Chardonnay and sauvignon and merlot- oh my! Before 1980 Washington state would never have been listed as a top wine producing state. Today, however, there are over 500 wineries that produce an estimated 18 million gallons of wine a year making Washington the second highest wine producing state in America. As part of Washington state tourism, there are numerous wine tours available where guests can watch this fascinating process and then taste the richness of this amazing Washington product.
Among these wineries are:
Spokane - Townshend Cellar : Known especially for their huckleberry port, the Townshend Cellars has grown from a dream that began in the late 1980s, then took root in the mid 90s and today has become a full-fledged winery of over 10,000 cases and more than 20 wine varieties. Tasting rooms are open from Friday to Sunday.
Spokane - Barrister Winery: Started by Greg Lipsker and Michael White back in 1997, this winery has grown from a home wine making hobby into a vineyard producing over 3,000 cases a year. Like many other Washington wineries, they specialize in red wines, but have recently ventured into whites as well. Tours are available through appointments only and tastings are held on Fridays and Saturdays.
Walla Walla - Woodward Canyon Winery: As one of the older vineyards in Washington, Woodward has quite a following. They work with 5 other Washington vineyards and produce premier red wines and assortment of wines as well as gourmet foods and gift baskets. Check their website for information on wine tastings, tours, and fine art events.
Walla Walla - Amavi Cellars: This Washington winery has been proclaimed one of the best in the state by an assortment of wine magazines and won multiple acclaims and accolades. With bottles selling for around $30, their wines are considered some of the best in the state for both quality and cost. They are especially known for their Syrah, but also make a selection of dessert wines sure to delight.
Yakima Valley - Wineglass Cellars: Since its beginning in 1994, owners David and Linda Lowe have worked hard to turn out rich, full bodied red wines. Producing 3,500 cases per year, they have built an impressive wine selection ranging from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Zinfandel. Although one of Washington's smaller wineries, its flavorful wines lack nothing. Come spend some time touring and tasting.
While this hardly gives a complete list of the wineries of Washington, it does provide some places from which to start. Be sure to include these on your next wine tour. For red, red wines Washington has just what you are looking for.
To learn more about Washington getaway options, view festival and events schedules, as well as local attractions and sites to explore visit http://www.experiencewashington.com.