Washington: The producers

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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The dominant force in Washington wine is Ste Michelle Wine Estates (formerly Stimson Lane), a subsidiary of tobacco company, the Altria Group, and the owner of a range of labels which includes Chateau Ste Michelle, Michelle, Columbia Crest, and Northstar, with important high-quality joint ventures with Ernst Loosen of Germany (for Eroica Riesling) and Piero antinori of Italy (for Col Solare). The company collectively controls more than one-third of all vineyard land in Washington, and produces a wide range of wines, including a number of superior single-vineyard bottlings. Some of the state’s most sought-after wines are made in Walla Walla by Cayuse, Gramercy Cellars, Leonetti, Pepper Bridge, and Woodward Canyon and in western Washington (with fruit grown in some of Columbia Valley’s top vineyards) by Andrew Will, Betz Family, Cadence, and Quilceda Creek. Other widely distributed labels by volume and reputation include the Seattle-based Columbia Winery, now owned by gallo, and Yakima Valley-based Hogue Cellars, a consistent producer of well-priced wines.