Washington ranks second in the United States (behind California) in the production of wine. The early history of the state’s wine industry can be traced to the introduction of Cinsault grapes by Italian immigrants to the Walla Walla region. It has fourteen federally defined American Viticultural Areas with all but one located in Eastern part of the state. The largest AVA is the Columbia Valley AVA, which extends into a small portion of northern Oregon and encompasses most of the other Washington AVAs. These include the Lewis-Clark AVA, the Ancient Lakes AVA, Walla Walla Valley AVA, which encompasses The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater AVA, Horse Heaven Hills AVA, the Wahluke Slope AVA, Lake Chelan AVA, Naches Heights AVA, and the Yakima Valley AVA, which in turn also encompasses the Rattlesnake Hills AVA, Snipes Mountain AVA and the Red Mountain AVA. The Columbia Gorge AVA is west of the Columbia Valley AVA. Washington’s only AVA located west of the Cascades is the Puget Sound AVA. The Rocks wine-growing region is the newest AVA in Washington state.


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