Skip to main content
Columbia Crest Tasting Room

Our Story

Aptly named after the highest peak on Mount Rainer, Columbia Crest represents the pinnacle of Washington State Wine.

People caring for vineyard

Commitment to Excellence

Nestled alongside the Columbia River in eastern Washington, Columbia Crest was the very first winery in the acclaimed Horse Heaven Hills AVA. Since opening our doors in 1982, the winery has maintained its commitment to quality, our Washington State heritage and craftsmanship.

Columbia Crest On YouTube

Extraordinary Craftsmanship

Washington State and the Columbia Valley represent the perfect grape-growing climate–from the weather to the soil to the vineyard sites. These growing conditions, along with outstanding viticulture and winemaking practices, allow Columbia Crest to create high-quality wines that are true to their varietal character and represent the unique terroir of the region.

close-up of a grape cluster on the vine
Wine Spectator Number 1 Wine of the Year

Critically Acclaimed

From the vineyard to the glass, Columbia Crest wines are an extraordinary expression of craftsmanship. With a large body of acclaim, such as #1 Wine of the Year from Wine Spectator in December 2009, Columbia Crest winery delivers a steadfast promise with each bottle—world-class wines from a world-class wine region.

Historic Timeline

Horse Heaven Vineyard


Vineyards are planted in what would become the acclaimed Horse Heaven Hills AVA.


Winery & visitor center officially dedicated and opened in June.

Early image of Columbia Crest Winery
1986 Chardonnay


First release of the 1984 Vineyard Reserve White, a medium dry blend of Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Muscat Canelli, crafted by Doug Gore, Columbia Crest's first winemaker.


First release of red wine varietals from the 1984 vintage: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot
Columbia Crest Winery


Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate names Columbia Crest as one of the 24 “Best Value Wineries” in the world.
December 1990


The 1990 Estate Series Cabernet Sauvignon is the only U.S. wine awarded a gold medal at the “Challenge du Vin” in Bordeaux, France.

Impact Magazine awards "Hot Brand" honors to Columbia Crest for the fifth consecutive year.
December 1994

1990 Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine Spectator Top 100


Wine Spectator’s first annual readers’ poll votes Columbia Crest “Best Winery for Value in the United States,” the only non-California winery to win an American wine category.
April 1997

Columbia Crest also makes its first appearance on Wine Spectator’s list of Top 100 wines for the year with two wines: 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon; 1995 Estate Series Chardonnay.
December 1997


"Grand Estates" Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon; and "Reserve" Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon introduced.

Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon
Reserve Walter Clore Red Wine


The 1999 vintage of Walter Clore Private Reserve, a Bordeaux-style red wine, is introduced. The wine honors Washington wine pioneer Walter Clore, Ph.D.

Columbia Crest is named Wine Press Northwest’s first “Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year.”
March 2002


Ray Einberger is named head winemaker.

Ray Einberger in the vineyard
Bottle of H3 Cabernet Sauvignon


First release of “H3” Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, crafted from fruit grown in the Horse Heaven Hills appellation.

Columbia Crest Winery celebrates 25 years of winemaking excellence and its 25th harvest.


Wine Spectator names the 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon #1 on its“Top 100 Wines in the World” list, the first, and only, Washington State wine to receive this honor.
December 2009

Wine Spectator Top 100 plus Wine of the Year
Bottle of H3 Merlot


The 2007 H3 Merlot is named to Wine Spectator’s list of "Top 100 Wines of the Year", marking Columbia Crest’s sixteenth placement on the list.
December 2010


Juan Muñoz Oca named Head Winemaker.

Columbia Crest is named U.S. “Winery of the Year” by Wine & Spirits.
October 2011

Need to fill out
Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon


Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon makes an appearance on the Today Show as part of a "Best Products of the Year" segment.


Columbia Crest becomes the first winery to crowdsource a wine from vineyard to table through the Crowdsourced™ Cabernet Sauvignon project.

Need to fill out
Katie Nelson in the vineyard


Katie Nelson is named Head Winemaker.


Will Wiles is named Head Winemaker.

Will Wiles in the vineyard
Winemaker Guy Barnes


Guy Barnes is named Head Winemaker.