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Red Mountain

The Red Mountain appellation was established in 2001 as a sub-appellation of the Columbia Valley in the southeastern part of Washington State.  Red Mountain is the state’s smallest appellation at 4040 acres, with approximately 1400 acres currently planted.   The first vineyards were planted in 1975, with red grapes, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, having earned a reputation for exceptional quality that makes them among the most sought after in the state.


Eastern Washington, and Red Mountain in particular, has a unique climate for growing grapes for wine production.  The Cascade mountain range, which divides  the state, has peaks up to 14,000 feet which block storms coming from the Pacific ocean and creates a “rain shadow” effect.  Whereas the West side of Washington receives over 35” of precipitation annually, areas like Red Mountain receive only 4-6”.  Red Mountain is Washington’s warmest appellation, with typical summer days reaching 90-95 degrees which promotes ripeness.  Due to the northerly latitude and low humidity, temperatures may drop as much as 40 degrees at night, which preserves natural acidity and color.   Soils on Red Mountain are defined from a series of Ice Age floods which pooled behind the southwest side of the mountains 1400 foot peak, depositing layers of gravelly, sandy loam.   With soils high in PH and Calcium Carbonate, vines struggle to grow, and produce Cabernet Sauvignon with intense black fruit characters and rich powerful tannins.


Marchese Piero Antinori first visited Washington’s Columbia Valley in 1992  where he discovered an emerging wine region supported by Chateau Ste Michelle, Washington’s oldest and most acclaimed winery.  Intrigued by the old-world character, structure, and fruit expression in the vineyards and cellars, he then turned to Chateau  Ste Michelle to form a partnership with the goal of producing the top Cabernet Sauvignon based wine in the state.  The first vintage of Col Solare was produced in 1995.  Today, at the state of the art estate, the powerful Red Mountain grapes are grown and vinified to capture the black fruit flavors of the area, and produce a wine with both richness and a silky texture that will age for decades.

Marcus Notaro
Oenologist, Col Solare

Col Solare

Every wine begins with an idea. The Col Solare vineyards are to be found on the hills of the Columbia River valley in the state of Washington in the northwestern part of the United States.