Despite the woes of Syrah from other regions in the wine world – particularly California and Australia – Washington Syrah continues to hum along quite nicely.
Last fall, Washington winemakers crushed more than 15,000 tons of Syrah, the most in state history. That makes Syrah the No. 3 red grape and No. 5 overall.
The first Washington Syrah was planted in the mid-1980s by Mike Sauer of Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley. He collaborated with David Lake, longtime winemaker for Columbia Winery.
While a lot of Washington Syrah is finding its way into red blends, there are at least a couple hundred varietal Syrahs being made in Washington. Here are a dozen we’ve tasted in recent weeks.