Picture this: a nearly 51-mile-long, deep blue lake, surrounded by sun-kissed hills dotted with wineries. There are 12 tasting rooms in Chelan, with dozens of others sprinkled along the trail to town.
A full one-third of Washington’s grapes are grown in the valley, which is part of the larger Columbia Valley AVA. Tour the new Naches Heights AVA and tasting rooms in Yakima proper, then dip into Zillah,, Sunnyside and Prosser before heading east to the Tri-Cities.
WALLA WALLA VALLEY
More than 100 wineries make their home in this region, arguably the state’s most recognized. A long growing season makes for great ripening conditions, while the area’s loess-derived soils help impart terroir.
Sample wines from every AVA at Woodinville’s more than 80 tasting rooms, just 20 miles northeast of Seattle. Visit boutique wineries in the warehouse district, or take in a concert on the lawn at Chateau Ste. Michelle.
More than 15 wineries are located in and around this steep, southwest-facing slope near the Yakima River. The appellation, with its desert climate, produces predominantly red grape varieties.
The state’s largest AVA, its 11 million acres include all other sub-AVAs except for Puget Sound and Columbia Gorge. The Tri-Cities area, with its 160 wineries, is also here.
HORSE HEAVEN HILLS
Its proximity to the Columbia River gives this AVA, and its 25 vineyards, more wind than any other area.
One of the driest and warmest climates in the state allows for near complete control of ripening.
Just four miles from Yakima, this appellation has 18 wineries and 29 vineyards and produces 40 varietals.
The second smallest, this AVA grows 30 different grape varieties for 25 wineries.
The first grapes for the state’s newest AVA were planted here in 2002.
Learn more about Washington Wine Country.
For more on touring wine regions or to map a trip, visit www.washingtonwine.org/explore.