I have the good fortune to be able to travel up and down the West Coast fairly often, tasting my way through the best wine regions in the U.S. IMO, the four most exciting regions on the West Coast, that means the four most interesting in the U.S, are Washington State, Sonoma, Paso Robles and the Willamette Valley. Washington went from 6 to 600 wineries in just thirty years. Sonoma, the country within a county, is like a European country (is it France or Spain) just a hop skip and jump from San Francisco. Paso Robles has had an explosion similar to that of Walla Walla and is probably passing the 200 mark for wineries. The Willamette Valley in Oregon has become the Pinot Noir capital of the world thanks to the hard work of such pioneers as Dick Erath and the recently deceased David Lett. Now that I have all of my books in boxes, it is time to start taking them out. But you and I have been deprived of my blogging for the past several months, so I will take my time getting my books out and concentrate on blogging once again. Tomorrow I drive to Phoenix to taste at the First Press Wine Auction to support public radio in Arizona. A large percentage of those wines will be from Washington State thanks to the efforts of Dave Wood who founded Wanderlust Trading to bring great wine from Washington's best boutique wineries to Arizona. Look for reports on Washington, Sonoma, Paso Robles and Willamette wines in the coming weeks. Also, it's that time of year again - time for the Third Annual Unofficial Classification of Washington Wines, Gene's faves, Best New Wineries, Best Winemakers, Best Vineyards and, of course, some recommendations for the Holidays.