Washington State is well-known for its amazing wines. The state produces some of the best reds and whites in the country and has won numerous awards for its vintages. The climate in Washington is perfect for growing grapes and the soil is rich in nutrients, making it ideal for viticulture. Here are five interesting facts about Washington State wine that you may not know!
Why is Washington State wine so popular?
Before we get into the interesting facts, let’s first tackle why Washington State wine is so popular. The state’s wines have consistently ranked high in national and international competitions, earning it a reputation for being one of the best wine-producing regions in the world.
One reason for this is, Washington State has a diverse climate which allows for a wide variety of grape varietals to be grown. The state is also home to some of the oldest vines in the country, which produce some of the most flavorful wines. The minerals in the soil also contribute to the unique taste of Washington State wines.
5 Facts About Washington State Wine
With that being said, here are 5 interesting facts about Washington State wine that you may not know:
1. Washington State is the second largest wine producer in the United States
Washington State is the second largest wine producer in the United States, behind only California. With about 1050 wineries and more than 60,000 acres of wine grape acreage, Washington State produces more than 17 million cases of wine each year. Given the ideal climate and soil conditions, it’s not surprising that a lot of producers finance their vineyard and wine-making business in the state’s wine region, which all contribute to the 8$ billion economic impact wine has in the state.
2. The first vines were planted in Washington State in the 1820s
The first vines were planted in Washington State in 1825 by the Hudson’s Bay Company at Fort Vancouver. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the Washington wine industry began to take off. This is due, in part, to the large number of European immigrants who came to the state during this time and planted vines for wine-making.
3. Washington State has more than 80 grape varietals
With such a diverse climate, Washington State is able to grow a wide variety of grape varietals. In fact, there are more than 80 different types of grapes planted in the state. This includes both native and introduced varietals. Some of the most popular grapes grown in Washington State include Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Riesling.
4. 272,000 tons of wine grapes were harvested in 2016
In 2016, a total of 272,000 tons of wine grapes were harvested in Washington State. This is an increase from 2021’s harvest of 179,600 tons. The 400 wine grape growers in the state produced an average of 680 pounds of grapes per vine.
5. Up to 17 hours of sunlight can reach the grapes
The state also boasts of having some of the longest days of sunlight, which is ideal for grapevines. As it is located in the Pacific Northwest, the state gets a lot of sunlight during the summer months. In fact, some areas of the state receive up to 17 hours of sunlight per day. This is 1 more hour of sunlight than what is received in some areas of California.