Washington's Wine Country
Links of Interest
Known as "The Heart of Washington Wine Country," the Tri-Cities region houses more than 150 wineries within a 50 mile radius. Visitors and residents can sample award winning wines and enjoy breathtaking views of beautiful vineyards throughout the Tri-Cities region. Visit the Columbia Valley and discover the heart of Washington's Wine Country. Sharing the same latitude as the world-famous Burgundy and Bordeaux regions of France, the Columbia Valley has the perfect soil conditions and temperature for making great wines.
The area wineries are still young enough to be intimate, yet experienced enough to produce world-class wines. A visit to one of the 150 area wineries in the Columbia Valley is a truly unique experience. You will often be greeted by the winemaker and invited to tour the vineyards.
Washington State as a whole is a premium vinefera grape growing region located in the northwest corner of the United States. Although it is relatively new to the wine industry, it is now the second largest wine producer in the United States and is ranked among the world’s top wine regions. Washington wines are available in all 50 states and have a global presence in more than 40 countries.
With ideal geography, soils, and climate Washington is one of the most sought after regions for growing premium vinefera grapes. Over 30,000 acres are planted and prime planting sites command record land values. The state has earned a reputation for consistent quality grapes producing premium vintages year after year. The regional focus is on Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Riesling, but a wide range of other varieties are grown and produce some exciting wines both red and white.
The expanding global recognition of Washington as a premium wine region has attracted winemakers from all over the world. In this special location they can create wines that artfully present the unique characteristics of this area. These hand-crafted wines continue to receive wide acclaim from regional, national, and international critics for their consistent quality. This quality is reflected in the many wines that score 90 and above from major wine media which lends to an overall higher percentage compared to most other leading wine regions.
As an economic driver, Washington’s wine industry generates more than $3 billion to the state economy. Current employment exceeds 14,000 jobs and the industry projections indicate more than 2,000 additional jobs to be added in the next few years. Even more exciting, are the more than two million visitors each year that wine tourism attracts, contributing to positive and stable growth of local and regional economies.
Wine grapes are now the fourth largest fruit crop in Washington and the wine industry is an integral part of the long term preservation of agriculture in the state. This industry leads the way and is an internationally recognized model for sustainable agricultural practices and water conservation. A strong sense of social responsibility is a hallmark of the wine industry in our region.
Washington State, and the Columbia Valley, have the perfect climate and soils for grapes, premium wines, leading innovators in the arts of business and wine, combined with a wonderfully relaxed lifestyle. The Tri-Cities offers an abundance of opportunities for the wine industry…this is world class living at its best.