Airfield Estates vineyard is situated in the heart of the Yakima Valley – Washington State’s first established AVA. Nestled along the foothills of the Rattlesnake Mountains, it spans 830 acres and includes over 20 different varietals. Wine grapes were initially planted by our grandfather, Don Miller, in 1968. This led to the establishment of our commercial vineyard in 1971 – one of the first commercial vineyards in Washington State. Farming in one place for an extensive period of time has provided us with a high level of knowledge and a more experienced approach to viticulture.
We are firm believers that great wines begin in the vineyard. At Airfield Estates, we use 100% estate grown fruit that produce well-balanced wines with true varietal characteristics showcasing the subtleties of the terroir. From lava-layered mountains to glacier-cut valleys, followed by sediment-deposited soil from epic ice age floods, the terroir of this region is unique and ideal for growing vitis vinifera vines.
Classified as silt loam, our vineyard has one of the preferred soil types for growing wine grapes due to its drainage capabilities, nutrient contents, and pH range. On our farm, there are areas of shallow soils dispersed with fractured basalt, as well as sandier sites giving us quite a lot of diversity within a fairly small geographic region.
A high dessert climate provides us with long, hot summer days and cool nights to fully ripen our fruit while retaining natural acidity. With less than an average of six inches of rain per year, the limited rainfall and drought-like conditions are not always ideal for growing grapes. Fortunately for us, we have the ability to incorporate targeted irrigation – thanks to the efforts of our great-grandfather, H. Lloyd Miller. Considered the Father of the Roza Irrigation Canal, H. Lloyd was instrumental in bringing high mountain water to the Yakima Valley below.
850 - 1250 feet above sea level
46° N (similar to Bordeaux Region of France, which is 45° N)