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Washington

The state in the extreme northwest of the USA on the Pacific coast with the capital Olympia was only settled by whites from 1810 onwards. It borders Oregon to the south, Canada to the north and Idaho to the west. However, viticulture in Washington has only been practised on a larger scale since the middle of the 20th century after the Second World War (1939-1945). Classified AVA areas are Columbia Gorge (also Oregon), Columbia Valley (also Oregon), Horse Heaven Hills, Puget Sound, Rattlesnake Hills, Red Mountain, Wahluke Slope, Walla Walla Valley (also Oregon) and Yakima Valley

The climate in the west on the Pacific coast is mild and humid, and in the small AVA Puget Sound located here, mainly white grape varieties are cultivated. In the east, behind the Cascade Mountains, which are up to 4,400 metres high, is the main growing area, the Columbia Valley. Here are over 95% of the vineyards. In this desert-like area there are dry hot summers and arctic cold winters. Due to the lack of rain, artificial irrigation with the waters of the Columbia River, Snake River and Yakima River is necessary. Mainly European varieties are cultivated, from which Varietals (varietal wines) are produced. After California, Washington has become the second most important wine-growing state in the USA in terms of quality wines made from European varieties. The Celtic varieties covered a total of 12,400 hectares in 2006; however, the table includes some more recent figures

Grape variety (common name in Washington) Colour Hectare
Merlot red 3.334
Chardonnay white 3.098
Riesling white 2.558
Cabernet sauvignon red 2.384
Syrah red 1.256
Pinot gris white 638
Blanc sauvignon white 475
Cabernet franc red 393
Gewürztraminer (Gewurztraminer) white 314
Viognier white 145
Pinot noir red 126
Sémillon white 94
Sangiovese red 82
Chenin Blanc white 81
Cot (Malbec) red 78
Monastrell (Mourvèdre) red 67
Muscat Blanc (Muscat Canelli) white 58
Garnacha Tinta (Grenache) red 58
Petit Verdot red 53
Blaufränkisch (Lemberger, Blue Franc) red 32
Interest rate trading red 27


However, the predominant variety with 9,600 hectares is still the historic Concord. Together with the Niagara and others, around 11,000 hectares of vineyards are used for the production of grape juice and table grapes. But the latter are also produced by some of the "Wine Grapes". There are a total of 550 producers. This puts the State of Washington in second place after California with over 2,000 wineries, dominated by Ste Michelle Wine Estates, which owns huge vineyards with major wineries such as Canoe Ridge, Château Ste Michelle, Col Solare, Columbia Crest and Spring Valley. Other well-known producers include Betz Family Winery, Bookwalter, Cayuse Vineyards, Columbia Winery, DeLille Cellars, Dunham Cellars, Glen Fiona, Hedges Cellars, Hogue Cellars, Leonetti Cellar, L'Ecole No 41, Quilceda Creek Vintners (the owner Alex Golitzin is the nephew of the legendary André Tchelistcheff), Reininger, Walla Walla Vintners, Washington Hills Cellars, Waterbrook, Woodward Canyon.

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