Wine is a splendid thing, isn't it? There's nothing in this world that is more complex yet so simple, coming from the smallest pearls of the gods: grapes. The American West Coast is a prime location for wine production, touting the same latitudes as impressive regions on the other side of the globe in France, Spain and Italy. While we all know about the Napa Valley in Northern California, that's definitely not the be all, end all of the vintners and estates in the US. The whole of the West Coast has something to share –like a succulent and sacred nectar awaiting an audience. Check out the highlights of what there is to discover from the very northernmost of the continental United States to the southern tip at the Mexican border below.
Washington state grows over 80 different varieties of grape and is just south of Canada's impressive Okanagan region, revered for its VQA wines. This sunny state has three different regions that are responsible for making some of the most delicious wines in the Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling, Syrah and Merlot families. Each has its own stunning micro-climate and many vineyards and wineries to tour.
Situated approximately two and a half hours southeast of Seattle, the Yakima Valley has over 50 wineries and vineyards within its borders as well as distilleries and breweries for those looking for something a bit more bubbly. They also have a Vintner's Village that showcases the amazing work of nine different estates in one place –heaven for tasters. Take one of these tasting routes to experience the grapes this stunning area has to offer.
Walla Walla's wine country is broken up into four different areas including one that extends past the state line into northern Oregon. The valley is approximately five hours' drive away from Seattle and Portland, smack dab in the middle for a lovely climate that mimics that of France. There are well over 100 different tasting rooms, cellars, wineries, and vineyards in this region, which you can check out here.
Also known as the Columbia Valley, Tri-Cities has some of the most favorable soil conditions and an excellent climate for growing wines. Not a lot of wineries in the area are very old, but they do manage to come up with some mouthwatering concoctions at the over 160 of them that are scattered throughout the region. Check out this list to see what to expect from the Tri-Cities area.