The Washington Post has a good article discussing the burgeoning wine industry in Washington state. I am a big fan of the wines of the Pacific Northwest. They are great values and increasingly good wines.
Is the weather in Washington that accommodating? Pretty much. Many tend to think of it as we experienced it on our last trip to Seattle in the fall, when it was cool and rainy for days on end. But Washington’s wine country on the eastern side of the state is shielded by the Cascade Mountains, so it is dry and warm, with hot summers and cold winters.
The state’s varying microclimates allow its winemakers to pair the right grape with the right terroir, contributing to high quality levels. The enormous Columbia Valley winemaking region, which covers one-third of the state, is at the same longitude as Bordeaux, which produces world-class wines from cabernet and merlot grapes.
As the Napa Valley did 30 years ago, Washington wine country is attracting young, experimental winemakers, such as 37-year-old master sommelier Greg Harrington, who left his Manhattan restaurant post a few years back to open Gramercy Cellars in Walla Walla.