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).

National rank:

2nd largest premium wine producer in the United States

Number of wineries:

850+

Number of wine grape growers:

350+

AVAs:

Thirteen American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), as recognized and defined by the United States Treasury Department; Alcohol & Tobacco Taxes & Trade Bureau

  1. Yakima Valley - 1983
  2. Walla Walla Valley - 1984
  3. Columbia Valley - 1984
  4. Puget Sound - 1995
  5. Red Mountain - 2001
  6. Columbia Gorge - 2004
  7. Horse Heaven Hills - 2005
  8. Wahluke Slope - 2006
  9. Rattlesnake Hills - 2006
  10. Snipes Mountain - 2009
  11. Lake Chelan - 2009
  12. Naches Heights - 2011
  13. Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley - 2012

Varieties produced:

40+ varietals

Leading white varietals:

  1. Riesling
  2. Chardonnay
  3. Pinot Gris
  4. Sauvignon Blanc
  5. Gewurztraminer
  6. Viognier
  7. Semillon
  8. Chenin Blanc

Leading red varietals:

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon
  2. Merlot
  3. Syrah
  4. Cabernet Franc
  5. Malbec
  6. Sangiovese
  7. Petit Verdot
  8. Pinot Noir

Ratio of red to white:

53% white to 47% red

Wine production:

14.8 million cases

Wine grape acreage:

50,000+ acres

Record harvest:

2014 with 227,000 tons

Wine market segment:

Washington State is focused on the premium wine market segment (wines sold for $8 and higher).

Average hours of summer sunlight:

16 hours per day, about 1 more hour than California's prime growing region

Annual rainfall:

Eight inches (20.32 cm) in Eastern Washington (the major grape growing region) 48 inches (121.92 cm) in Western Washington

Wine grape acreage growth:

Acreage data provided by the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers (WAWGG) unless otherwise noted

  • 1993 - 11,100 acres (4,492 hectares)
  • 1997 - 17,000 acres (6,880 hectares)
  • 1999 - 24,000 acres (9,712 hectares)
  • 2002 - 28,000 acres (11,331 hectares)
  • 2003 - 29,000 acres (11,736 hectares)
  • 2004 - 30,000 acres (12,140 hectares)
  • 2005 - 30,000 acres (12,140 hectares)
  • 2006 - 31,000 acres (12,545 hectares)
  • 2007 - 31,000 acres (12,545 hectares)
  • 2008 - 34,000 acres (13,759 hectares)
  • 2009 - 36,000 acres (14,568 hectares)
  • 2010 - 40,000 acres (16,187 hectares)
  • 2011 - 43,000 acres (17,401 hectares)
  • 2012 - 43,000 acres (17,401 hectares)
  • 2013 - Approx. 50,000 acres (20,234 hectares)

Winery growth

  • 1981 - 19 wineries
  • 1996 - 80 wineries
  • 1997 - 101 wineries
  • 1998 - 129 wineries
  • 1999 - 160 wineries
  • 2000 - 163 wineries
  • 2001 - 170 wineries
  • 2002 - 208 wineries
  • 2003 - 240 wineries
  • 2004 - 300 wineries
  • 2005 - 360 wineries
  • 2006 - 460 wineries
  • 2007 - 540 wineries
  • 2008 - 580 wineries
  • 2009 - 650 wineries
  • 2010 - 700 wineries
  • 2011 - 740 wineries
  • 2012 - 760 wineries
  • 2013 - 800 wineries
  • 2014 - 850 wineries
  • 2015 - 850+ wineries

Wine production growth

  • 1985 - 17,000 tons
  • 1996 - 35,000 tons
  • 1997 - 62,000 tons
  • 1998 - 70,000 tons
  • 1999 - 70,000 tons
  • 2000 - 90,000 tons
  • 2001 - 100,000 tons
  • 2002 - 115,000 tons
  • 2003 - 112,000 tons
  • 2004 - 107,000 tons
  • 2005 - 110,000 tons
  • 2006 - 120,000 tons
  • 2007 - 127,000 tons
  • 2008 - 145,000 tons
  • 2009 - 156,000 tons
  • 2010 - 160,000 tons
  • 2011 - 142,000 tons
  • 2012 - 188,000 tons
  • 2013 - 210,000 tons
  • 2014 - 227,000 tons

Last updated April 2015
 
© 2014 Washington Wine

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