Every year around this time, we love to share stats and facts about the wonderful wine industry in Washington state. Therefore, we hope you enjoy this 2020 version, courtesy of Washington Wine.
Firstly, the number of wineries grew to more than 1,000, compared to 19 in 1981. Secondly, more than 70 varieties of grapes are grown now. That compares to 30 just six short years ago. Thirdly, the ratio is 59% red and 41% white, a flip from 55% white and 45% red six years ago. Further, the average amount of summer sunshine in Washington state, compared to California, might surprise you! Read on for fun stats and facts about Washington wine.
By the Numbers
National rank: Second- largest premium wine producer in the U.S.
Number of wineries: 1,000+ (In 1981,19 wineries were registered in Washington state. But in 1996, that number grew to 80 wineries. Meanwhile, in 2018, 944 wineries had licenses.)
Number of wine grape growers: 400+
Varieties produced: 70+ (up from 30 in 2014)
Ratio of white to red: 59% red to 41% white
Consequently, 16 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) are recognized and defined by the United States Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & 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
- Lewis-Clark Valley – 2016
- Royal Slope – 2020
- Candy Mountain – 2020
Top White Varietals
- Pinot Gris
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Chenin Blanc
Top Red Varietals
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Cabernet Franc
- Petit Verdot
- Pinot Noir
More Stats and Facts
Annual wine production: 17.7 million cases (up from 12 million cases in 2014)
Wine grape acreage: 60,000+ acres
Total economic impact: $8.4 Billion
Average hours of summer sunlight:
16 hours per day, about one more hour than California’s prime growing region
6.8 inches in eastern Washington (the major grape growing region) 35-38 inches in western Washington
In conclusion, you can now support more than 1,000 wineries in Washington state. These wineries have adjusted their operations during the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. So we encourage you to find wineries in your area to visit where possible. Or order wine online to pick up or have delivered. And drink for Washington!
Above all, we have been proud supporters of Washington wine since we moved here in 1999. Subsequently, Write for Wine, which is a cheerleader for Washington wineries, launched in 2007.
Margot and Dave