Why Washington State is Currently Making Some of the Best Wine
When it comes to wines in the United States, most people think of California. But what many people may not realize is that Washington state wine is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with as well, producing a wide range of excellent world-class wines. Today, Washington state is the second-largest wine producer in the country, with annual revenues of $6 billion and growing. For decades, wine from Washington state has been underrated, but as a wine-growing region, it has been making an impressive range of top-notch wines that have left many wine drinkers clamoring for more.
WINERIES AND VINEYARDS IN WASHINGTON STATE
Unlike California, where winemaking is concentrated in a few regions, wine from Washington state is grown and manufactured in every corner of the state, totaling 14 regions, all working together to make a diverse number of Washington state wines for consumers. At last count, there were around 1,000 wineries across the state. From a variety of Riesling offerings to Cabernet Sauvignon, you can find all types of wines grown in Washington state. Unlike European or California winemakers, Washington state wines are considered “new” as the winemaking business is only about half a century old here. Washington state produces some excellent red blends and Riesling wines, which make up the majority of its sales both in and out of state.
WHY ARE WASHINGTON WINES SO PHENOMENAL?
For one reason, the sun’s angle shining down on the volcanic-rich soil is similar to that of some of Northern Europe’s greatest wineries because they share latitudes that are alike. In western Washington state, the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges prevent cloud roll-off into the Pacific Ocean, which creates what is known as the “Rain Shadow Effect.” Combine this with the fact that Washington state adds New World fruit to some of Europe’s traditional wines and you get a winning scenario. The typical weather pattern also includes sunshine for more than 300 days of the year and the rainfall is pretty consistent.
While Washington state produces at least 70 varietals, it is probably safe to say that it excels in the Bordeaux varietals, which make up more than 50 percent of its total annual production. Cabernet Sauvignon is dominant here, and this grape is often blended with Cabernet Franc or Merlot for exquisite taste and finesse. Other great red blends from this area include Syrah, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. White wine drinkers – hold on! You will not be disappointed either. Wine from Washington state also has excellent Riesling choices, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay as well.
The majority of vineyards are located in eastern Washington, but there are still many wineries within an hour’s drive of Seattle. Like California, many wineries in Washington offer wine-tasting tours, coupled with personal spas, and even live musical performances, especially during summer and autumn.
WASHINGTON STATE REMAINS STRONG IN COMPETITION
Over the next decade, it is anticipated that Washington vineyards will continue to produce more quality wines and strongly compete with California winemakers for the dominant status. Some wineries have already started to compete with California by offering online purchases of their wines directly to consumers. If you want great red blends or a dry Riesling, visit Pacific Rim and Company where you can purchase the following top-rated Washington state wines:
- 2021 PACIFIC RIM WICKED GOOD RED
- 2018 RAMOS VINEYARD GEWURZTRAMINER
- 2016 HAHN HILL VINEYARD ICE WINE RIESLING
- 2018 SILVER TOTEM CABERNET SAUVIGNON