Snipes Mountain is the oldest wine-growing region in the state of Washington. Although the region owes its name to cattle king Ben Snipes, who originally settled on the mountain in the 1850s, it is wine grapes that provide Snipes Mountain the notoriety it enjoys today. W.B. Bridgman first planted wine grapes on Snipes Mountain in 1917, a most unusual crop at the time. After the end of prohibition, Bridgman opened Upland Winery in 1934. After several successful decades, Bridgman’s pioneering venture eventually ended in 1972. However, the vineyards and traditions Bridgman planted at Snipes Mountain would live on.
That same year – 1972 – Alfred Newhouse purchased all of Bridgman’s Upland Vineyards. Over the next 35 years, Newhouse and his family would expand their holdings on Snipes Mountain and neighboring Harrison Hill. Today, the family farms almost 800 acres of vinifera in some of the world’s most unique soils, as well as a variety of apples, pears and stone fruit.
In February 2009, Snipes Mountain was recognized as Washington state’s 10 American Viticultural Area (AVA). At a mere 4,140 acres, it is Washington’s second smallest AVA.