From modest beginnings, Washington now a force in wine world

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — From less than 20 wineries in 1981, the Washington wine industry has grown to more than 1,000 this year. And the growth is likely to continue.

Washington is the second-largest producer of premium wines in the United States, trailing only California.

The state’s wine industry generates about $2.4 billion a year in revenues and contributes more than $7 billion a year to Washington’s economy.

Experts say most of the industry’s success stems from the state’s climate and soils.

Wine grapes like long sunny days and cool nights, which the vineyards located in the central and eastern part of the state enjoy. The area also gets little rainfall compared with other grape-growing regions, which is a plus.


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