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How Washington wines beat Napa Valley offerings

A Washington wine expert says local producers have one big advantage over growers in the well-regarded growing regions of the Napa Valley.

"Our land is not expensive," said Tom Hedges, of Hedges Family Estate, in an appearance on 97.3 KIRO FM's Home Matters.

Hedges says wine growing acreage in Washington is much less expensive than land in the Napa Valley. He says the land there can go for $150,000 an acre, where an acre in Eastern Washington would run around $15,000.

"That has a huge impact on what you pay," says Hedges. "And frankly, we can grow just as good of wines as they can."

Hedges says conditions are ideal for wine producers in Eastern Washington.

"It's just the luck of the draw really, that's the way the geography was formed, and the soil," says Hedges. "We have great, great regions to grow grapes, all over the state."

There are lots of different varieties of wines produced in Washington. Hedges says "be adventurous" when you're looking at wines to sample.

"There's so many great wines in Washington today, and we're making so many different styles and different varieties. Just experiment a lot."

By JAMIE GRISWOLD, MyNorthwest.com Editor

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Whether it's floating on Green Lake, eating shrimp tacos at Agua Verde, or taking weekend drives out to the Cascades, she loves to enjoy the Pacific Northwest lifestyle as much as humanly possible.

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