After a brief introduction to the the state of Washington this past Monday I reported on my visits to wineries in Walla Walla on Tuesday. Today I am reporting on visits both in Prosser, which lies roughly between Walla Walla and Seattle in the Yakima Valley as well as to wineries located basically within Seattle’s metropolitan footprint. As I’ve already discussed, Washington’s wine industry is fairly unusual in that so many of the wineries source fruit from one part of the state while they produce wine closer to where the money is. It’s a brilliant strategy and one that fosters a connection with their clients that is unusually close.
This departure from the estate winery mindset is evident throughout the state, with clusters of wineries being the norm, in Walla Walla as discussed, but also in Prosser and notably in Woodinville, which is a very short ride from downtown Seattle. Washington has made winery visiting an almost urban activity, and bringing the wineries to the people not only fosters that close connection but also gives unprecedented access to Seattle’s not inconsequential flow of tourists.
Coming from a retail background I know the power of the winery visit. I can’t tell you how many people have asked me for wines they tried while on vacation. Predisposed to enjoyment, it’s a magical time to sample myriad wines and the tight clustering of these wineries makes those visits simply too easy to avoid. It’s just another detail that makes up the structure of Washington’s impressively successful and rapidly expanding wine industry. The fact that the wines are varied, friendly, fascinating and in general well priced makes it easy to convert even sceptical consumers and jaded professionals!
Prosser actually has a sort of winery based industrial park known as Vintner’s Village. It’s another genius idea, fostering both the collaborative spirit that remains part of Washington’s wine scene as well as ease of access and promotion for the local wineries. My reviews that follow being in Prosser before moving back up to Woodinville.