Across The River And Into The Trees

by | Apr 1, 2009

While our focus here is clearly on Oregon wine, beer and coffee, the great state of Washington is right across the river, just a few miles from Portland. Therefore, it can’t hurt to become knowledgeable about the liquid goings on there.

According to Ruth Zschomler of The Oregonian, Washington ranks second in the U.S. after California in wine production. The wine industry contributes more than $3 billion to the state’s economy and provides 14,000 jobs.

The state recently licensed its 600th winery. By comparison, Oregon has nearly 400 wineries.

Clark County, near Portland, has six commercial vineyards with three more underway and an eye toward earning a designation as an American Viticultural Area. The local growers in Clark County have formed the Southwest Washington Winery Association, a nonprofit, to help attain AVA status.

The winery association is working on viticulture education in Clark College in Vancouver. The college’s corporate and continuing education program offers 13 classes in wine education.