Thanks to the cool and rainy reputation of Seattle, many people are surprised to learn that the overwhelming majority of Washington's grapes grow in desert-like conditions east of the Cascade Range. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and many more grapes do exceptionally well here but the real rock star in the making is Syrah, which can yield wines in a range of styles from fruity and easy drinking to savory, meaty and structured.

Photos throughout Washington taken in early September in both 2012 and 2016. Visits to Sleight of Hand Cellars, aMaurice Cellars and l'Ecole No. 41. Region- and vineyard-specific photos include The Benches, Les Collines, French Creek, Seven Hills, Blue Mountain, The Rocks, Red Willow, Ziggy Stardust, Ciel du Cheval and Red Mountain. Scenery throughout the Columbia Valley and Walla Walla's charming downtown, as well as Birch Creek Rd and Powerline Rd in Milton-Freewater on the Oregon side of the AVA. 

Click photo to enlarge, then hover over image for caption. All images copyright Jeff Bramwell.