Puget Sound: Established 1995
- 178 vineyard acres of vinifera grapes planted.
- There are approximately 45 wineries located within the greater Puget Sound region.
- The temperate climate rarely suffers from prolonged freezes in winter and enjoys long mild and dry summers.
- The core area of this appellation has a growing season that is drier and sunnier than many classic wine grape growing regions in Europe.
- Semi-permeable cemented subsoil allows the deep-rooted vinifera vines to survive the late summer soil water deficit.
- Precipitation averages 15 inches (38cm) to 30 inches per year, mostly falling in the winter dormant season, with a growing season of over 180 days.
- Madeleine Angevine, Siegerebbe and Muller-Thurgau are the predominant varietals.
- Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir also show promise in this appellation.
The Puget Sound appellation is located in north-western Washington. The appellation encompasses a wide swath of land—including numerous islands—from the Canadian border to the north through Seattle to Olympia, the state’s capitol to the south. Notably, Puget Sound is Washington’s only growing region located west of the Cascade Mountain range.
As a growing region, Puget Sound is unique for Washington in that it has a temperate, maritime climate. In contrast, Washington’s growing regions east of the Cascade crest have an arid or semi-arid, continental climate. Puget Sound is therefore by far Washington’s coolest and wettest growing region.
Cool climate grapes dominate in this area, with Pinot Noir the most planted variety followed by Riesling. However, the area also has plantings of Madeleine Angevine, Muller Thurgau, Regent, Siegerrebe, and other varieties seldom seen elsewhere in the state.
Rainfall ranges from 15 inches (38 cm) to 60 inches (152 cm) annually, with most precipitation occurring from November through April. In contrast, summers are typically fairly warm and dry. The abundant rainfall means that most vineyards in this area can dry farm, in contrast to eastern Washington where irrigation is required due to the desert climate.
Overall, the appellation makes up a tiny fraction of Washington’s vinifera plantings with less than 200 acres under vine as of 2011.