By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index
Did you know that Washington state has over 1,000 licensed wineries (1,050 as of early 2022)?
Or that Washington’s national rank as wine producer in the United States is second, with only California producing more?
And more than 80 varieties produced on more than 60,000 acres?
More than 400 wine grape growers produce more than 17 million cases every year.
All of this has a total annual in-state economic impact of more than $8 billion.
Thanks to geography and weather, the state of Washington shares just the right mix of attributes that produce the world’s best wines.
Wine might not come to mind as one of the most abundant agricultural products of our state, but it should.
And it certainly will.
Washington’s Wine Country
It hasn’t always been true, of course.
If it has been a while since you have passed through much of central Washington, just across the Cascades, you will be amazed at how many wineries you will see on almost every hillside and mountain valley.
That land, of course, has been noted for its fertility and productiveness for millennia, but who would have imagined wineries popping up alongside traditional farming communities?
You can plan a week (or longer) tour of Washington’s wine country here: winecountrywashington.com/washington-wine-country-maps.php.
Or you could explore our nation’s wine country (including Washington) here: https://www.americanwineryguide.com/regions/washington-wineries/.
Washington’s wineries produce more than wine
Each winery has its own style, personality and specialty.
At least one winery for example, produces its own vodka.
Yes, you can find locally produced, small batch, hand-crafted vodka, sourced from Washington state grown grapes.
This is the official premium vodka of the Seattle Kraken. (drinkvido.com)
As a travel destination, or as an inspired way to support local businesses, you can’t beat a tour or at-home support of one of Washington’s premiere industries.
If you care to see some of the awards that Washington wines have garnered, take a look here: http://seattlewineawards.com/.
You can see the details on Washington’s wine industry here: www.washingtonwine.org/fast-facts/.