This Northwest state is the second largest wine producer in the United States. The climate is very different from that of California and Oregon which explains the distinct nature of the wines. Most Washington state wines are produced in the eastern part of the state where the summers are warm, the winters are frigid and the Cascade Mountains protect the vineyards from the abundant rainfall. Washington was initially known for white wines from Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Chardonnay grapes. However, the state is now famed for rich, concentrated Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wines with lush berry flavors.
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