At the mighty river’s edge.

Joseph Christy Vineyards sit majestically above the Columbia River at the southern-most point of Horse Heaven Hills.

This bunch rake found its home here decades ago, a symbol of the farming heritage of this community.

You’ll find us near “Devil’s Bend,” a curve in this mighty river one-half mile due south of our vineyards where rapids surged until a few decades ago when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers removed some major boulders to make that stretch of the Columbia safe for barge traffic. Christy Road and the railroad tracks lie between the property and the river about one-half mile away.

When the property was purchased by the family, the original homestead and turn-of-the-century outbuildings from the Christy’s prior home a few miles away were moved to this site. After decades of exposure to the elements, those old buildings had served a long useful life and were cleared away to make room for a new vision. The peace and quiet of desert beauty along the river remain – punctuated by warm, sunny days in the summer months and cool breezes sneaking up the hill from the river at night. In the winter months, the river tempers the climate of the vineyard and decreases chances of frost as the water radiates the heat accumulated during the day out to the adjacent land after dark.

Joseph Christy: A Brilliant & Insatiably Curious Mind

Joseph Christy, who acquired and first developed the farm in 1966, was a chemical engineer, one of the original 125 engineers assigned to the Manhattan Project during WWII. He moved into the area from Philadelphia, the offspring of French and Irish immigrants. While not formally trained as a farmer, he was a wide-eyed “doer” with an insatiable curiosity and good mind for business. He took to agriculture as he had to science, with a natural skill, zeal and style all his own. Given his experimental, inventive nature, he was game to try new things and wasn’t afraid to take a risk on a fresh idea. That spirit of innovation is the signature ingredient in Joseph Christy wines.

Kindness Born of Hardship

Having endured the sadness of his father dying when he was just 12 years old, Joseph and his sister were raised by their mother in South Philadelphia. To help support the family, he ran a newspaper stand. They struggled and Joseph took seriously the opportunity to get a good education. He went on to earn a track scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering.

Following graduation, he began working for Dupont in Oakridge, Tennessee, at a manufacturing facility that made smokeless gunpowder for the Navy. While moving forward successfully with his professional life, Joseph never lost his sense of compassion. Decades later, when he had the means to help, he made a point of supporting the community.

A Marriage of Equals

In loving partnership for 52 years, Mary Hudgins and Joseph Christy met while she was working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Richland, Washington. A native of Texas, Mary loved rural life. She was fiercely independent and could be found driving the tractor or tending the animals on the family farm. She loved people and animals. She was well known for her entertaining skills, often delighting guests with her delicious pies and homemade bread. Mary was a devout Catholic who cared very much for her community, a core value she shared with her husband and daughter.

Good Sense & Good Business

Steadfast and true, Joseph Christy was a man of his word. His forthright nature attracted friends and business associates alike. People came to rely on him for sound judgment in all areas of his life. His colleagues trusted his scientific instincts, his family knew well his balanced way of weighing options and landing on just the right solution, and his community around the farm saw him as a wise business man with a flair for trying new things.