New Wine Grape Varieties Gaining Ground in Washington

The Washington Wine Commission supplies a number of interesting statistics in this Associated Press report. I snipped only a small interesting portion, check out the whole article.

Associated Press - Washington winemakers turn to new varieties to spice up business

Washington, the No. 2 wine producer nationally behind California, is home to more than 275 wineries, 300 wine grape growers and 28,000 vineyard acres, according to the Washington Wine Commission, a promotional state agency funded by fees on member wineries and growers. About 57 percent of the acreage is red wine varieties, such as merlot, cabernet and syrah. White wine varieties, including chardonnay, riesling and sauvignon blanc, account for 43 percent.

White wines dominated the state industry for years before red wines made a splash in the 1990s, opening the door for syrah, a Rhone variety that was introduced to the state in 1988 and slowly increased its share of the market.

In 1999, only about 200 acres of syrah were bearing fruit. Today, that number is closer to 2,000 acres.

Washington Wine Commission: http://www.washingtonwine.org/

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