On a recent trip to Vancouver, Whistler and Victoria, we visit a friend in Vancouver. She whips up a quick lunch for us, and pops open a bottle of Canadian wine. Having just moved there from the Santa Cruz area, she is still trying out the far north wines and tells us how much she misses all the good wineries we have in our area.
We really don’t have enough time to go wine tasting in the land of all things maple, but stopping off in Seattle to stay with relatives on the way back home, we not only have time, but we also have a designated driver, my son-in-law. My stepdaughter and son-in-law love wine and belong to quite a number of wineries – their wine cellar is a sight to behold, so we were privy that day to wine club members’ discounts and special tastings. The same applies to wine club members in this area, of course. Usually, wineries do not charge members a tasting fee, and typically club members can take along a couple of guests on a free tasting as well. Wine shipments are well discounted and most wineries put on special events for wine club members only. Other fun winery happenings, which are open to the public for a charge, are usually free for members. The bottom line is if you find a winery you really like—and that includes the wine, the owners, the ambiance and the setting—why not join up as a member. You will be supporting our local wineries and reaping the benefits as well.
The first winery in the Seattle area we visit is Covington Cellars. A 2009 Kiona Vineyard rosé called “Josie” obviously catches my eye, and it turns out to be a delicious wine ($16) made from 100 percent Sangiovese.
Next we go to Dusted Valley and again I’m attracted to a pretty pink wine called Ramblin’ Rosé—a 2009 Columbia Valley ($17). It’s a really hot day and rosés are the perfect libation in the heat, especially this delicately flavored beauty. Dusted Valley pays homage to Ceres, the goddess of agriculture and harvest, and honors her by crafting “exquisite wines that are worthy of her table and yours.”
Then we visit Stevens Winery, a boutique winery focusing on creating small lots of ultra-premium table wines. And last, but not least, we stop at the exceptional tasting room of Alexandria Nicole Cellars, located in a historic 1912 building called the Hollywood Schoolhouse. A release party is going on and all kinds of excellent food is available, a delicious end to our wonderful day. There’s no doubt about it, Woodinville is a lovely spot to go wine tasting.
Covington Cellars, 18580 142nd Ave., N.E., Woodinville, WA 98072, 425-806-8636. covingtoncellars.com.
Dusted Valley, 14465 Woodinville-Redmond Road, N.E., Woodinville, WA 98072, 425-488-7373. dustedvalley.com.
Stevens Winery, 18510 142nd Avenue Northeast, Woodinville, WA 98072, 425-424-9463. stevenswinery.com.
Alexandria Nicole Cellars, 14810 Northeast 145th St., Woodinville, WA 98072, 425-487-9463. alexandrianicolecellars.com.