example:ThinkstockPhotos-529403644.jpg

The sprinkling of land that lies in eastern Washington is called the “Scablands.” The colossal flood brought torrents roaring down the Clark Fork and the Columbia River, which then settled in the crevices of the valleys; this deposited debris and sediment (everything from boulders to trees to microscopic silt). The silt part of the sediment became known as ‘Warden silt loam,’ and it contributed to the walls of many a Washington river valley.

The flood also caused deep deposits with fairly low nutrient count, but that were well drained; thousands of years later, this means primed and perfect canvas for making wine. The vines get to grow as deep as they need in search of nutrients, which yield intensely flavored, fruity, zesty wines that we all know and love from WA State.

Here are some wines that you might not know, but that you definitely will love.

943405 (1)Watchdog Rock Cabernet Sauvignon, $13.99         

Full-bodied bursting with cassis, toast, molasses, mocha, nutmeg and wild blackberries integrated by muscular tannins and impeccable structure. It’s classic Washington State Cabernet that can be enjoyed now or aged.

 

943505 (1)

 

 

Watchdog Rock Merlot, $13.99

Watchdog Rock Merlot is rich, subtle and soft. It abounds with black cherries, strawberries, vanilla, raspberries and spices. It also delivers the supple tannins for which Washington state Merlot is known.

 

 

943605 (1)Watchdog Rock Riesling, $9.99    

2013 Watchdog Rock Riesling possesses all the qualities so prized in a Washington State Riesling. It is clean and crisp with fragrant and peach aromas backed up by luscious flavors of ripe peaches, apricots and orange rind.

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