March is “Taste Washington” Wine Month, an annual celebration of the wonderful and plentiful wines produced here, culminating in the four-day Taste Washington event (March 31st – April 3rd). To get you in the “spirit”, we’ll take a look at Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington State’s oldest winery.
With roots going back to 1912 when the original estate was built, Chateau Ste. Michelle has been a major wine producer since 1954 (when it was originally known as the American Wine Company). Having captured 21 “Winery of the Year” honors, produced 17 “Top 100” wines and a garnered a whole host of other accolades, Chateau Ste. Michelle is a peer to the best American wineries. The winery and Chateau itself are located just 15 miles outside of Seattle (the Chateau hosts a highly reputed series of outdoor concerts in the summer), but the three vineyards are located in the Columbia Valley, a designated AVA (American Viticultural (wine-growing) Area). In fact, 99% of Washington’s vineyard average is located within the Columbia Valley.
Of course, you can’t talk about Chateau Ste. Michelle without talking about their most famous wine, their Riesling, a sweeter white varietal prized for its fruity flavors. So famous in fact that Chateau Ste. Michelle beats out the German and French wineries to be the world’s leading producer of Riesling wine! From July 17 – 19, 2016 the Chateau will be hosting the Riesling Rendezvous, the largest U.S. event dedicated to Riesling.
As mentioned in our Wines and Vines of Washington post, there are a number of wonderful wineries within a short distance of Seabright Farm. In fact, it’s hard to go far in Washington without running into a winery! When people think of great American wines they might recall California first, but Washington deserves to be the quick second thought!