William Bridgman didn’t live to see it, but Washington’s wine industry lived up to his dreams


Washington’s wine pioneer planted grapes on Snipes Mountain in the Yakima Valley 100 years ago.

A CENTURY AGO, a Canadian expat living in the Yakima Valley had a vision for what would become the heart of Washington wine country. His name was William Bridgman and, 100 years ago, he was inspired to plant European wine grapes on a hill near Sunnyside, where he was the two-time mayor.

Today, some of those gnarly old vines remain and are under the care of the Newhouse family, which bought Upland Vineyard from the Bridgman family in the late 1960s.

Those original vines include a block of Thompson seedless (actually considered a wine variety in California, although it’s not used for such in Washington), muscat of Alexandria and black Hamburg (also known as black muscat). Of these, the Thompsons are the most impressive, with some trunks so substantial, you might have trouble…


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