skip navigation
Support KUOW
Listen to News


question mark


Rebel On Red Mountain: Iconic Wash. Winemaker Found Dead

Anna King


RICHLAND, Wash. – Washington winemakers are remembering one of a kind colleague this week. Mike Moore died at age 55.

Moore was one of the first winemakers and largest land owners on Red Mountain. That hill is now one of the premier winemaking regions — and some of the most expensive ground — in the Northwest.

But he had unconventional methods for growing grapes and making wine.

"He wasn't really big on spraying weeds or mowing really regularly in between the rows," says Mitch Venohr. He worked for Moore for about three years.

"Compared to other vineyards, most people thought that these vines weren't growing, or were dead or had been abandoned," Venohr recalls. "But he was pulling fruit off it every year."

Visitors to Moore's winery were offered heavy pours from his many bottles and barrels, including some aging outside in the sun.

"It wasn't strange to see people for three, four, five hours or long enough they stayed to have dinner," Venohr says.

Moore died of natural causes; the coroner said he had been ill for several days.

On the Web:

Moore profile:

Red Mountain AVA overview:

Copyright 2011 Northwest Public Radio