Living: Washington's Bright New Wine

From the Pacific Northwest, a challenge to California

Until about 15 years ago, Washington State vintners, if they could be called that, were known chiefly for syrupy wines made from fruit and berries. Thus corks popped across the state in October 1974 when a '72 Chateau Ste. Michelle Johannisberg Riesling from Federal Way, Wash., won first place in a blind tasting organized by the Los Angeles Times; it beat out 14 California Johannisberg Rieslings, three German wines and an Australian entry.

Scores of awards later, the bright newcomers from Washington are just beginning...

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