By Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue at Great Northwest Wine
February 25, 2017
In the 1980s, Washington was white wine country. Red wine was considered somewhat exotic.
Then came merlot. The Bordeaux variety known for its soft flavors and silky tannins proved to be a good match for Washington’s Columbia Valley and its dry, arid soils. By the mid-1990s, merlot was Washington’s dominant red grape, and the state was gaining fame for it.
In recent years, with the rise of syrah and the emergence of cabernet sauvignon, interest in merlot has waned. And yet it remains a stalwart. Each year, it ranks among the first red grapes picked and brought to the winery. Those are qualities that winemakers appreciate during the crush of harvest.>>>Read entire article featuring Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Winery and Dusted Valley on The Olympian