Perhaps Washington’s most famous wine is Merlot, a red wine that can be smooth and fruity or bold and rich with complex flavors.
In France’s Bordeaux region, Merlot often is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to produce some of the world’s most famous wines. This blend also is popular in Washington.
However, in the '90s, Washington emerged as one of the great places in the world to grow and craft Merlot. The poor soils, long days and cool nights are just about perfect for this round, supple red wine.
British Columbia's South Okanagan Valley, Southern Oregon's Rogue and Umpqua Valleys and Idaho's Snake River Valley also have strong potential for the grape.
This story was originally published June 16, 2012 4:46 PM.