While there may be no shortage of garage wineries in Woodinville, Washington, Covington Cellars is definitely one of a kind. Housed in the Warehouse Winery District of this wine-blessed city, the unassuming exterior of this warehouse doesn’t lend even a hint as to what’s to be found inside.
Covington Cellars underwent a full renovation in 2009, and a commercial kitchen was added so that the winery could host private parties and wine and food pairing events. “Quality has always been our number-one priority, and we wanted to expand that priority to our events and catering,” says Cindy Lawson, who owns the winery with her husband David. Along with adding the commercial kitchen, the Lawsons also brought on an executive chef and a culinary and event-management team. Food and wine go hand in hand, and the Lawsons knew they could offer a truly unique experience for wine tasters in Woodinville. Guests visiting the tasting room on the weekends may now choose a food flight to accompany their wine flight. “When my friends and I go wine tasting, no one ever wants to stop tasting just to eat. This way, guests don’t have to choose, as they can couple a winery visit with lunch,” Cindy says.
As well as offering small plates on the weekends, the winery also hosts monthly winemaker dinners, wine club parties, and private events. The winemaker dinners are six-course, wine-paired culinary adventures, complete with cooking demonstrations, winery tours, and barrel samples. “Winemaker dinners are a great way to share our passion with our guests. There’s nothing quite like breaking bread together to help build a relationship,” David says. “And our space is perfect for wedding rehearsal dinners, small corporate events, or private dinner parties,” he adds. The winery also offers cooking seminars, wine and food pairing classes, and Woodinville winery tours. The Lawsons, who started making wine in their home garage in Covington, Washington, back in the 1990s, moved the winery to Woodinville in 2005. “We were the 19th winery to open in Woodinville just five years ago, and today there are nearly 70 wineries and tasting rooms. The growth is unbelievable,” Cindy says.
While Covington Cellars’ production has grown to about 3,000 cases annually, its wines are still artisan products made by hand, which is why Covington Cellars employs two full-time winemakers. This dedication and constant attention to detail enable the winery to make wines with depth, interest, and elegance. Their wines have won many awards, and in April 2010, local wine professionals cited Covington Cellars as having one of the best red wines in Washington State.
The winery welcomes guests on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons and by private appointment. Guests may choose a traditional or reserve tasting at the tasting bar, a paired wine and food flights, or a tour and barrel samples with the winemaker. No matter how they choose to enjoy Covington Cellars, they’re sure to leave with a better understanding of the winery’s passion for wine, food, and friendship.