Woodinville Wine Country Comes to Seattle

By Kori ~ September 20th, 2010.

Woodinville has definitely become a must-visit destination in Washington wine country. Home of the state’s oldest, largest, and most well-known wineries, Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Winery, the Woodinville area is also home to over 90 wineries and tasting rooms, with new ones opening all the time. Woodinville now boasts the second largest concentration of Washington wineries after Walla Walla and is located just 17 miles northeast of Seattle. Today, Woodinville is one of the Seattle area’s top tourist attractions, with at least 18 tasting rooms open daily and upwards of 70 open on the weekend.

Founded in 2002, Woodinville Wine Country is a non-profit organization currently comprised of 57 member wineries that share the goal of producing world-class wines and driving tourism to the area. In an effort to get the word out about their wines, Woodinville Wine Country hosted a “Taste for the Trade” event in Seattle last week. They are also hosting a similar event in Bellevue this afternoon. Even with their close proximity to the population center of the state, I am glad to see that Woodinville is not content to rest on their laurels and wait for the people to come to them. It shows initiative for them to also come to the people. As a result, I hope to see even more Woodinville wines on the wine lists of local restaurants and in area wine shops. Woodinville Wine Country also sponsors two annual events for the public, Passport to Woodinville (first weekend of April) and St. Nicholas Weekend (first weekend of December).

If you haven’t made a Woodinville wine tasting trip yet, I highly encourage you to do so whether for one of the event weekends, when you are vacationing in Seattle, or just when you have a free afternoon. (Click here for our updated .pdf list of Woodinville wineries/tasting rooms including website, address, phone, and hours.)

Here’s a breakdown of the wines that we tasted at the Woodinville Wine Country “Taste for the Trade” event. Under each Quality heading, the wine name and region will be listed along with price and QPR rating. Wines in bold type received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5).

Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
2007 Brian Carter Cellars Abracadabra Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $15, QPR: 5
2005 DiStefano Winery Syrah R, Columbia Valley, $20, QPR: 5
2007 Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $27, QPR: 5

2008 Hollywood Hill Vineyards Cabernet Franc, Rattlesnake Hills, $26, QPR: 4
2007 Northwest Totem Cellars Low Man Red (Bordeaux-style blend), Columbia Valley, $28, QPR: 4
2006 Brian Carter Cellars Le Coursier (Bordeaux-style blend), Columbia Valley, $30, QPR: 4
2007 Pomum Cellars Syrah, Columbia Valley, $30, QPR: 4
2007 Sparkman Cellars Ruby Leigh (Merlot-based blend), Red Mountain, $42, QPR: 3
2007 Sparkman Cellars Stella Mae (Cab-based blend), Columbia Valley, $42, QPR: 3
2008 Mark Ryan Winery Wild Eyes Syrah, Red Mountain, $45, QPR: 3
2008 Mark Ryan Winery Crazy Mary Mourvedre, Red Mountain, $45, QPR: 3
2008 Betz Family Winery Besoleil Grenache, Columbia Valley, $45, QPR: 2

Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
2006 DiStefano Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $25, QPR: 5
2005 Columbia Winery Red Willow Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley, $26, QPR: 5

2008 William Church Winery Bishop’s Blend (Bordeaux-style blend), Columbia Valley, $20, QPR: 4
2006 Page Cellars Preface Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain, $37, QPR: 4
2007 Hestia Cellars Meritage, Columbia Valley, $25, QPR: 3
2008 Mark Ryan Winery Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $28, QPR: 3
2008 Mark Ryan Winery The Dissident Red (Cab/Syrah/Mer), Columbia Valley, $32, QPR: 3
2007 Elevation Cellars Monolith (Cab/Merlot), Columbia Valley, $34, QPR: 2
2007 Matthews Estate Claret, Columbia Valley, $35, QPR: 2
2007 Northwest Totem Cellars Potlatch (Syrah/Temp/Gren), Columbia Valley, $36, QPR: 2
2006 Page Cellars Syrah, Red Mountain, $37, QPR: 2
2007 Woodinville Wine Cellars Indomitable (Cab-based blend), Columbia Valley, $40, QPR: 2
2008 Hollywood Hill Vineyards Malbec, Wahluke Slope, $34, QPR: 1

Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
2007 Red Sky Winery Sunrise Blend (Cab/Merlot), Washington State, $20, QPR: 4
2009 Elevation Cellars Imperium Riesling, Columbia Valley, $16, QPR: 3
2006 Brian Carter Cellars Tuttorosso (Sangio/Cab/Syrah), Yakima Valley, $25, QPR: 3
2006 Brian Carter Cellars Oriana (Viog/Rouss/Ries), Columbia Valley, $15, QPR: 2
2007 Sparkman Cellars Wilderness Red Blend, Columbia Valley, $28, QPR: 2

Quality: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
NV Tefft Cellars Villa Toscana (Sangiovese-based blend), $14, QPR: NR
2008 Facelli Winery Sangiovese, Sugarloaf Vineyard, Columbia Valley, $24, QPR: NR

Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Grenache, Malbec, Mourvedre, Red Wine, Riesling, Sangiovese, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wine Activities/Events, Wines NOT To Buy (1 & 2 Star), Wines Over $25, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

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