Where East Meets West

| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

WoodinvilleWhile many winemakers are embracing social media, they still
require a physical location—preferably near major population centers—where they
can bring their customers to taste their wines. In the past five years, the
number of wineries and tasting rooms in Woodinville has grown from a dozen to
more than 50 as more and more wineries from eastern Washington set up shop just
30 minutes from downtown Seattle. Not only has this expansion brought the wines
closer to big population centers, but it’s also created a new destination for
tourists.

The Showplaces

Chateau Ste. Michelle
has been an iconic landmark since 1976. Its annual concert series has become
one of summer’s hot tickets and its beautiful grounds a favorite spot for
warm-weather picnics. Beneath the chateau’s stately tasting room are its vast
production facility and barrel rooms. >> At Januik/Novelty Hill, everything in this beautiful building screams
modern, from the state-of-the-art production facility to the crisp, clean lines
of the tasting room and the minimalist courtyard. This newcomer to the
neighborhood has received raves and awards for its architecture. >> The
Columbia Winery
could easily be nicknamed
“the house David Lake built,” as the late winemaker established a legacy of
quality during his 20-plus years crafting premium varietals and the state’s
first vineyard-designated varietals. After a facelift in 2009, Columbia’s
tasting room has warmed up with armchairs surrounding a freestanding fireplace.

The Warehouse District (144th
Ave. N.E.)

Home to more than 30 tasting rooms, many with production
facilities on site. The district’s utilitarian spaces have been transformed
into rooms with attitude. Music is cranked up in many spots on weekends, when
most tasting rooms are open. On Third Thursday Wine Walks, a $25 ticket covers
sipping and snacks throughout the sprawling complex, which is also home to
flooring companies, plumbers and construction crews. Established vintners Gordon
Brothers
and Matthews Cellars have opened tasting rooms here in the past year,
but also look for many startups.

The Schoolhouse District

Back to "Tourism 2.0"

Energy tourism

Twilight tourism in Forks

Just a half mile east of Chateau Ste. Michelle, the old
Hollywood schoolhouse and surrounding area are becoming a central stop for wine
tasting. In the past two years, a dozen wineries have built mini tasting rooms
in the Schoolhouse District, including Alexandria Nicole, J. Bookwalter Tasting Studio, Pepper
Bridge
/Amavi
and Long Shadows.

The Woodinville area is also snaked with winding roads
through stands of trees and patches of farmland. Along some of these routes,
many small wineries feel like secret finds. If you know where to locate them,
these wineries might reveal another layer in the growing world of Woodinville
wine touring. Some good bets include Woodinville Wine Cellars, DiStefano
Winery
, Woodhouse Family Cellars, Adams Bench and JM Cellars.