From the ocean sprayed croplands of Puget Sound to the fertile fields of Yakima and Columbia Valleys, Washington wines are winning awards and competing with top vineyards world-wide. Washington’s wine country sits on the same degrees of latitude as some of the top wine growing regions in France. The volcanic silt soil, natural irrigation and temperature of the land make Washington a supreme location for producing top quality wine.
Over 900 wineries dot the landscape of Washington. Most of these can be found in the central and eastern regions of the state near Yakima, Walla Walla and the Tri-cities
Sun drenched valleys and a low rain season in the east of Washington can be attributed to the Rain Shadow effect that stops clouds rolling in east of the Cascades.
The premium conditions for growing grapes in Washington state yields tens of millions of cases each year. Areas like Rattlesnake Hills and Columbia Valley are well-known for varietals like Malbec, Viognier and Petit Verdot. Most wineries provide tastings. Columbia Crest and Chateau Ste. Michelle are two renown wineries in the heart of Washington’s wine country which offer tours.
Vineyard in Washington
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When driving through wine country, there are plenty of charming roadside attractions. If traveling with kids you may want to stop at Dinosaur Town, a fun park where you can stretch your legs in the town of Granger. In Touchet, Washington the basalt Twin Sisters will greet you from the side of the road.
While most Washington wineries offer tastings, not all are open to the public. You’ll want to check websites before you go. Many, like Three Rivers Winery near Walla Walla are open most days of the year. They offer Charcuterie and other snacks along with wine flights and breathtaking vineyard views.
Known by locals as ‘the bringer of rain’ the majestic peaks of Mount Rainier can be seen in the western part of Washington’s wine country. Take some time to stop at Mount Rainier National Park for scenic hikes, swimming in glacial lakes, and unparalleled views of snow-capped mountain peaks.
The fertile lands of wine country offer lush greens and gorgeous vistas at many public golf courses in the central and eastern parts of Washington state. Enjoy golfing under blue skies and 300 days of sun during Washington state’s charitable golf season that lasts from April to November each year.