What is this, a blog about wines from the Pacific Northwest? They make wine there?
Yes, my friend, they do indeed and they are some of the best wines that the New World has to offer. The Pacific Northwest wine region is large in terms of area but even still, it doesn't nearly approach the overall planted acreage of vinifera grapes that California claims. As fans of Northwest wine, we're okay with because it's all about quality - quantity be damned.
As we define the Northwest, we're talking about three states and one Canadian Province. (Yes, they do make wine in Canada and some of it is damn good). The preponderance of our coverage will be directed at Washington and Oregon wine and we'll do what we can to include some of the wines being produced in Idaho as well. For those of you new to the wines of the Northwest consider the following a very, very short tutorial.
British Columbia Wine:
The mystery surrounding Okanagan wine for those of us south of the border is certainly not a reflection of quality as they're making fine wines in The Great White North. There is that whole border/customs issue. The inability for Canadian winemakers to ship their wines stateside has made the exploration of BC wine very difficult and given the tax rates on alcohol in Canada the wine can frankly be a bit more expensive than we're accustomed to paying in the states.
The smallest of the Northwest wine regions, Idaho's Snake River Valley is located in Southwestern Idaho as well as two counties in Oregon. The Snake River Valley is comprised of only 1,800 acres of planted vineyards and 15 wineries. While it's at a similar latitude to the Southern Oregon AVAs it's at a much higher elevation and much further inland from the Pacific Ocean. The Snake Valley was granted its AVA status in 2007 and is a young growing region. The varietals grown in the Snake River Valley are similar to those grown in Southern Oregon and Eastern Washington; Syrah, Chardonnay, Merlot as well as Riesling and Gewürztraminer