- Hot, dry climate July report marks finale by Greg Jones at Linfield
- Betz Family Winery will not release wines from smoky 2020 vintage
- Matías Kúsulas replaces Aryn Morell as Gård Vintners winemaker
- Boise-area Telaya Wine Co., uses Idaho Syrah to top Cascadia International
- Sagemoor enters Walla Walla Valley grape market with Southwind Vineyard purchase
- Fire destroys distillery at Westport Winery Garden Resort in Washington
- Fries family departs Washington wine industry with Desert Wind sale
- Warnshuis realizes dream of Utopia along Oregon’s tiny Ribbon Ridge
- Fidelitas promotes Will Hoppes, Mitch Venohr as part of transition
- New Alliance of Women in Washington Wine already stands at 200 strong
Say ‘Ah’ for Washington Syrah
Washington joined the Rhône Rangers in the mid-1980s, when Mike Sauer of Red Willow Vineyard became the first grape grower in the state to plant Syrah. After the somewhat winter-tender grape came through the 1996 winter freeze pretty well, Syrah planting took off.
Today, more than 10,000 tons of wine grapes are crushed annually in Washington, making the rich, ripe purple grape the No. 3 red variety behind Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
We adore Washington Syrah because it combines the rich, plush flavors of the New World with the complex, bacon-fat-laden notes of the Old World.
Here are 12 examples of Washington Syrahs we’ve tasted in the past two months (including two that are made by Oregon producers and one whose grapes actually come from a couple of miles into the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley).