Seattle, Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands are the most popular draws for visitors, but Washington’s physical splendor ranges from the dense rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula to the glacier-carved peaks of Mount Rainier. The majestic longitudinal range of the Cascades bisects the state, directing the vast majority of its precipitation into the temperate rainforests of the west. To the surprise of many, much of eastern Washington is an arid region of stark plains and outright deserts. The state’s vineyards cluster mostly in the Columbia and Yakima valleys. Located on the same latitude as Burgundy and in the rain shadow east of the Cascade mountains, the area has long, dry summer days that contribute to acclaimed Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay.
Northwest winds lend Washington a dry climate during the spring and summer, while the latter half of the year is notoriously wet.