MikeL's Guide to WA Wineries
Kiona Vineyards and Winery
44612 N Sunset NE, Benton City, WA 99320
Phone: 509-588-6716

Kiona Lemberger label
[Label collection: Beth Schoenberg]
  • Tours: ?
  • Tasting room: Daily, noon to 5pm
  • email: click to email (winery)
  • BW-WA-73; Bonded 1972
  • Owners: John and Ann Williams
Click here for map/directions.
YVWGA member winery
TCWA member winery
Page last updated: 31-Aug-2002, Page generated: 11-Sep-2005

Winery photo
Winemaker photo
Vineyard photo
Scott Williams
Production: (1995) 12k cases; (1997) 15k cases
Vineyards: 30 acres

Kiona Vineyards was founded by the Williams and Holmes families in 1972 with the purchase of 86 acres of raw land in the arid climate of southeastern Washington. The site was in the easternmost reaches of the unsettled portion of the famous Yakima Valley, previously used only for rangelands. No fences, structures, or roads marred the landscape.

The partners recognized the site as one which would combine the fruity varietal intensity from the cooler upper Yakima Valley with the rich full bodied character expected from the warmer Columbia Basin just two miles away. Combined with these ideal climatic conditions is a deep, well drained, chalk-like soil structure, which is in some ways similar to those of the finest vineyards in Europe.

Before the dream could begin, irrigation wells were drilled through 500 feet of solid rock, electricity was brought in from three miles away, and new roads were platted. The first acreage was planted in 1975 and expanded in later years to 30 acres. The initial Kiona crush in 1980 was 1200 gallons; in 1993 36,000 gallons were made. Recent growth has been concentrated on producing world class red wines. The result of this effort is now available in the market. In January of 1994 Jim Holmes retired as a partner and Kiona is now solely owned by the Williamses.

Kiona's success has been remarkable. National and international recognition has focused attention on our vineyard. The Red Mountain area pioneered by Kiona is considered one of the prime growing regions in Washington State. There are currently three wineries nearby and four more are planned for the immediate vicinity. At last count, eight vineyards have been developed in the Kiona area.

By the way, Kiona is a Yakima Indian name for their location. Literally translated, it means brown hills.
Sources: [the winery]

The Wines: (Spring 1996)
  • Chardonnay, Washington State
  • Chardonnay, Yakima Valley Reserve (estate)
  • Dry White Riesling
  • Chenin Blanc
  • White Riesling, Columbia Valley
  • Lemberger, Washington State
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Bottled
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington State
  • Vintage Rose
  • Late Harvest White Riesling
  • Late Harvest Gewurtztraminer
  • Ice Wine, Estate Bottled [Chenin Blanc]
  • Late Harvest Muscat
Previous releases: Spring 1996.
Scott Williams
Jim Holmes 1980-1990?
Scott Williams 1994-present

Of special note:
Special events:

September 28 & 29, 1996: Catch the Crush (10am to 5pm)

The last weekend in September usually finds the grape harvest in full swing. Kiona joins Bookwalter, Columbia Crest, Gordon Brothers, Oakwood, Preston, Hogue, Seth Ryan, and Badger Mountain Wineries for Catch the Crush, an annual event sponsored by the Tri-Cities Winery Association. Experience the harvest and taste the wines. Wine specials, food, music, arts & crafts displays.

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