In recent years, Washington’s wine industry has become the fastest growing agricultural sector in the state. The number of Washington wineries has increased 400% in the last decade. But where are all these wine grapes coming from?
Located at approximately the same latitude as some of the historically great wine regions of France, including Bordeaux and Burgundy (46 degrees N), Washington has 9 federally recognized American Viticulture Areas (AVA).
The majority of these Washington vineyards lie in the eastern section of the state. There is only one AVA on the west side of the Cascades, along the Puget Sound. Only about 1% of Washington Vineyards are in this region.
Because the majority of cool ocean breeze is blocked by the Cascade Range before it can reach the Eastern half of the state, the climatic effect is an arid climate, perfect for Washington Vineyards.