Located just half an hour’s drive from Seattle, Woodinville Wine Country is home to more than 100 different wineries and tasting rooms. Thanks to the warm and arid climate of Washington’s Columbia Valley, protected from Seattle’s marine climate by the Cascade Mountains, as well as its sandy, gravelly soil, the region is ideal for planting and growing grapevines, resulting in world-class fine wines that attract wine enthusiasts from all over the globe.
Chateau Ste Michelle
Chateau Ste Michelle is one of the two largest wineries in Washington, and combines Old World winemaking traditions with New World innovations. With two state-of-the-art wineries, Chateau Ste Michelle splits their production between the two, with their red wines coming from their winery in Eastern Washington, and their whites coming from Woodinville Wine Country. The winery has won numerous awards for their wines and production techniques, as well as for their brand as a whole, and offers complimentary tastings and tours for those who want a behind-the-scenes look at exactly what goes into these premium wines.
A boutique artisan winery that was founded in 1992, DeLille Cellars uses a combination of fruit from their own vineyards, as well as others from the Yakima Valley, picking only the very best fruits for their wine production. Wine tastings are held in the winery’s tasting room, with a tasting menu that changes each day, but always features exceptional vintages.
With a 126-acre estate vineyard, Kestrel Vintners puts a focus on growing exceptional fruit, correctly believing that this will then lead to the finest of wines. The majority of the wines produced here are reds, from Cabernet Franc to Malbec to Merlot to Syrah, while some of the white varieties include Old Vine Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. Kestrel Vintners also produces blends, beautifully crafted from a mix of specific varietals, and always different each year. For those who want to know all about the production of wine from grape to glass, Kestrel offers a one and a half hour comprehensive tour, which includes tasting some of their most popular, and some of their most unusual, wines.
Founded in 2002, the Stevens Winery specializes in producing wines that have a distinct and individual character, with fruits that have been grown in the Yakima Valley. Currently, the winery produces six red varieties and two whites, with one of their most popular being the 2012 BlackTongue Syrah, which, after being aged for 20 months in French oak barrels, is powerful, juicy and truly unforgettable.
Being home to two of the largest wineries in Washington, Woodinville Wine Country attracts a constant stream of visitors, who are also interested in taking a look at the smaller, boutique wineries in the area. With distinct and delicious wines, and spectacularly picturesque surroundings, Woodinville Wine Country is a must-visit for any wine enthusiasts that are visiting Washington. There are a number of tours offered that take visitors through a few of the different wineries, with enough time for tastings allocated to each one, and these are definitely worthwhile if you want to explore the extraordinary variety of wines that the region produces.