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Washington

An important winegrowing state increasingly recognized for its high-quality reds and whites...

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An important winegrowing state increasingly recognized for its high-quality reds and whites, Washington ranks second in production in the U.S. after California. Washington wines continue to gain well-deserved popularity as they garner higher and higher praise from critics and consumers alike.

Washington winemakers draw inspiration mainly from Napa Valley, Bordeaux and the Rhône as well as increasingly from other regions like Spain and Italy. Most viticulture takes place on the eastern side of the state—an arid desert in the rain shadow of the Cascade mountains. Irrigation is made possible by the Columbia River. Temperatures are extreme, with hot and dry summers and cold winters, during which frost can be a risk.

Washington’s wine industry was initially built on Merlot, which remains an important variety to this day, despite having been overtaken in acreage planted by Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Bordeaux blends and Rhône blends are common as well as single varietal bottlings. Washington reds tend to express a real purity of concentrated fruit. The best examples have a bold richness, seamless texture, plush or powdery tannins and flavors such as licorice, herb, forest floor, espresso and dark chocolate.

In terms of white wine, Riesling is the state’s major success story, producing crisp, aromatic examples with plenty of stone fruit that range from bone dry to lusciously sweet. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc perform nicely here as well, and Viognier is beginning to pick up steam.

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  • San Juan Vineyards Madeleine Angevine 2016 Front Label
    San Juan Vineyards Madeleine Angevine 2016
    Other White Wine from Puget Sound, Washington
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    • Gramercy Cellars Picpoul 2016 Front Label
      Gramercy Cellars Picpoul 2016
      Other White Wine from Columbia Valley, Washington
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      • Syncline Boushey Vineyard Grenache Blanc 2016  Front Label
        Syncline Boushey Vineyard Grenache Blanc 2016
        Other White Wine from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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        • San Juan Vineyards Siegerrebe 2016  Front Label
          San Juan Vineyards Siegerrebe 2016
          Other White Wine from Washington
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