This week we are going around the world again to explore the wine history of Washington !! Washington is one of the most popular new wine regions in the United States and the world overall, so now we will see how and why this Pacific Northwest region is a wine hotspot.
Like I said before, Washington is one of the newer wine regions in the world, and it has grown super fast in the past 30 years. How did this first start? Italians !! Well, it was not all Italians, there were also German immigrant winemakers in the area, but this all first started happening in the 1870s. Then the silly prohibition movement happened and the Washington wine industry did not get back on its feet until around the 1950s.
Around this time, the industry was officially born as the brainchild of some college professors who were teaching at the University of Washington. This was GREAT, because these professors used their scientific skills to test what grape vines would work the BEST for Washington weather.
Let’s talk about the weather in Washington for a minute. In the grape growing and wine-producing regions in Washington, you can expect about 8 inches of rain per year. If we step back and look at the bigger picture, in Washington as one state, you get almost 40 inches of rain every year.
As we can see, it is pretty dry overall in this Eastern Washington area, but if there is too much rain and not enough sun like you think of with Seattle you also have problems. But it works !! Washington grows the second most wine in the United States only behind California of course. ; ) There are over 740 wineries in the state and these wines go to more than 40 different countries – and this all happened since the 1950s. Amazing !!
Washington is most well known in the wine world for very clear BRIGHT wines – very pure, very intense flavor and also clear acid taste. They don’t just specialize in one wine either, but that should be no surprise by now ; ). Wherever you can grow grapes and produce GOOD wine, you are gonna have ALL kinds of grapes and wines produced. Especially as the second biggest exporter of wine in the world.
But that is not always a good thing !! California grows ALL kinds of grapes and produces all kinds of wine, but the bread and butter of California is the Cabernet Sauvignon. You don’t wanna be jack of all trades, master of none. It is the same with wine. It is good if you produce good types of all wine, but you need your bread and butter. Even for me !! I like to cook all kinds of food, but I am the MASTER of Italian cooking ; ).
I am sure that one day we will see the Washington super wine that it is waiting for to make more of an image for itself, but for now, what is YOUR top Washington wine? Tweet me @Fabioviviani #wine101, or comment below !!