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Tag: washington wines


Wine industry’s a bright spot for state during tough times

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

This seems a timely moment to lift a glass and toast a rising star in the state’s economy – the Washington wine industry.

Even during the recession and two harsh winters in a row (2009 and 2010) that slammed Eastern Washington vineyards, the wine industry continued to expand. Today, according to a new study, its value to the state economy has grown almost three times from what it was just five years ago – a period that overlaps the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

According to the study, conducted for the Washington State Wine Commission by a California wine-industry consulting firm, Washington’s wine industry contributed $8.6 billion to the state’s economy in 2011, compared with $3 billion in 2007. Read more »


Washington wines are winners

Waterbook wines are poured in the downtown Walla Walla tasting room. (Staff file photo)

Gov. Chris Gregoire gave Washington wines a plug Monday while signing the capital construction budget, which includes money for a wine research center in Richland. She recalls a trade mission to Europe when she responded to a question about California wines: “They make jug wine. We make fine wine.”

I’m not sure I’d go quite that far. Having visited many California wineries in Napa and Sonoma, I think there’s quite a lot of good wine being made there. California has far more wineries than Washington (about 3,500 to 740), and accounts for about 90 percent of U.S. wine production. But, as Gregoire implied, Washington wineries focus on quality, not quantity.

I recently returned from a very quick trip to Washington wine country, from Yakima, through Prosser and on to Walla Walla. Here are a few highlights: Read more »