Located near a series of ancient lakes near the banks of the Columbia River, the Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley is an unusual region. The lakes were formed when Lake Missoula, a prehistoric lake at the base of Cordilleran ice sheet burst through an ice dam creating a deluge that tore through the Columbia Valley. Much of the rock was eroded creating benches on the banks of the river while eddies helped carve the rock deeper to create the Ancient Lakes and steep canyons called coulees in the area throughout. The viticultural area is located between Beezely and Frenchmen Hills bounded on the west by the Columbia River and to the west by a range line to the east. The soils and rocks in this area were washed away leaving hardpan and loess over basalt.
The climate is considered cold semi-arid meaning that it has warm to hot summers with cold winters. The area is dry because it is located in the rain shadow of both the Olympic and Cascade Ranges and receives less than eight inches of rain per year.
Created in 2012, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley is known for it's white wines. In particular, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris which are prized for their bright acidity and minerality.
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