Most of Washington's vineyards are planted in what is essentially a desert, the rain shadow of the cascade Mountains. And despite the cool northerly latitude, long summer days ensure that even Rhone reds such as Syrah can reach full and delicious ripeness.
In the signature line of his emails, Andrew Harper's wine concierge, Hal Oates, includes a short blurb from the Bible: "Wine to gladden the heart of man." That sentiment is shared not only by Oates, but also by the growing number of travelers who head off in search of great wine destinations year after year.
Three notable Northwest wine events occur in November, two in Washington, the nation's second largest producer behind California, and one in Oregon, which ranks third.