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Washington Wine

Washington state is located in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, immediately north of Oregon. Although its wine history is relatively short, it now produces more wine than any other US state, other than California. Almost all wine production occurs in Washington's hot, desert-like eastern part, although there is some grape growing and one AVA (Puget Sound) in the cooler, wetter west.

The Cascade mountain range defines the geography of the region by acting as a barrier between the two parts. The mountains create a rain shadow, effectively blocking most precipitation. This means that the Columbia River Basin in the east only receives about eight inches (200mm) of rain per year, resulting in a continental climate.

Mount Rainier, Washington's highest peak.

Without irrigation from local rivers, which include the Columbia, the Walla Walla, the Yakima and the Snake, grape growing would not be possible. The rivers also play an important role in moderating both summer and winter temperatures. In summer, a flow of cool, moist air rises off the rivers and blends with the dry desert air to freshen the surrounding areas and cool down the vines. In winter, when overnight temperatures can drop as low as -15F (-26.1C), the rivers keep the air circulating and help to moderate the cold. Some vineyards employ wind machines and use trellising which is more open in order to prevent frost from settling and freezing the vines.

Ice Age floods created much of the Columbia River Basin, leaving behind layers of gravel, sand and silt which have mixed with volcanic soils. This mixture of predominantly free-draining, sandy soils and cold winters suits viticulture and has repelled any outbreak of phylloxera. As a result, most grapes are grown on their own rootstocks, which is advantageous from a quality point of view.

Grape growing here is also influenced by Washington's latitude of 46°N, which produces, on average, 17 hours of sunlight per day in the growing season – two hours more than California. When combined with the extreme diurnal temperatures, this results in vines which are capable of achieving good ripeness while maintaining vital acidity.

Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are the main grapes grown in Washington, but the region also produces quality wines from various other varieties.

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Here are some wines produced in this region and all sub-regions, only the first 500 will be shown.
Wine Name
Grape 
Popularity
Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $235 125
Col Solare Red Wine, Columbia Valley, USA Bordeaux Blend - Syrah $65 597
Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $15 701
Leonetti Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $105 736
Cayuse Vineyards Bionic Frog Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, USA Syrah $305 912
Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot, Columbia Valley, USA Merlot $15 934
Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling, Columbia Valley, USA Riesling $10 1091
Leonetti Cellar Reserve, Walla Walla Valley, USA Bordeaux Blend Red $162 1132
Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Riesling, Columbia Valley, USA Riesling $20 1251
Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut, Columbia Valley, USA Chardonnay - Pinot Noir $13 1312
Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $42 1379
14 Hands Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington, USA Bordeaux Blend - Syrah $10 1411
Leonetti Cellar Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, USA Merlot $85 1431
Cayuse Vineyards Cailloux Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, USA Syrah $142 1572
Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $13 1652
Northstar Winery Columbia Valley Merlot, Washington, USA Merlot $35 1701
Long Shadows Pedestal Merlot, Columbia Valley, USA Merlot $57 1774
Quilceda Creek Red Wine, Columbia Valley, USA Bordeaux Blend Red $72 1812
Charles Smith 'The Velvet Devil' Merlot, Washington, USA Merlot $13 1947
Charles Smith 'Kung Fu Girl' Riesling, Columbia Valley, USA Riesling $13 1955
Charles Smith 'Chateau Smith' Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, USA Bordeaux Blend - Syrah $18 2125
Red Diamond Merlot, Washington State, USA Merlot $8 2131
Spring Valley Vineyard Uriah, Walla Walla Valley, USA Bordeaux Blend Red $47 2263
Sheridan Vineyard Singularity Syrah, Washington, USA Syrah $80 2378
Columbia Crest Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, USA Cabernet Sauvignon $10 2411
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