I recently had the pleasure to sit in on a Masterclass Series with Master Sommelier Matt Stamp. He just recently visited Washington State and was eager to show what gems there are to be discovered in this frontier of wine. Although dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, the trend is leaning on experimenting with a host of varieties. These of which include Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Viognier and much more. It will be a delight to see what develops in the future as the best wines of Washington State.
Washington is no stranger to wine yet it only recently seems to be in the lime light. Obtaining statehood in 1889 it’s first wine grapes were planted some 60+ years earlier by the Hudson Bay Company in 1825. Of course with all spirits, beer and wine prohibition from 1920-1933 squandered the early ripening of Washington Wines. Post prohibition the infamous “Father of Washington Wine” Dr. Walter Clore was a pioneer in proving vinifera grapes could grow in Washington. And as it seems with most wines in the U.S. the late 1960’s and early 1970’s tend to be the great beginnings. Famous Vineyard sites like Champoux, Kiona, Ciel Du Cheval and Leonetti Estate were all planted in this time. Since then the Washington Wine Commision was established in 1987 and great wines have been finding their way to the consumer. Now there are many recognizable AVAs such as Yakima Valley, Red Mountain, Walla Walla, Horse Heaven Hills and Columbia Valley. All great regions producing some of the new gems of Washington.
CHECK OUT THE AWESOME VIDEO FROM THE GUILD ON WASHINGTON WINES
Justin Rutchik – Making Wines more approachable