Red Mountain Trails – Meet the Maker

Red Mountain Trails – Meet the Maker

April 6, 2022

Take a “Pinkies-Down” Wine Tasting Tour

It’s the “come as you are” nature of the Red Mountain experience in the Yakima Valley that calls all visitors, wine connoisseurs and newcomers alike, to this premier wine country region. Teresa and Jeff Owens have created a one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure for wine lovers. Take a trail or wagon ride for an intimate connection with the wine country landscape and savor award-winning wines. Check out our Q&A to learn more!

Question: You have such a strong family history and personal connection to Red Mountain. How has that inspired your vision for Red Mountain Trails?

When my family moved out here it was barren, desolate, and isolated, which meant affordable.  There were many changes that could have and very nearly did take place – large housing developments and other grown.  My mother was a fierce defender of Red Mountain being an agricultural area.  She saw Red Mountain blossom and became established as a premiere grape-growing region partly due to her efforts early on.  I’ll admit that growing up here I couldn’t wait to leave, but going away to travel really made me appreciate Red Mountain for how special it is —we have awesome weather, a great community, sunsets like you’ll never see anywhere else and a beautiful sea of vineyards.  Travelling helped me see this area from a tourist’s perspective.  When we visit a new place we love to find off-the-beaten-path excursions and intimate experiences and learn some history and anecdotes about a place.  Jeff and I offer all of that and enjoy the heck out of it.

Question: Red Mountain has grown and evolved to become a vital part of the WA wine industry. What has it meant to you to be part of that and share it with guests?

The Washington wine industry is EXCITING.  There’s no two ways about it and the industry is far more than the location and the wine. Because Red Mountain is such an exceptional grape-growing region, it attracts great wine-makers. It really is a great incubator for small, family-owned businesses.  It’s the characters – from the ladybugs eating aphids to the coyotes chewing drip-lines, the vineyard managers working with the terroir and the winemakers in the cellars – who really add to the experience.  When we take guests out, they’re likely to cross paths with some of the world’s best vineyard crews making those first cuts of the season that will determine the vines’ production for the year working shoulder-to-shoulder with world-renowned winemakers and vineyard managers.  We’ll see granite glacial erratics from the Missoula floods or a strip of volcanic ash in a cut-bank.  We’ll see coyotes and dragonflies, and we’ll experience the breeze out of the west.  These are all things that contribute to an AVA’s success.  Being immersed in it is meaningful and gives our guests an understanding of wine far beyond ratings and tasting notes, or even a bottle.  Our job and passion is to make that intimate connection with Red Mountain accessible to anyone.  It is probably even more romantic than it sounds!

Question: You recently expanded Red Mountain Trails with the addition of your winery, shop and fire pits. What was your inspiration for the additions?

We really always wanted to have a winery, and when the opportunity presented itself we never thought twice about it. We also listened to our guests. They liked the peace and quiet out here, the slower pace and the farm animals.  They wanted to have a family-friendly experience with or without wine. We wanted to focus on laid-back, approachable experiences that we think really capture the essence of Red Mountain.  If you go to most events on Red Mountain, all the “industry” people are wearing jeans and t-shirts, maybe with flip-flops or work boots. They drink their award-winning wine with their pinkies down. It seemed natural to us to provide an equally approachable, pinkies-down setting where guests are as comfortable hanging out with their kids and roasting s’mores or bringing their out-of-town wine-connoisseur friends for a visit.  It is not uncommon for people to hang out for a couple of hours and we love it.  We are not about “turning tables.” 

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