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TTB Approves The Burn of Columbia Valley AVA in Washington State; Borne of Fire Cabernet Sauvignon among first wines to claim sourcing

Paterson, Wash.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has approved a new American viticultural area (AVA) in Washington State.

On Jun. 17, the federal agency will publish a rule to establish the new 16,870 acre “The Burn of Columbia Valley” AVA in south central Washington State, known colloquially as “The Burn.” The Burn is located in the southwest corner of the Columbia Valley, between the Columbia Gorge and the Horse Heaven Hills AVAs on the banks of the Columbia River.

The petition to form the new AVA was filed in 2017 by Kevin Corliss, Vice President Vineyards at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates; Joan R. Davenport, Professor of Soil Sciences at Washington State University; and John Derrick, Vice President Vineyard Operations at Mercer Ranches, Inc.

The Burn AVA gets its name from legends of early settlers who set fire to the land in the fall to replenish and rejuvenate the grasslands for their horses in the spring.

“The name The Burn not only has a bit of legend behind it, but also historical name evidence,” said Kevin Corliss. “For example, in the early 1900s, mail was delivered from the SP&S Railway station in Sundale, WA, to this area with the designation ‘The Burn.’ Additionally, the USGS online map continues to call this area The Burn.”

The AVA is bounded by natural geographic features – Rock Creek to the northwest, Chapman Creek to the northeast, and the Columbia River to the south. The region has only recently been cultivated for wine grapes, with the first few acres planted in 2002. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates began developing its significant plantings in the region in 2015 and harvested an initial crop of second-leaf fruit in 2016. Of the total 16,870 acres of land area, 1,261 acres of grapes are currently planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sangiovese.

The Burn’s unique location easily distinguishes itself from other growing areas in Washington State. “The unique combination of heavier soils, windier conditions, and longer growing season makes the newest AVA in Washington the next great region for growing elegant yet structured Cabernet Sauvignons,” says Ste. Michelle Wine Estates’ Chief Winemaker Juan Muñoz-Oca. “I’m thrilled to showcase the uniqueness of this region through our wines and look forward to learning even more about its terroir with each passing vintage.”

Borne of Fire Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are among the first wines to claim exclusive sourcing from the new AVA. Borne of Fire Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay retail for $25 and $14, respectively. Borne of Fire is another successful innovation project from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and is housed within the company’s innovation hub, ēlicit Wine Project.

For more information on Borne of Fire, please visit


About Borne of Fire:
Borne of Fire is a Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay sourced from a remote area in eastern Washington known by locals as “The Burn,” named from legends of early settlers who set fire to the land year after year to replenish and rejuvenate the grasslands. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Borne of Fire has laid claim to this land that has been torn from within and smothered in flames. Where Earth’s torrid past has new meaning and where the grapes grow mighty to produce world-class wines. Borne of Fire is truly reflective of its unique environment that draws from its rich roots to deliver a history you can taste. For more information on Borne of Fire, visit

About ēlicit Wine Project:
ēlicit Wine Project is the innovation hub for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Formed in 2019, ēlicit Wine Project delivers brands and products that provoke reactions and stir emotions. Grounded in rich consumer insights, ēlicit Wine Project leverages world-class winemaking and marketing talent to bring brands and products to life that don’t just respond to current consumer preferences but anticipate and create the consumer trends of the future. The ēlicit Wine Project portfolio of brands includes: Liquid Light, Fruit & Flower, Altered Dimension, Borne of Fire, The Cosmic Egg Wine Co., INTRINSIC™ Wine Co., MERF Wines, Prayers of Sinners & Saints, Evenly, and Tenet Wines. For more information, please visit

About Ste. Michelle Wine Estates:
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is the third-largest premium winery in the United States and the largest winery in the Pacific Northwest. With a distinguished history that dates to 1934, the winery now farms more than 30,000 acres across Washington, Oregon, and California and distributes its wines in over 100 countries. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates pioneered vinifera winegrowing in Washington and remains the driving force behind viticulture and enology research in the state, including the establishment of the Washington State University viticulture and enology program and the construction of the university’s research and teaching winery, now named the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center.

The Ste. Michelle Wine Estates portfolio includes Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14 Hands, Columbia Crest, Intrinsic, Erath, Patz & Hall, Borne of Fire, Northstar, and Spring Valley Vineyard, along with several other premium brands. The winery also has partnerships with Marchesi Antinori (Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and Col Solare), Dr. Loosen (Eroica), and Michel Gassier and Philippe Cambie (Tenet). Ste. Michelle Wine Estates serves as the exclusive U.S. importer for Marchesi Antinori and Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte. For more information, please visit