Washington State is the country’s second-largest wine-producing state, and its vintners have experimented with a multitude of grape varieties over the last few decades. While some have proven more successful than others, the Bordeaux-style wines of Washington are particularly good and have earned the state a reputation for outstanding, world-class red wines. Those made from Rhône varieties, especially Syrah, are increasingly esteemed. Among Washington’s white wines, Chardonnay justifies high praise, as do Viognier, Semillon and Riesling.
Five top bottles
- 2006 Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Columbia Valley Riesling
- 2004 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Columbia Valley Chardonnay
- 2003 Covey Run Quail Series Columbia Valley Syrah
- 2005 Nelms Road Columbia Valley Merlot
- 2003 Sagelands Vineyard Four Corners Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
More F&W coverage
- Terrific Washington State Reds
Senior editor Ray Isle tastes his way through 105 Washington State reds.
- Wine Matters: America’s Great Value Winery
Washingon State’s Chateau Ste. Michelle produces amazing values, says executive wine editor Lettie Teague.
- A Wannabe-Insider’s Guide to Seattle’s Outsider Chefs
A look at some of Seattle’s most exciting chefs.
- Where To Go Next: Seattle
Lettie Teague investigates Santa Barbara’s Bien Nacido vineyard.
- 10 Best Online Wine Shops
These e-merchants stand above the rest for ease of use and selection.
- Niche Wine Blogs
Here, five wine blogs that have carved out smart and focused niches in the wine Web.
Other great Web resources
Publisher of the Washington State Visitors’ Guide.
- Wine Connection of Washington
Winery information, reviews and a Washington State wine club.
- Visit Yakima Valley
Travel tips and tours for Washington’s Yakima Valley.
- Wines Northwest
Maps and winery information for all of the Pacific Northwest.