THE GROWING ALLURE OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
History: The region’s first wine grapes were planted near Fort Vancouver by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1825. By 1910, wine grapes were growing in many areas of the state, following the path of early settlers. French, German and Italian immigrants pioneered the earliest plantings. Hybrid varieties were introduced in the Puget Sound region as early as 1854, and by 1860 wine grapes were planted in the Walla Walla Valley.
Excellent growing conditions allow for sustainable growing practices throughout the region, contributing to both excellent production and stewardship. This region ranks second for premium wine production in the US.
Unique Conditions: Situated relatively far north, the Pacific Northwest receives more hours of sunlight during the summer months than appellations to the south. The extra light coupled with moderate temperatures and little rainfall create wines which deliver great consistency, concentration and character.
Due to its arid climate, this region is essentially free of fungus; as a result, very few chemical based anti-fungicides are required, leading to sustainable vineyard practices, creating minimal impact on the environment. Additionally, the angle of the sun is similar to the great wine regions of Northern Europe.
Weather: This region is one of the highest latitude wine regions in the world. Similar areas elsewhere tend to be on the cusp of cool, rainy weather in the spring and fall, making viticulture difficult – especially at sensitive times like harvest. However, this region is dry enough to be categorized as a continental semi-desert, as it basks in more than 300 days of sunshine and receives only 7-12 inches of rain annually.
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