Washington Wineries Continue Moving Toward the People

By John ~ August 27th, 2010.

When the infamous Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, his answer was, “That’s where the money is.” When I’ve asked winery owners from Eastern Washington why they’ve opened a tasting room in Woodinville, the answer has most often been, “That’s where the people are.” Makes sense, doesn’t it? In fact, I wrote a post last month devoted entirely to The Woodinville Phenomenon.

While Woodinville is only about 30 minutes from Seattle (unless it’s rush hour when it can take an hour or more), I’m noticing that some of the Woodinville wineries are now talking about putting tasting rooms in Seattle proper, closer to more of the people and closer to tourist traffic, especially cruise ship visitors. Again, it makes sense, doesn’t it? In fact, one group of five wineries, Alta Cellars, Barrage Cellars, Des Voigne Cellars, Cuillin Hills Winery, and Flying Dreams Winery, has already joined together to open the Vintner’s Annex in the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle.

In downtown Seattle, you have The Tasting Room on Post Alley near Pike Place Market where wines from Camaraderie Cellars, Harlequin Wine Cellars, Latitude 46, Mountain Dome, Naches Heights, Wilridge Winery, and Wineglass Cellars can be tasted and purchased.

South of downtown Seattle is located another pod of wineries, including several of the state’s best, such as O*S Winery and Cadence Winery.

For the future, the most exciting potential location may lie along the 15th Street/Elliott Avenue corridor between Ballard and downtown Seattle. Only one winery, Ward Johnson Winery, is located on Elliott Avenue now, but I understand there are others under consideration, and the location makes a lot of sense located in a largely old industrial area between the cruise ship terminals and downtown Seattle.

The movement of wineries and tasting rooms closer to the people has likely just begun. Stay tuned!

Filed under: American Wine, General Wine Information, Washington State Wine

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