If you haven’t heard the good news, it’s Washington State Wine Month. To celebrate the season and fit in with the pros, we’ve compiled some basic knowledge and five fast facts* for you to tout when talking about the Evergreen State’s wine scene, wine glass in hand.
Big deal, BIG.
Washington is the second largest premium wine producer in the United States, second only to California.
We got a whole lotta love.
With more than 900 wineries and counting, the state does not seem like it will ever stop growing. Over 350 wine grape growers supply these producers with nearly 70 different varieties.
Special wines from special places.
Fourteen different American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) are designated here, and are as follows: Ancient Lakes, Columbia Gorge, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills, Lake Chelan, Lewis-Clark Valley, Naches Heights, Puget Sound, Rattlesnake Hills, Red Mountain, Snipes Mountain, Yakima Valley, Wahluke Slope and Walla Walla Valley.
Doesn’t matter if you’re red or white.
Not quite an even split but the state is fairly competitive when it comes to red and white wine grapes. Of the vines planted, 58 percent is devoted to red and 42 percent to white inside more than 50,000 acres. For white varietals planted, Chardonnay dominates the list while Cabernet Sauvignon takes the cake for red.
Records are for breaking.
Approximately 17.5 million cases of Washington wine are produced each year, with the 2016 harvest breaking the record for tonnage — bringing in 270,000 tons of grapes. Economically speaking, the state is making a $2.067 billion contribution.