Washington state’s wine industry continues to grow, scoring its second American Viticultural Area of the year with designation of the Lake Chelan AVA, Wines & Vines reports.
“We’ve always known that we were growing world-class grapes up here, but now the whole world’s going to know about us,” said Steve Kludt of Lake Chelan Winery, who opened the AVA’s first winery in 2000 and co-founded the Lake Chelan Wine Valley Association.
“We still have to produce good wines and grow world-class grapes, but at least now we’re going to start getting recognized and people will give us a chance. And that’s what we want.”
Lake Chelan is the state’s 11th AVA and the eighth sub-appellation within the broader Columbia Valley AVA. Snipes Mountain AVA, designated earlier this year, also was carved out of the Columbia Valley AVA.
Winegrapes have been grown in the Lake Chelan area since 1891, and the region has been part of the Columbia Valley AVA since its creation in 1984. But in 2006, Washington state vineyard consultant Alan Busacca submitted a petition on behalf of the Lake Chelan Wine Growers Association, proposing a separate designation for 24,040 acres of the 11 million-acre Columbia Valley AVA.
With a geology and geography defined by past alpine glacial activity and the moderating effects of Lake Chelan, Busacca’s petition claimed the area is distinct from the Columbia Valley AVA. Government officials agreed.