Washington: Geography and climate

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About
Washington is the USA’s leading apple and hop state, both crops being good viticultural markers, but there is a sharp difference between the climates of western and the viticulturally much more important eastern Washington.

Western Washington is mild and damp the year round because of the proximity of the Pacific Ocean and the inland sea called the Puget Sound, overlooked by Seattle. Population, limited space, and marginal growing conditions combine to limit vinifera plantings in western Washington to less than 1% of the state’s total. The Puget Sound appellation covers the islands and land adjoining the waters of the Puget Sound, into the Cascade foothills.