- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 23, 2004

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — California’s world-class vintages spring to mind when Americans think of domestic wine. But Washington? Most Americans think of the capital district.

In Washington state, vintners are hoping to send a different message through the grapevine.

The Washington Wine Commission is launching a new global advertising campaign designed to increase consumer awareness, drive up sales and promote tourism

“Washington State — The Perfect Climate for Wine” is the campaign tag line and a drawing of the sun rising above a grapevine is the logo.

With about 300 wineries in the state, wine is a $2.4 billion industry in Washington, which produces more wine than any other state except California. Promoters are troubled when wine buyers assume Washington means the District of Columbia, but their bigger concern is the notion that the state doesn’t get any sun.

“People just think of the Pacific Northwest as the rainy place, and that really is in direct conflict with the general perception of where fine wine is generally produced — warm, sunny climates,” said Ted Baseler of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in Woodinville.

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