February 23, 2014
Washington wineries, Wine
Every year around this time, we love to share facts about the wonderful wine industry in Washington state.
We hope you enjoy the 2014 version, courtesy of the Washington State Wine Commission.
Note: The average amount of summer sunshine in Washington state, compared to California, might surprise you!
Scroll down for details.
Facts about the Washington State Wine Industry
National rank: Second- largest premium wine producer in the United States
Number of wineries: 750+
- 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 – 780 wineries
Number of wine grape growers: 350+
Thirteen American Viticultural Areas (AVAs), as recognized and defined by the United States Treasury Department; Alcohol & Tobacco Taxes & Trade Bureau.
- Yakima Valley – 1983
- Walla Walla Valley – 1984
- Columbia Valley – 1984
- Puget Sound – 1995
- Red Mountain – 2001
- Columbia Gorge – 2004
- Horse Heaven Hills – 2005
- Wahluke Slope – 2006
- Rattlesnake Hills – 2006
- Snipes Mountain – 2009
- Lake Chelan – 2009
- Naches Heights – 2011
- Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley – 2012
Varieties produced: 30+ varietals
Leading white varietals:
- Pinot Gris
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Chenin Blanc
Leading red varietals:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Cabernet Franc
- Pinot Noir
Ratio of white to red:
55% white to 45% red
Wine grape acreage:
Estimated Direct Revenue:
Winery Revenue = $1 billion; Wine Related Tourism = $1.06 billion
Full-time equivalent wine-related jobs:
27,455 in Washington, 68,719 nationwide*
Average hours of summer sunlight:
16 hours per day, about 1 more hour than California’s prime growing region
Eight inches (20.32 cm) in Eastern Washington (the major grape growing region) 48 inches (121.92 cm) in Western Washington
Wine production growth
- 1981 – 2.0 million gallons (7.5 m liters)
- 1996 – 5.3 million gallons (19.9 m liters)
- 1997 – 9.6 million gallons (36.3 m liters)
- 1998 – 10.9 million gallons (41.5 m liters)
- 1999 – 10.0 million gallons (38.0 m liters)
- 2000 – 14.0 million gallons (52.7 m liters)
- 2001 – 15.5 million gallons (58.5 m liters)
- 2002 – 17.7 million gallons (67.3 m liters)
- 2003 – 17.3 million gallons (65.5 m liters)
- 2004 – 16.5 million gallons (62.9 m liters)
- 2005 – 19.0 million gallons (72.0 m liters)
- 2006 – 20.0 million gallons (75.8 m liters)
- 2007 – 20.0 million gallons (75.8 m liters)
- 2008 – 21.4 million gallons (81 m liters)
- 2009 – 25 million gallons (94.6 m liters)
- 2010 – 20.1 million gallons (76.1 m liters)
*figures from the 2012 Economic Impact Study by Stonebridge Research
February 17, 2014
Walla Walla, Washington wineries, Wine, Woodinville
As far as we’re concerned, every month is Washington wine month, because we are major supporters of our state’s abundance of good juice.
From Woodinville to Walla Walla, vineyards (where it all begins) and wineries come together to produce exceptional wines to please every palate.
But March is officially Washington Wine Month, so please celebrate with us. If you haven’t joined the parade yet, now is a perfect time.
In addition to celebrating our state’s award-winning wine, the Washington Wine Commission offers March promotions at participating restaurants, wine shops, winery tasting rooms and even some hotels. The Commission’s website provides a calendar to see what is going on any day of the month.
The festivities culminate in what we call “the Super Bowl of Washington state wine events,” Taste Washington on March 29-30. (And you know how well the real one turned out! Go Hawks!)
Taste Washington is the country’s largest single-region wine and food event. More than 200 wineries will be pouring at Century Link Field, 70 restaurants will be preparing tasty bites, and you can learn more about Washington wine at special seminars about the state’s one industry, wine-and-food pairings, wine blending and cooking with wine.
It is important to note that we recommend tasting and spitting wine during your time at this major event, but if you think you might want more than a sip or two, many hotels in the area are offering special weekend packages.
We’ll be writing more about Taste Washington in the weeks ahead but until then, stop by some of the 750+ wineries in our state and celebrate Washington Wine Month.
February 9, 2014
Barbera, Washington wineries, Wine
Relatively speaking, Barbera is a newer grape in Washington state, often found near the cool growing climate of the Columbia Valley, in Horse Heaven Hills and Walla Walla.
Its native home is in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy; the grape arrived in California in the 19th century.
When crafted by experienced winemakers, Barbera somehow tastes both rich and light-bodied, with flavors of dark cherry, strawberries, plums, blackberries, vanilla and anise.
With low tannins, high acidity and juicy flavors, Barbera is a food-friendly palate-pleaser, particularly when paired with turkey, grilled chicken, pizza or spaghetti with meatballs. Or for something simple, try it with rich blue cheese or Reggiano Parmigiano. Delicious!
We have found a few excellent Barberas in Washington state:
Unfortunately, many of these are now sold out, so please let us know if you’ve found an excellent Washington state Barbera.
February 3, 2014
Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks and their Super Bowl win! What an exciting time to be a Seahawks fan/12th Man.
What was in our glasses during the game? Quarry Butte from Alexandria Nicole Cellars!
The 2010 vintage — a double gold winner at Seattle Wine Awards — is a beautiful blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 12% Syrah, 9% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.
At $25, it’s a perfect showcase for ANC’s theme of “Approachable Elegance.”
We have been fans of Quarry Butte since 2007, when we first tasted the 2004 and 2005 vintages.
More recently, we opened a bottle of 2010 Quarry Butte during the Jan. 19 game between the Seahawks and 49ers, and the Hawks won. Being superstitious, it seemed fitting to also open a bottle during the Super Bowl. The Hawks won!
We also heard that the recently released 2011 Quarry Butte is a winner!
Regardless of vintage, Quarry Butte has always been a complex wine with bold flavors. It drinks well with a rich steak or a robust beef stew.
But best of all, it drinks well with a winning Seahawks team!
Go Quarry Butte!