Did you know that the first grape vines in what today is Washington State were planted at Fort Vancouver in 1825? Today, that number has grown to 30 wineries across Southwest Washington. But the region is not officially recognized as an American Viticultural Area (AVA).
To remedy that, the Southwest Washington Winery Association has applied for federal recognition as an official AVA, which would essentially put them on Washington’s wine map and bring wine lovers from far and wide. The name chosen for the region, once approved, is the Mount St. Helens AVA.
Roger Rezabek, chair of the AVA task force and co-owner of Rezabek Vineyards and Winery in Battle Ground, Washington, describes an AVA as “a region in the country that can provide evidence of unique features for grape growing, in terms of soils, climatic conditions, and geology—it’s a place where grapes can thrive. This part of Washington State is such an area.”
It takes time for an AVA application to be processed and approved, so watch for future news about the Mount St. Helens AVA. In the meantime, there is nothing stopping you from visiting the region’s wineries.
Learn about the wineries of Southwest Washington at swwawine.com.