WASHINGTON WINES

When people think of Washington State, they think of Seattle; of coffee and hipsters…and rain. Lots and lots of rain. But east of the Cascades — the volcanic mountain range that divides the state — the air is cowboy movie dry, sunny days average 300 per year, and annual rainfall is a scant 5 inches. The stinginess of Mother Nature may seem unforgiving, but it’s her gift to the region’s winemakers; one of control over irrigation which forces the grapes to struggle — a necessary penance on their journey to becoming great wine. This, in combination with the valley’s Ice Age geology, Red Mountain’s gentle southern slope and the consistent breezes makes this magical part of Washington one of the most coveted wine-grape growing regions in the United States, and by extension, the world.