We’re Still the Wild West of Winemaking
As usual, we received submissions representing more than 30 different grape varieties grown in Washington, and some rank among the state’s top wines. Growers and winemakers are still exploring what the state can do best and likely will for some time to come.
Woodinville’s Extreme Makeover
If you haven’t been to Woodinville in a few years, you might not recognize it. The area is now home to more than 100 wineries and new tasting rooms opened by scores of Eastern Washington wineries. Factor in the redevelopment of the Hollywood Schoolhouse area, and suddenly Seattle has a diverse playground of wine tasting just 30 minutes away.
Washington Backs Blends
The Old World approach of blending wines to create one greater than the sum of its parts is increasingly popular with winemakers, drinkers, and critics alike: Red blends made up a whopping 27 percent of all wines submitted this year, and one-third of the bottles that landed on this year’s Top 100.
Red Wine’s Tipping Point
Though we’re known for our cabernet, syrah, and merlot, 2013 was the first year that Washington actually produced more red wine grapes than white. With Washington red wines garnering increased attention—and also commanding more money than white ones—don’t look for their increased prominence to change anytime soon.
Chardonnay Makes a Comeback
Winemakers have recently shown a renewed interest in chardonnay—typically one of Washington’s most-produced grapes. The number of chardonnays on this year’s list provides some proof, as does the emergence of several chardonnay-dedicated wineries, such as Ashan and Array.