Destiny Ridge Vineyard
We are fortunate to have our own estate vineyard, Destiny Ridge, which allows our winemaker, Jarrod L. Boyle —along with Mother Nature—complete control of fruit quality from bud to bottle. Our belief, a constant for all great wines around the world, is that quality starts in the vineyard.
Through attentive viticulture management, balanced crop levels, gentle hand-harvesting and processing of grapes, and passionate winemaking, we produce consistent quality in every bottle. Our 267 planted acre estate vineyard is located high on the bluffs overlooking the majestic Columbia River, in the highly recognized Horse Heaven Hills Appellation. It is here, high on the dominate ridge, that our grapes thrive in the soils and climatic conditions of the Horse Heaven Hills.
Fruit not used to craft Alexandria Nicole Cellars wines is sold to other wineries under contract. We have 23 varietals planted and here are just a few:
|Sauvignon Blanc||Tempranillo||Cabernet Franc|
Weather statistics Horse Heaven Hills AVA
Growing Degree Days:3157.6°F | Total Rainfall:5.46 in
Average Air Temp:52.9°F | Low Air Temp:-0.2°F | High Air Temp:108.5°F
Average Diurnal Shift:22.4°F
Average Windspeed:6.5 mph | High Windspeed:42.4 mph
Average Soil Temp:58°F | Low Soil Temp:19.3°F | High Soil Temp:97.9°F
Terroir at Destiny Ridge
The sun, soil, slope, wind and water that make our spot unique as a growing area for wine grapes. The Horse Heaven Hills American Viticultural Area is in Southeastern Washington, and is part of the larger Columbia Valley AVA. The HHH AVA borders the Yakima Valley AVA on the North and the Columbia River on the South. Elevation in this AVA ranges from 200 feet above sea level in the South to 1,800 feet above sea level at the Northern boundary. Destiny Ridge sits at 850 feet above sea level.
The grapes planted in the South-facing slopes of the HHH benefit from strong winds that arrive from the West via the Columbia River Gorge. The wind reduces the likelihood of rot and fungal diseases taking hold and our slope combines with the wind to keep frost at bay. We enjoy very hot days and much cooler nights (diurnal shift), that gives our fruit, intense fruitiness and bright but balanced acidity. The soil at Destiny Ridge varies depending on where you are at in the vineyard.
We enjoy five unique topography areas within our vineyard alone. This includes clay, limestone, schist (medium sized mineral rocks), and gravel along with sandy top soils. Because the HHH has a rainfall of only 6-8 inches per year (dry as the Gobi Desert), we irrigate from the Columbia River bringing water to the barren hillsides.
All of these components help us cultivate fruit we craft into balanced, complex, age able wines that showcase our unique growing area.
The hills of Destiny Ridge Vineyard are geologic folds in the earth’s crust which are responsible for the consistent winds that blow across the land; the windy climate is part of what makes the Horse Heaven Hills appellation distinct from the large Columbia Valley appellation that surrounds it. Wind lowers the risk of vineyard disease and pests, while at the same time stressing the vines by drying them out. Add quick-draining soils of silty loam to the mix of vineyard characteristics and the need for irrigation becomes even more pronounced. Drip irrigation is the canopy-management tool of choice to control the vigor of the vines at Destiny Ridge.
In addition to its distinctive topography, Destiny Ridge Vineyard benefits from its proximity to the Columbia River. Although it sits approximately 800 feet above the river, the vineyard is relieved of temperature extremes suffered elsewhere in the Columbia Valley AVA, thanks to the modifying effects of the river (with its stirring of air currents) and the sloping of the land toward the river (draining cold air away from the vines).
All these factors help produce intense-flavored grapes with a structural balance of sugars and acids. Attentive viticultural and enological management – including balancing crop levels and gentle processing of grapes – completes the formula behind consistently excellent harvests and wines from Destiny Ridge Vineyard.