From time to time, I will review Oregon and Idaho wines in the Review of Washington Wines. Given the name of this publication, why do wines from other states appear. The rule I use is that if a wine comes from an AVA (American Viticultural Area) that extends into an adjoining state, it may be included in the Review of Washington Wines.

The American Viticultural Areas have nothing to do with State boundaries. They are creations of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the U.S. Treasury (abbreviated as TTB) which determines what areas may be designated as AVAs, based on terroir and climate data which an AVA a distinct character. There are three AVAs that straddle the borders with adjoining states: the Walla Walla Valley which includes parts of Washington and Oregon, the Columbia Gorge which encompasses both sides of the Columbia River, and the Lewis-Clark Valley which covers parts of the areas around Lewiston in Idaho and Clarkston in Washington. 

Recent issues of the Review of Washington wines have covered wines from the three above American Viticultural Areas: The Lewis-Clark Valley in the September issue (Basalt Cellars and Clearwater Canyon Cellars), the Columbia Gorge (including Analemma which is in Mosier, Oregon, but gets most grapes from near White Salmon in Washington), and, of course, the Walla Walla Valley, which has more grape acreage on the Oregon side than the Washington. Tero Estates is a case in point. Both the vineyard, Windrow, and the winery is located near Milton-Freewater in Oregon, which makes it technically an Oregon winery. The Watermill and Zerba wineries are also located in Oregon, with vineyards on that side of the border. For the reasons stated above, they can still be reviewed in this publication.

When reviewing wines outside of these AVAs (and including ones from elsewhere, such as California, the Willamette Valley and other countries) I put them in the Review Blog which covers wines outside the scope of the Review of Washington Wines. For example, I reviewed wines from the Dowsett Family Winery (located in Walla Walla) in the 19 July Blog posting (scroll down to find it). Two were from a family vineyard in the Willamette Valley, the other two from the Columbia Gorge (and therefore included in the September issue).

So, in conclusion, the Review of Washington Wines covers wines from outside of the state's boundary, so long as they come from AVAs that encompass both Washington and an adjoining state.