Washington Wine Country is not the cloudy, rainy place that we associate with the Pacific Northwest. Yes, there are some cool areas, mostly coastal vineyards near Puget Sound, but there are also warm dry places with plenty of sunshine!
In fact, most of Washington's vineyards are located in the eastern part of the State, which is pretty much desert country. And because of its northern latitude, during the summer it gets about two more hours of sunshine than California does. The vines love that!
Washington's wine regions are diverse; from the coolness of Puget Sound and Woodinville, to the semi-arid lands west of the Cascade Mountains. Yakima, Walla Walla, and the mighty Columbia River Gorge. There is a lot to see and taste, and when you want to take a break from wine, there is hiking,windsurfing, canoeing, or drinking coffee in Seattle while visiting its wonderful sights.
The heart of Washington wine industry,
Yakima Valley wine
is famous for its Caberent Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah; but the area also produces some whites such as Chardonnay and Riesling. The valley is on the eastern part of the State.
This area has the largest concentration of wine producers in the State of Washington.
Woodinville Wine Country
Woodinville Wine Country
is on the west part of the State, near Seattle and part of the Puget Sound AVA. This makes it an ideal place to visit, since it is just minutes from downtown Seattle. Because of its location, we would want to associate its wines with cool weather varieties, but Woodinville also imports many of its grapes from the easter part of the state. Its production is varied, from Rieslings and Chardonnays, to Bordeaux blends and Cabernets.
When you visit the
Walla Walla Wine Country
you'll be in the farthest east part of Washington Wine Country. It has had a tumultuous geological history, which has contributed to its wonderful soil, great for grape growing. Walla Walla produces some of the best Cabernets and Merlots around.
Columbia River Gorge
And of course, the mighty
Columbia River Gorge.
Though the number of wineries in this area is relatively small, its gorgeous terrain and opportunities for outdoor activities makes it a "must visit".
This area shares its beauty and bounty with its next door neighbor, the state of
Washington Wine Country, its climate, its geology, and its geography; placing it at a northern latitude that gives it many days of sunshine, is a great place to grow grapes, and produce excellent wines. It also has much more than wine on its "to-do" list.