Follow the Columbia River up through the middle of the state, and you’ll run into the Wahluke Slope, an 81,000-acre American Viticultural Area that serves as the backbone of the Washington wine industry.
Approved as an official AVA by the federal government in 2006, the region has long been home to vineyards. Today, about 9,000 acres of grapes are grown on the 13-mile-wide gravel bar that is a remnant of the Ice Age floods, which occurred some 12,000 years ago. It vies with Red Mountain as the warmest region in Washington wine country, and can always be counted on by winemakers for ripe Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Here are a dozen delicious examples of Wahluke Slope wines we have tasted recently. Ask for them at your favorite wine merchant or contact the wineries directly.
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