Washington State Wine Travel Guide
While a sweet, juicy apple is still the official fruit of Washington State, it is wine grapes not apples that are attracting wine professionals and tourists from far and wide. A recent wine blogging conference had hundreds traveling to Walla Walla, Washington for both fun and business. That shows you just how much respect the state receives from the wine world at large.
If fine wine is one of your hobbies and a vacation is in order, look no further than Washington to kick back, relax and just have fun in wine country.
Arriving via airplane in Washington means visiting the city of Seattle and the western part of the state as the first stop on your wine adventure. Home to Boeing, Starbucks, Microsoft and many other high-tech companies, Seattle also has great appeal for wine lovers. Although most of Washington’s wine grapes are grown in the eastern half of the state, the west has a number of its major wineries. A quick trip to the small town of Woodinville, just north of the city, is a great way to get started on a Washington wine tour. Seattle also offers numerous excellent restaurants, museums, shopping and entertainment. Take a ferry ride on Puget Sound, hike the slopes of Mt. Rainier or visit the only rainforest in North America on the nearby Olympic Peninsula.
Leave the cool, green western half of Washington behind and head east either via car or airplane to the small town of Walla Walla. Enjoy the dramatic change in climate and landscape. If time permits, stop to visit wineries and marvel at the federally protected scenic area in the Columbia River Gorge region. Once in Walla Walla, the scope and quality of Washington wineries will become obvious. Friendly, laid-back and easy to navigate, the Walla Walla wine country experience requires only that visitors have a good time. Good fine-dining and plentiful lodging in close proximity to wineries make spending several days in Walla Walla a wine and food lover’s treat.
Throughout the Columbia and Yakima Valleys and Red Mountain regions of Washington, hundreds of wineries can be found in small towns and rural areas. Without exception, visitors are happily welcomed. At many small family-owned wineries the winemaker or owner will pour you a taste and tell you the best spots to grab lunch or spend the night. With over 650 wineries in Washington State and more in the development stages, a wine vacation to Washington means superb, affordable red and white wines are just waiting for you to discover and enjoy.