What is Wine Country?

Believe it or not. This is wine country. Woodinville, Washington.
About last night, 

Last night I was on twitter, tweeting for over an hour. I don't know about you, but I've found myself drifting away from twitter and my twitter wine social media friends. I blame Instagram and work.

My twitter friend @justthebottle, invited me back to participate in her monthly hosted #winechat discussion - the topic was irresistible. Wine Country Travel.

*The goal of #winechat is to share our love and knowledge of wine with others. All are welcome from novice to oenophile. Held on the last Wednesday of the month at 6 pm Pacific 9 pm Eastern.

The tweets and exchanges were fast, friendly and diverse. Before I knew it, the hour was over. It felt good. I felt energized. And I knew I had to get a domain name for this site. So here I am today. Typing away for me and you on www.contextofwine. Hello twitter, I'm back.

One of the topics I felt keen about was, "What is your definition of wine country?"

How do I define wine country? I tell people, "I live and work in wine country." But how do I define and think of wine country? My first gut response was, "Walla Walla is wine country." Because, it's an hour away and not where I live.

So "Not where I live." is the first qualifier.

Then I thought, "No. Prosser is wine country." It's 25 minutes away and where I work in the wine industry, they have wineries and they have vineyards. And it's not where I live.

No, I said to myself, as I kept tweeting, "Red Mountain is wine country." It's 15 minutes away, they have vineyards and wineries. And lovely, decadent red wines.

Novelty Hill-Januik Cellars, Woodinville, Washington.

Then I realized, one of my favorite wine country destinations has no vineyards. Well maybe one, which few know about. Woodinville, Washington is truly Wine Country. Even though it is near the metropolis of Seattle, surrounded by evergreen trees, with Mount Rainier dominating the background and all that rain, rain, rain. It has become one of the best known wine country destinations in Washington state.

So what is required for a destination to be considered wine country?

Seems obvious, the production of wine and local wineries. And the grapes should be from the same region as they are grown and wines made. In the U.S. that means wines should be made from grapes grown in the same state and that the grapes have not crossed state borders. I don't consider wines made in one state from grapes grown in a different states, as "true" wines. They lack context and terroir.

What do you think?

- William, The Context of Wine