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Delicious Northwest Syrahs
Syrah, the noble grape of the Northern Rhône Valley – and a key component in Southern Rhône blends – came to Washington in the mid-1980s, when grape grower Mike Sauer and winemaker David Lake came together to plant it at Red Willow Vineyard in the west end of the Yakima Valley.
After Syrah came through the 1996 freeze in Washington’s Columbia Valley, plantings began to skyrocket. Today, more than 15,000 tons of Syrah are harvested each year, making it Washington’s No. 3 red grape variety after Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Southern Oregon, which is much warmer than the Willamette Valley to the north, also is becoming a haven for Syrah, as are the high-altitude vineyards of Idaho’s Snake River Valley.
Here are nine Northwest Syrahs we’ve tasted in recent weeks.