Wahluke Slope forms backbone of Washington wine industry

By on January 29, 2017
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Harvesting grapes on the Wahluke Slope.

A crew works a mechanical harvester at a vineyard on the western edge of the Wahluke Slope during harvest 2013. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

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.

About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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