Washington State Wine Facts
Washington is located in the northwest corner of the United States in a region commonly referred to as the Pacific Northwest. The state ranks second in the U.S. in wine grape production behind California, though it is a very distant second (2014 grape production by ton was 227K for Washington State, 4.2M for California).
History & Vintage Conditions
Washington’s first wine grapes were planted at Fort Vancouver by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1825. By 1910, wine grapes were growing in many areas of the state, following the path of early settlers. Hybrid varieties arrived in nurseries in the Puget Sound region as early as 1854, and by 1860 wine grapes were planted in the Walla Walla Valley.
Regions & AVAs
Washington State is a premium wine producing region located in the northwest corner of the United States. Although a relatively young wine industry, with 13 AVAs, it is the nation's second largest wine producer and is ranked among the world's top wine regions.
Washington State Wine Varieties
Washington produces more than 30 wine grape varieties, a ratio of 53% white to 47% red as of the harvest in 2014. As the industry matures and experiments, it finds many grape varieties that thrive throughout Washington's micro-climates.
Climate & Growing Conditions
In this section, you will have the chance to dig a little deeper into why Washington is one of the world’s great wine regions. What makes Washington State wine so unique – and does that only apply to grape growing conditions? We think not. There a lot of wonderful aspects to our industry which contribute to the wine excellence you taste in the bottle.
The enjoyment of wine is very personal. You don't have to be an expert--you just need to trust your own taste. Each time you try a new wine, your awareness of the character and subtle differences will be expanded. Tasting wine is like a sport: the more you practice, the better you become. To enhance your appreciation and enjoyment of wine, learn the basics first.
Confused by all the different terms used when talking about wine? Read our wine glossary and be up to speed the next time someone uses "terroir" in a conversation - that's the combination of soil, climate and geography that makes all wines distinct.
We try to do a good job of making WashingtonWine.org a great resource in itself, but there are some other helpful sites out there.