- Walla Walla’s SuLei Cellars looks to expandPosted 13 hours ago
- Judges nominations grow for Great Northwest Invitational Wine CompetitionPosted 2 days ago
- Affordable red wines from the Great NorthwestPosted 3 days ago
- Snoqualmie gets greener with new eco-capsulesPosted 4 days ago
- Actor Kyle MacLachlan pursues bears, Walla Walla winePosted 5 days ago
- Leonetti pays tribute to Italian roots with new winesPosted 5 days ago
- Koenig Vineyards dessert wine tops 7th Idaho Wine CompetitionPosted 1 week ago
- 7th annual Idaho Wine Competition is todayPosted 1 week ago
- SeVein Vineyard rises as some of best grapes in Great NorthwestPosted 1 week ago
- Pinot Gris a food-friendly Northwest favoritePosted 1 week ago
Cabernet Sauvignon: Washington’s top grape
For the first time in history, Washington’s No. 1 grape is red – and it’s Cabernet Sauvignon.
Washington has long been thought of as white wine country, a mistaken impression from California wine “experts” who see Washington as too far north to effectively grow wine grapes. They mistakenly based this in part on knowing only about the drizzly west side of the state.
Yet Washington is on the same latitude as Bordeaux, the area of France that made Cabernet Sauvignon famous. Latitude, however, is pretty much where the similarities between Washington and Bordeaux end. Eastern Washington’s Columbia Valley is arid and hot, rarely getting more than 8 inches of precipitation per year – most of it coming outside of the growing season. Indeed, the Columbia Valley receives two more hours of sunshine per day than Napa and Sonoma during the height of growing season and a shift in temperature of 40 to 50 degrees between day and night during the key ripening and harvest seasons.
Cabernet Sauvignon often is one of the last grapes harvested in Washington, with growers and winemakers waiting until the second half of October to pick the fruit. Yet warm areas such as Red Mountain brought in Cab in early September last year because of the exceedingly warm vintage.
So let us celebrate Washington Cabernet Sauvignon by taking a look at 12 examples we have tasted and reviewed in the past few weeks.