SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) – Washington state’s wine industry reached a major milestone when it surpassed 1,000 active winery licenses recently.
In the early 1980s there were only 20 wineries in the state. The number reached 74 by 2000 and has grown dramatically since.
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board says that as of this month it has 1,010 active winery licenses.
The industry continues to grow rapidly. Twenty years ago the state had 24,000 acres of wine grapes and produced 70,000 tons of grapes. Today there are 59,000 acres of vineyards and they produce 260,000 tons of grapes.
The trade group Washington State Wine says the industry generates about $2.4 billion in revenue each year.