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About The Region

The Cascade Range, rising to about 6,000 feet in elevation, runs north to south and divides eastern and western Washington State. The high Cascade Range altitudes protect eastern Washington from much of the Pacific Ocean’s temperature influence and Rainfall.

The Rattlesnake Hills, which vary in elevation from 850 feet to 3,085 feet, create a north flank to the Toppenish Creek/Yakima Valley floor at its immediate south. Also, south central Washington has a series of smaller east-west mountain ranges between the Cascade Range and the Columbia River.


The Rattlesnake Hills range is oriented east to west. The ridgeline has dissected canyons, terraces, and ridges running south off the main ridge to the Yakima River. Vineyards are usually on ridges and terraces, and in areas with good air drainage, which lessens frost and winterkill conditions.


The Rattlesnake Hills viticultural area topography includes a multitude of landscapes with differing aspect and hill slope positions. Low glacial terraces comprise the balance of the terrain found within the AVA. The Yakima Valley viticultural area, which surrounds the Rattlesnake Hills AVA on the east, south and west sides, has a more open and consistent landscape when compared to the Rattlesnake Hills area.


Zillah, with a population of about 2300, was founded in 1891 following the completion of the Sunnyside Canal project which diverted water from the Yakima River to the lower Yakima Valley. The town was named for Miss Zillah Oakes, daughter of Thomas Fletcher Oakes, president of the Northern Pacific Railway. Zillah was officially incorporated on January 5, 1911. Zillah is also the home of the Church of God, Zillah.

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