Did you know that August is officially Washington Wine Month? With more than 900 wineries and 350 vineyards in our state, it’s no wonder that we set aside two months out of the year (the other being March) to celebrate all that our state has to offer to wine lovers around the world.
Woodinville is known as the “Gateway to Washington Wines” – a sweet spot just 30 minutes outside of Seattle where the bounty of Eastern Washington grapes come to life in the glass. A visit to one of the 120+ tasting rooms in Woodinville gives you the chance to “taste the state.” The wines being poured in Woodinville represent all 14 state AVAs (American Viticultural Areas). In less than a square mile, your tastebuds can have a tour from Red Mountain to the Columbia Valley, with a stop at Wahluke Slope in between. And during the peak of summer, it’s a lot more pleasant to experience the vineyards right here in Woodinville.
Here are some fun facts about Washington State wine:
Washington is second only to California as the largest producer of wine in the United States.
In 1970, there were only 10 wineries in all of Washington State. Chateau Ste Michelle was one of them, opening in Woodinville in 1967.
98% of the wine grapes grown in Washington State are east of the Cascade Mountains.
Very little rain from the Western part of the state makes it past the Cascade Mountains. The average rainfall for Western Washington is 35-38 inches versus an average of just eight inches for the Eastern part of the state.
Also, the vineyards east of the Cascade Mountains get an average of 17.4 hours of sunlight during the growing season – two more than in California.
Washington State vineyards produce nearly 70 varietals, with an approximate ratio of 58% red to 42% white.
The vineyards in Washington are huge! In Washington you can drive nearly 3 miles to span just one side of a 2000 acre vineyard.
Last year (2016) set a record for grape production in our state, with a harvest of 270,000 tons.
[photo courtesy of Duval Images]