Washington State is suffering from a drought and normally this would be a reason for despair but Washington State Wine Country is growing faster because of it. Besides more farm acres being turned over to vine growing and increased wine production, the warm weather is encouraging more visitors to explore the vineyards and surrounding areas.
Washington State is ranked second in the US for wine grape production. Its location has a perfect climate for growing wine grapes as Washington State’s vineyards lie at the same latitude as the classic wine growing regions of France. In the past decade wine production doubled and wine-grape acreage has increased by 22% since 2010.
Even though the drought is a threat to some crops, Washington State wineries are expanding even faster as wine grapes do best in dry summer environments. Washington State is home to over 900 wineries and produces wine from over 30 different varieties of grapes from 50,000 acres of vineyards. The harvest in 2014 reached a record of 227,000 tons of grapes.
Summer is a great time to explore the vineyards of Washington State. The wine region includes Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain, Rattlesnake Hills, Horse Heaven Hills and Nanches Heights.
Not only can visitors join one of the many organised tours and taste award-winning wines in stunning surroundings but each region offers a wide range of activities. The Tri-Cities region located above the Columbia Valley is dotted with miles of bike trails, water recreation facilities, golf courses and riverside dining. The small historic town of Walla Walla is home to many vintage shops, boutiques, cafes, bookstores, tasting rooms and restaurants.
This summer, Washington wine country is host to numerous events, including local wine tastings and food festivals as well as Mumford and Sons concert in Walla Walla Valley on 14th and 15th August. Mumford and Sons will stopover in Walla Walla as part of their Gentlemen of the Road tour.