Washington: History

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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History in the 1930s, the Washington wine industry was based on the native American grape variety concord, which grows well in the Columbia Valley (see below). It is still planted there although its acreage is rapidly shrinking, and today its fruit is almost exclusively limited to the making of juice, jellies, and other non-wine confections. In 1969, when California’s wine boom was well under way, there were just two wineries in Washington. By 2014 there were well over 800 and small-scale producers are continuing to emerge. California producers such as gallo, Cakebread, and Duckhorn have invested in the state’s wine industry too.