Washington State became popular for the quality of its wine. The region is now a wine tourism destinations and one of the fastest wine growing regions in America. They offer travelers a selection of wine travel experiences that range from simple to refined and from urban to rural. Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are just two of the first-rate varietal wines in Washington.
Winemakers found that the climate in Washington is perfect for growing varietals of grapes. In the Eastern region, the climate is continental, which is very hot and dry during the summer and cold during the winter. Most of the vineyards are located in this region, in the vast Columbia and Yakima Valleys. Also, Washington has longer sunlight hours, with about 17.4 sunlight hours during the grape growing season. Grapes can flourish in the Eastern Mountains due to its climate with irrigation. The popular varieties that grow in the region are the Bordeaux variants such as Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sémillon. Furthermore, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Syrah are also doing well.
Washington Wine Regions
Horse Heaven Hills
This region is located in the southernmost area of the Columbia Valley and the northern part of the Columbia River. In 2005, it was recognized as a separate AVA and well-known for Cabernet Sauvignon. Many of Washington's top wineries are located here like Chateau Ste. Michelle.
The tiny Red Mountain area is located in Yakima Valley AVA. It has earned its title from its high altitude and red clay soil. There are about nine wineries located in Red Mountain region including Hedges and Kiona Vineyards that concentrates on red varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.
This is a new AVA and one of Washington's warmer appellations. This region is popular for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Snoqualmie Vineyards are located here.
Walla Walla Valley
This region is located at the southeast corner of Washington. Compared to other regions in Washington State, only 5% of grapes grow here, but this is a fast-growing region. In fact, some of the top wineries in Washington are located here such as Canoe Ridge Vineyard, Leonetti Cellar, L’Ecole # 41, Waterbrook Winery and Woodward Canyon.
Woodinville is located outside of Seattle and one of Washington’s most famous wine destinations. They host wine tasting rooms for some of the state's popular wineries such as Columbia Winery and Chateau Ste. Michelle. For travelers who want to stay overnight, they also have beautiful and comfortable lodging options.
This region is located behind Columbia Valley and the second-largest in acreage. There are more wineries found here than Columbia Valley itself.
Washington state is the home of the top wineries in the United States and the best region for the best quality of Merlots. If you are planning to visit some of the top wineries, take a road trip to Washington wine regions and enjoy the best wines in the Evergreen State.
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