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Washington State, located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, is known for its vast array of beautiful landscapes, from the snow-capped peaks of the Cascade Mountains to the lush green forests of the Olympic Peninsula. It is also renowned for its rich agricultural traditions and its more than 50 wineries that produce some of the country’s finest wines.

Washington’s Wineries

Washington is one of the top ten wine-producing states in the United States and is the second largest grape producing state in the country, after California. It is home to over 50 wineries, some of which are located in the heart of the state’s most stunning wine country, while others are situated in urban areas on the outskirts of metropolitan cities.

One of Washington’s oldest wineries is Chateau Ste. Michelle, located just east of Seattle in Woodinville. Established in 1934, this winery has been producing some of Washington’s most award-winning wines for over 80 years. They produce a range of both white and red wines, from a refreshing Riesling to a bold Cabernet Sauvignon crafted from grapes grown in their vineyards in the Columbia Valley region.

In 2009, the Washington State Wine Commission was established with the mission of promoting the high-quality wines of the state’s wineries. The commission produces an annual publication, the Washington Wine Report, to highlight the award-winning wines of Washington wineries, provide news about the wine industry and promote the state’s wine-related events.

Washington Wine Regions

Washington’s wine industry is divided into eleven distinct wine regions, each having its own unique set of environmental factors that influence the style of wines produced. The most renowned of these regions is the Columbia Valley, which stretches east of the Cascades and encompasses most of the state’s wine-producing areas. It is generally considered to be the heart of Washington’s wine industry, responsible for producing some of the state’s highest quality wines.

The Columbia Valley AVA, located in the heart of the region, is renowned for its signature red varietals, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This area is also home to some of Washington’s oldest wineries, including the highly acclaimed Washington Hills winery.

In addition to the Columbia Valley, other well known wine regions in Washington include the Walla Walla Valley, Yakima Valley, Horse Heaven Hills and Puget Sound. Each of these regions offers its own unique terroir, producing wines with unique characteristics.

Washington’s Grape Varieties

Washington State is known for producing some of the finest wines in the country, and a large part of this is due to the diverse range of grape varieties grown here. The most widely grown grapes in Washington are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Chardonnay, but there are many other varietals that thrive here, including Riesling, Semillon, Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. The wine industry of Washington is constantly evolving, with new and exciting varietals being introduced each year.

Conclusion

Washington State is a thriving wine-producing region, thanks to its diverse range of grape varietals and its ideal climate. While the Columbia Valley is the most renowned region for producing quality wines, other regions such as Walla Walla, Yakima Valley, Horse Heaven Hills and Puget Sound are also gaining in popularity due to their unique terroirs and award-winning wines. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing white or a full-bodied red, Washington State has something for everyone.