Naturally isolated by the Columbia River to the west and south, the Saddle Mountains on the north, and the Hanford Reach National Monument on the east, Wahluke Slope is home to some of the most complex wines in the world. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese and Chardonnay excel in one of Washington States warmest climates. Separated from Seattle’s rainy, marine climate by the Cascade Mountains, the AVA lies in the rain shadow of the mountains and enjoys less than 6 inches of annual rainfall, ideal for having nearly complete control of vine vigor and ripening through irrigation. The major distinguishing feature of the Wahluke Slope is its uniformity in aspect, soil type and climate. The entire appellation lies on a broad, south-facing slope with a constant, gentle grade of less than 8%. This, along with the proximity fo the Columbia River, helps minimize the risk of frost, which can affect other areas of the state. The topsoil is deep, wind-blown sand with a depth, on average, of more than 5 feet. This provides both ample drainage for vinifera vines and greater uniformity in plant vigor and ripening than seen in other areas. Red wines made from Wahluke Slope AVA fruit consistently score above 94 points and have had multiple 100 point ratings along with the Wine of the Year in 2009!