Washington wines are made from grapes grown in the United States and sourced from a variety of vineyards. The state currently ranks second in United States wine production, following behind California which is known as the entryway for the majority of vintners throughout history. The state has over 43,000 acres of vineyards based on figures in 2011 with the presence of over 80 wineries in the state and these numbers keep growing.
Columbia AVA is the largest of 14 individual viticultural areas within the state and this AVA reaches just over the border into the state of Oregon, where more great premium wine producers have been popping up as well. The varietals coming from these regions range from Merlot to Cabernet Sauvignon, and more, with many vintners starting to branch out into the lesser known varietals as well.
Immigrants from Germany and Italy were the first people to plant wine grapes in Washington in the 1860s and 1870s. A team of Professors from the University of Washington created a commercial buzz when they converted their wine producing operation at home into a business and established Associated Vintners later renamed Columbia Winery, which still has a great following today.
The range of wines coming from the region helps to keep the vineyards there popular, as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and many of the other in-demand wines they produce are able to thrive in the microclimates of the area. Merlot is in great demand in Washington and many other parts of the United States, which has affected the number of blocks planted with this delicious varietal.
The numbers don’t lie
The wineries in Washington state have been responsible for over 2.4 billion dollars in revenue, which is quite an achievement. We can only imagine what the numbers in California are like, considering Washington’s close following of that illustrious state. These sales are highly connected to the fact that many of their wineries have wines on the lists of prominent restaurants throughout the United States due to their quality and texture.
Columbia Valley has a climate that is perfect for the growth of strong, character rich vines. The sandy soil is well-studded with lava rock, which offers a level of nutrition for the vines that is hard to match. The daytime temperature fluctuations and cool nights help to create the perfect balance in which the grapes are able to prosper and this results in blocks of grapes that are sought-after by many wineries throughout Washington, Oregon, and California alike.
Tell us about the amazing premium wines you’ve tasted that originated in this lovely state. We love to hear from our readers and your experience just might be the inspiration for our next featured wine post. In the meantime, from all of us here at West Palm Beach Brewery and Wine Vault, happy tasting!
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