A brief history of Washington Wine Country. 

THE BEGINNING
The Missoula Floods were a cataclysmic event at the end of the last Ice Age

These flood sediments have since been capped by layers of soil, creating the rich terrain we have today

1800s
First grapevines were planted at Fort Vancouver, Washington

Early settlers in Walla Walla, Washington, planted grapevines

Washington State College (now Washington State University) was established

1900-1929
Prohibition comes to Washington State

National prohibitions created an increase in home-winemaking

WSU Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center established in Prosser

1930s
Prohibition is repealed, 4 wineries are established in Prosser, Washington

Washington State Liquor Control Board is created

Walter Clore arrived at Washington State College on a $500 fellowship, one of the best educational investments ever made in Washington State

Walter Clore joins WSC-IAREC in Prosser

1940s
Grape wine outsold other fruit wines for the first time

Test plots of different grape varietals were planted in Washington by Dr. Clore

1950s
Dr. Clore begins collecting data for The Wine Project

Washington Department of Commerce & Economic Development publishes "The Grape Industry in the State of Washington" report

1960s
First mechanical harvest of Vitis vinifera

1970s
Enological Society of the Pacific Northwest is formed

The Wine Project study, Ten Years of Grape Variety Responses and Wine-Making Trails in Central Washington, is published

Washington wines begin to win national awards and recognition

1980s
The Washington State Wine Commission is created

Wine Country Magazine recognizes Chateau Ste. Michelle as Best American Winery

Five Washington wines were ranked in Wine Spectator's Top 100

20 Wineries

1990s
Deficit irrigation led to enhanced fruit quality and conservation of water resources

Reciprocal shipping laws permit interstate wine shipments

The WSU Foundation Walter J. Clore Scholarship is established

100 Wineries

2000-2009
Wine Enthusiast Magazine names Washington as the 2001 Wine Region of the Year, the first US region to receive the award

Senate Resolution proclaimed Dr. Walter Clore as the "Father of Washington Wine" 

350 Wineries

2010-Present
Yakima Valley, Washington State's oldest AVA, celebrates its 30th Anniversary

WSU breaks ground on the Wine Science Center in Richland, Washington

The Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center opens in Prosser, Washington

750+ Wineries

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tasting room open daily 11-5
2140A Wine Country Road  ·  Prosser, WA

509.786.1000
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