Did you know Washington is the second-largest wine-producing state in the United States? Home to over 1,000 wineries and making over 17 million cases of wine, Washington contributes over $8 billion in state economic impact, annually.

Fast Facts On Washington Wine Country

Beyond the brevity of wineries in Washington, our state is also home to over 400 grape growers, and more than 60,000 acres of wine grapes. Talk about an oenophile's dream! Washington produces over 80 varieties from 19 AVAs.

Location & Climate

Let’s take a look at why Washington makes for such an amazing wine-producing region. Washington has the perfect climate, and soil to produce some of the best fruit in the world. And since, Washington shares the same latitude as other top wine-growing regions in Europe, along with a growing season that gets a maximum of 17 hours of sunlight per day, the geography and climate provide an ideal balance of New World fruit and Old World Structure. Much of what makes Washington wine country so fabulous has to do with the state's diurnal shift, the rain shadow effect, and the overall wine-making community.

What is a Diurnal Shift?

For those of you that are new to wine, you might be wondering what the heck a diurnal shift is. Diurnal shift is the difference between average daytime peak temperature and average nighttime low temperature. Grapes maintain a higher acidity when a region has large diurnal shifts. During the growing season, Washington has a diurnal shift of 30-40°F. The state has some of the largest day and night temperature fluctuations of any other wine region. In short, warm days allow for ripe fruit flavors while the cool nights preserve the natural acidity of the grapes.

How the Rainshadow Effect Impacts Wine

The two prominent mountain ranges in Washington, the Olympics, and the Cascades, create a rainshadow effect that protects the Columbia Valley from overly wet weather. On average, the Columbia Valley receives 6-8 inches of rain every year. In comparison, Seattle is situated between the Olympics and the Cascades and gets an average of 37 inches of rain a year. Now, that’s a pretty stark contrast in one state! But, the result is a perfect climate for grape growing in the warm dry eastern part of Washington.

Washington is truly special when it comes to wine country. There's no question about it! I'm consistently grateful to live in the region and make some amazing wines as a result of the many benefits provided by the state.

What's something you love about Washington Wine Country?



All stats are provided by Washington Wine.