By Kori ~ February 6th, 2008.
Washington State is one of the up-and-coming wine regions in the world. Even though it has a relatively young wine industry, Washington already ranks as the 2nd largest wine-producing state in the United States. The number of wineries in Washington has doubled in the last five years, now at over 500. The industry is growing at a remarkable rate and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
The majority of the state’s vineyards are found in eastern Washington. The Cascade Mountains divide Washington into two distinct climatic zones. The west receives significant amounts of rainfall each year while the east is sunny and dry. Due to its latitude and the tilt of the earth’s axis, Washington wine regions actually receive two more hours of sunshine each day than the Napa Valley.
The Wine Peeps have a special affinity for Washington wines since we live in Seattle and our love of wine, in general, was fueled many years ago by a weekend trip to visit wineries in the Columbia Valley. Whether you live in Washington or not, there are two individuals who we believe are invaluable sources of information about Washington wines, Andy Perdue and Paul Gregutt.
Andy Perdue is editor of Wine Press Northwest, a quarterly magazine that focuses on the wine regions of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia, and author of The Northwest Wine Guide: A Buyer’s Handbook. He also writes a blog, The Wine Knows, that is a must-read for me.
Paul Gregutt has been a wine critic and writer since the mid-1980s, specializing in the wines of Washington. He is a wine columnist for a number of newspapers; most notably he is Wine Adviser for the Seattle Times. He is a contributing editor for Wine Enthusiast reviewing Pacific Northwest wines. He is also the author of a terrific new book, Washington Wines and Wineries: The Essential Guide, that was published last fall.
In addition, check out the Washington Wine Commission website for facts, history, winery lists, and much more. They also have a great tool that allows you to plan your own tour of Washington wine country.
And please remember to come back to Wine Peeps as we will continue to include posts about Washington wine.
Filed under: American Wine, General Wine Information, Washington State Wine, Wine Books