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FYI in the news: HHH vineyard land up for auction, proposed ‘Rocks’ AVA moves to comment period

Posted in Wineries

A couple of developing news stories involving Washington wine caught my eye recently.

First, the upcoming land auction of nearly 700 acres in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA will be fun to follow to see if it generates the same level of interest among out-of-state buyers (read: California) as the recent auction of prime vineyard property on Red Mountain.

The properties in question include Aldercreek and Windy Ridge vineyards. Nearly 340 acres are planted in different varietals and some of the grapes are under contract with Ste. Michelle until 2017. The property went into receivership in 2012 and has undergone some improvements since then, according to the auction listing.

While this area may not have the sex appeal of Red Mountain, it ain’t no ghetto when it comes to prime WaWine growing areas. Nearby vineyards include Champoux, Destiny Ridge, McKinley Springs and Canoe Ridge, just to name a few. The HHH appellation is gaining prestige by delivering grapes for heavyweights such as Quilceda Creek and rising-star boutiques such as Avennia and Alexandria Nicole. It also benefits greatly from the marketing efforts behind Columbia Crest’s lovely and affordable H3 wines, which stakes its brand directly with the AVA.

The auction is scheduled for April 4 – I look forward to seeing how this develops.

And speaking of AVAs, the comments period opened today for the proposed “Rocks District of Milton-Freewater” viticultural area in the Walla Walla Valley. The comment period runs through April 28.

There’s little mystery about this proposed appellation. (Sean Sullivan wrote a detailed focus report on the proposed AVA in Washington Wine Report and you can find plenty of additional articles via Google.) Some of the region’s hottest wineries, such as Cayuse and Reynvaan, rely heavily on the rocks and plenty of others – Sleight of Hand, Balboa and Watermill, to name a few – are delivering great juice from the Rocks.