The Benches at Wallula

AVA: Horse Heaven Hills
: Bill and Andy Denhoed

Planted in 1997, The Benches at Wallula is an extraordinary vineyard of beauty and scope carved out of a steep, south-facing slope alongside the Columbia River in the southeast corner of the Horse Heaven Hills. As the name implies, the vineyard is comprised of 27 geologically formed “benches” created 20,000 years ago by the Great Missoula Floods. Rising 1,400 above sea level at its crown, the vineyard’s rugged terrain quickly drops more than 1,000 feet to the edge of the Columbia River forming a diverse series of mesoclimates.With the mighty Columbia River serving as a massive insulator, heat accumulates rapidly in the bottom sections of the property, perfect for Cabernet Sauvignon. Cooler climate white varieties like Riesling are grown at the top of the site. As well-known for its jaw-dropping grandeur as its award-winning wines, the site simply “must be seen to believe,” as one prominent wine critic noted.
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