Your Guide to Washington’s 14 Wine Regions
By John King
It’s hard to overstate the sweeping nature of Washington’s wine scene. Growing regions extend from the windswept coast to the snow-capped peaks of the Cascades to the sagebrush desert in the eastern reaches of the state. Across these disparate landscapes, winemakers tend more than 59,000 acres of vines and are responsible for more than 1,000 wineries. And not for nothing, but Washington harvested 261,000 tons of wine grapes in 2018. According to the Washington State Wine Commission, all that makes the Evergreen State the second-largest wine region in the United States just behind California.
In all, 14 growing regions — also known as American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) — span the state, each showcasing that area’s unique soils, growing capabilities, and distinct climates.
With a wide variety of growing conditions and such an enormous annual output, it’s no surprise that wine touring has become such a popular activity throughout Washington. So, if you’re looking for your next favorite chardonnay or merlot, here’s a look at Washington’s 14 regions, along with what to expect in each, what sets them apart, and how to explore every area. Before you head out, however, keep in mind that wineries and tasting rooms may keep limited hours and require reservations.
Check with your preferred wineries ahead of time and prepare for social distancing measures to keep visitors and employees safe. Remember to designate a driver.
Because of COVID-19, please take recommended safety precautions if you are planning a future trip. Check before you go for amenities and capacity restrictions.