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King 5: Governor Gregoire Sparks Washington/California Wine Face-Off
You could say that Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has started a war of wine words.
On Monday, while announcing funding for a new $5 million wine research center in Richland, she uncorked a story about a recent trade mission to Europe.
“Someone asked me what about California wine, and I said they make jug wine. We make fine wine!” Her comment drew cheers and laughter.
Washington is second to California in wineries, with more than 700, or double the number of five years ago. Columbia Winery Wine Educator Steven Petersen believes the governor has a good argument.
“There are two hours more sunlight in (Washington) every day during the prime season than other parts of California,” said Petersen, as he poured wine at the Woodinville tasting room Monday. He says the affordability of acreage in Eastern Washington has helped to costs of quality wines low.
Seattle magazine covers Washington wine in just about every issue. Follow our monthly "Tasting Notes" column for fascinating background on Washington state wineries and fresh picks of wines recommended by our team of expert wine-nerds.