Washington State is the most northerly wine-growing state in the United States. Washington State is located on the West Coast near the Canadian border and borders the state of Oregon, but unlike its southern neighbor, Washington's vineyards are not on the coast but more inland. Due to this location, there is a very dry continental climate, with warm sunny days in the summer and very cool nights. In this state they mainly work with cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah as blue grapes and chardonnay, riesling and sémillon as white grapes. Top winemakers give the grapes a nice balance between acid and sugar, resulting in quality wines. Washington ranks second in the United States (after California) in wine production.
APPELATIONS IN WASHINGTON
Columbia Valley, an umbrella area around the Columbia River, located partly in Oregon. The areas below fall within this region.
1. Yakima Valley, located east of the volcano 'Mount St. Helens'
2. Red Mountain, located in the far eastern part of Yakima Valley
3. Walla Walla Valley, located on the border of and partly in Oregon
4. Columbia Gorge, located on the border of and partly in Oregon
5. In addition, there is another small wine region in northwest Washington State, namely Puget Sound, located west of the Cascade Mountains on the coast of Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean. The wine region extends from the Canadian border to the end of this estuary around the city of Olympia.
6. The Rocks Viticultural Area is the newest AVA in Washington State.
Washington State wines are often characterized by their bright fruit flavors and crisp acidity. In recent years, the state's red wines tended toward riper, more fruity flavors, noticeable tannins, and oak influence with moderately high alcohol levels. Wine experts such as Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson have described quality examples of Washington wines that exhibit crisp acidity, deep color and bright, intense fruit flavors that can usually mature in the bottle for at least 8 years before fruit structure kicks in. fade away. Karen MacNeil notes that Washington's reds, especially the Cabernets and Merlots, often exhibited a luscious texture with highly concentrated berry flavors reminiscent of the wild fruits of the Pacific Northwest, such as blackberries, boysenberries, cherries, and raspberries. The state is often described as a combination of New World fruit and Old World style. Paul Gregutt, wine writer for The Seattle Times and Wine Enthusiast describes Washington wines and the preservation of strong purity and typicity of varietal flavors with firm, ripe tannins and light acidity. Gregutt says Washington wines have the potential to combine the structure and brilliance of French wines with the ripeness and fruit of Californian wines.