It’s a time of exciting growth for Washington State’s wine industry! As of October 2019, more than 1,000 winery licenses were active. That is a major milestone.
According to the Washington Wine Commission, vineyard acreage in Washington also continues to grow at a rapid pace. Twenty years ago, there were four American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) producing 24,000 acres of wine grapes and 70,000 tons of grapes. Today there are more than 59,000 acres of vineyards across 14 AVAs that produced 260,000 tons of grapes last year. That translates to more than $7 billion contributed to the state’s economy and roughly $2.4 billion in revenue.
“We still have so much room to grow, both on the winery and vineyard side,” announced Steve Warner, President of Washington State Wine. “Washington is the New Epicenter of Wine – and truly, still just getting started.”
Celebrate this Washington Wine Milestone
Well, my friends, this milestone calls for a toast! What shall we uncork? With all those wineries, and since Washington State is the second largest wine producing state in the U.S., there are a lot of choices. Reflecting back on the hundreds of wines I had an opportunity to taste this year, here is a recap of some that would certainly be appropriate to celebrate this significant achievement.
Winning Wines from the Seattle Wine Awards
Medal winners from the Seattle Wine Awards always add life to a party!
L’Ecole Semillon received my highest score in the white Bordeaux category. Year in, year out, this Double Gold winning wine is always tops in my books. Plus, at $15 a bottle, the quality for the price is exceptional.
Of course, Cab is king! Of those I reviewed, the 2016 Ambassador Wines of Washington Estate Plenipotentiary Cabernet Sauvignon was at the top of my list.
Walla Walla Wines
Walla Walla offers up a number of wines to get to know. The highly acclaimed Figgins Estate Red is a surefire head turner. However, for something more moderately priced, Elephant Seven’s Cosmic Reflection would make an out of this world party guest.
Red Mountain Wines
Savvy wine drinkers know, “Red Mountain does an amazing balancing act between power and elegance.” Even Texas based Certified Specialist of Wine, Kat René of The Corkscrew Concierge will tell you that. Therefore, if you’re looking for a wine with a big personality, taste Red Mountain wine.
Whichever wine you choose to celebrate this Washington State wine milestone, be sure to share it on Instagram or Twitter using the #wawine hashtag. I look forward to seeing what Washington wines you’re drinking, so be sure to tag me and #letstalkaboutwine!