The Puget Sound AVA
More than 300 wineries and tasting rooms dot the landscape of Western Washington from the U.S.-Canadian border to Vancouver, WA.
Yes, Virginia, they do grow wine grapes in the Puget Sound region of the State of Washington. However, only 1% of the state’s wine grapes are grown in this region, which is located in the northwestern part of the state.
The Puget Sound AVA encompasses a large geographical area — including numerous islands — from the Canadian border to Olympia, the state’s capitol. It is Washington’s only grape growing region located west of the Cascade Mountain range.
The Puget Sound AVA is unique in that it has a temperate, maritime climate. In contrast, Washington’s grape growing regions east of the Cascade Mountains have an arid or semi-arid, continental climate. Puget Sound is, therefore, by far Washington’s coolest and wettest growing region.
Rainfall in the Puget Sound region ranges from 15 inches to 60 inches annually, with most precipitation occurring from November through April. The abundant rainfall means that most vineyards in this area can dry farm, in contrast to eastern Washington where irrigation is required due to the desert climate.
Cool climate grapes dominate in the Puget Sound AVA, with Pinot Noir the most planted variety, followed by Riesling. However, the area also has plantings of Madeleine Angevine, Muller Thurgau, Regent, Siegerrebe, and other varieties seldom seen elsewhere in the state.
Though there are very few wine grapes grown in the Puget Sound region, Western Washington is home to hundreds of wineries and tasting rooms. They dot the landscape along the I-5 corridor from just below the Canadian border in the city of Blaine to the state’s southern-most city of Vancouver.
You’ll also find wineries on many of the islands in the waters of Puget Sound, in the city of Seattle and surrounding suburbs and on the Washington coast.
The largest enclave of wineries in Western Washington is located in the city of Woodinville, where, at last count, 118 wineries, including Chateau Ste. Michelle (the state’s largest winery) makes its home. You’ll find an in-depth article about the 118 Woodinville wineries in the Wine Regions section of DiscoverWashingtonWine.com. Just click on the ‘Wine Regions’ tab at the top of this page.
Most wineries with tasting rooms in Western Washington use grapes grown in the warmer, drier wine regions in the semi-arid climates beyond the Cascade Mountain range in Eastern Washington.
However, a few wineries in the Puget Sound AVA make wine from their own, estate-grown grapes. They include a group of 11 wineries that are members of the Puget Sound Wine Growers Association.
The members of the Association are Anderson Island Vineyards on Anderson Islands, Bainbridge Vineyards on Bainbridge Island, Chateau Plateau Winery in Enumclaw, Devorah Creek Vineyards in Auburn, Eagle Haven Winery in Sedro Woolley, Hoodsport Winery in Hoodsport, Lopez Island Vineyard on Lopez Island, Maury Island Winery on Vashon Island, Perennial Vintners on Bainbridge Island, Spoiled Dog Winery in the city of Langley on Whidbey Island and Vashon Winery on Vashon Island.
You can find contact information for all of the members of the Puget Sound Wine Growers Association by clicking on the ‘Wineries” tab at the top of this page. All wineries are listed in alphabetical order by city.
You can also learn more about the Puget Sound Wine Growers Association by going to the Association’s website at: www.pugetsoundwine.org or by contacting individual members of the Association.
One of the most enjoyable wine tasting experiences you can have is to spend a weekend visiting wineries on the Olympic Peninsula and in the islands of Puget Sound. You’ll find wineries in Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Port Orchard and Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula.
And what could be even more enjoyable than hopping on a ferry to visit the dozens of wineries located on Bainbridge Island, Whidbey Island, San Juan Island, Lopez Island, Lummi Island, Orcas Island, Anderson Island or Vashon Island. You’ll find contact information for all wineries located in the islands of the Puget Sound by searching the “Wineries” tab at the top of this page. They are listed in alphabetical order by city.
If you live in Seattle, however, and don’t want to travel far to enjoy a pleasant wine tasting experience, consider visiting the following tasting rooms in the Emerald City: Almquist Family Vintners and Omnivore Cellars on Nickerson Street, Bartholomew Winery on Airport Way, Cadence Winery, on 15th Ave. South, Eight Bells Winery on Roosevelt Way, Domanico Cellars on 49th Street, Elsom Cellars on 4th Ave. South, the Estates Wine Room on Occidental Ave., and Robert Ramsay Cellars on Queen Anne Ave. North.
Just south of Safeco Field, you’ll find nine wineries/tasting rooms in what is called the SODO Wine Co-Op at 3931 First Ave. South. In this one building, you can spend hours sampling the wines of Den Hoed Wine Estates, Full Pull Wines, Kerloo Cellars, Latta Wines, Nine Hats Wines, Rotie Cellars, Sleight of Hand Cellars, Structure Cellars and Waters Winery.
If you head south of the SODO district several miles, you’ll find a growing wine scene in Seattle’s eclectic Georgetown neighborhood. Mercer Wine Estates of Prosser, WA, recently opened a tasting room in this neighborhood, joining Charles Smith Jet City Wines, Laurelhurst Cellars, Cloudlift Cellars and Fall Line Winery.
If you are planning an outing at Seattle’s Pike Place Market, there are three tasting rooms nearby at the same 1924 Post Alley address that are worth visiting. They are Focus Wines, Nota Bene and Wilridge Winery.
At last count, a total of 29 wineries/tasting rooms make the City of Seattle home. You’ll find addresses, phone numbers and website addresses for all 29 by clicking on the “Wineries” tab and “Tasting Rooms” tab at the top of this page. They are all listed under the city of Seattle heading.
This may come as a surprise to Washington wine enthusiasts, but there are more than 300 wineries and tasting rooms in Western Washington. Except for the 118 wineries located in Woodinville, they are spread throughout the state in towns like Aberdeen, Bellingham, Bellevue, Kirkland, Everett, Longview, Issaquah, Mount Vernon, Snohomish, Olympia, Tenino, Tacoma, Chehalis, Centralia, Eatonville, Enumclaw, Bonney Lake, Marysville, North Bend, Tacoma, Battleground, Ridgefield and Vancouver.
In fact, there are 13 wineries in the cities of Battleground, Ridgefield, Vancouver and Yacolt. that are located in Southwest Washington that have come together to form the Southwest Washington Winery Association.
The Association is made up of Burnt Bridge Cellars, Cellar 55, Confluence Vineyards Winery, Emanar Cellars, English Estate Winery. Heathen Estate Winery, Koi Pond Cellars, Heisen Estate Winery, Olequa Cellars, Moulton Falls Winery, Pomeroy Cellars, Rezabek Vineyards and Stavalara Vineyard.
The Association holds a number of events each year that the general public is invited to attend. You can learn more about the Association by visiting their website at: swwawine.com. The website contains contact information for all member wineries.