The Wonders of Woodinville Wine Country

Just 20 miles Northeast of downtown Seattle, Woodinville Wine Country greets visitors with open arms. The Woodinville wine region is currently home to more than 90 wineries and tasting rooms (a number that’s increasing rapidly), but that’s only the beginning.

Published: 1/13/2015

Just 20 miles Northeast of downtown Seattle, Woodinville Wine Country greets visitors with open arms. The Woodinville wine region is currently home to more than 90 wineries and tasting rooms (a number that’s increasing rapidly), but that’s only the beginning. The town of Woodinville sits like a crown atop the beautiful Sammamish River Valley, which stretches all the way south to Redmond.

Visit the Farms
The Sammamish River Valley is so abundant, it is said to be one of the nation’s 10 most fertile farmlands — a cornucopia for visitors to dis- cover and explore. Woodinville Lavender Farm’s three acres of lavender is abloom from June through August, but the beautifully landscaped property is open year-long for strolling, picnics, classes, crafts, and demonstrations. 21 Acres Farm is a fascinating nonprofit farm, education center, and market where visitors take informative classes and gain some food for thought on issues regarding sustain- ability and more. Also check out Gold Creek Trout Farm, a “u- fish” farm with two ponds, BarnPlace offering barn tours and farm stays, and a bounty of farm stands and the Woodinville Farmers Market, which opens in May.

Savor the Food
It seems this bountiful region is always celebrating its agricultural blessings with innovative cooking classes, creative restaurants, and foodie festivals. Take a cooking class at 21 Acres Farm or the free monthly cooking class taught by Barking Frog Executive Chef Bobby Moore. The Herbfarm Restaurant offers a hands-on experience that starts early in the morning with the handpicking of fresh ingredients in the restaurant’s garden and concludes with a fabulous nine-course dinner. Along the food and wine trails, you’re bound to make many fresh discoveries like Woodinville Lavender Farm’s lavender ice cream! You’ll be amazed by the diversity of crops and their abundance. We’ve been told that one acre of Sammamish Valley farmland can produce 130,500 heads of lettuce or 62,500 bunches of carrots!

Follow the Trails
Between culinary classes and fabulous meals, there are plenty of ways to rebuild your appetite. Rent a bicycle in town or, if you’re staying at Willows Lodge, you can check one out for free. There are more than 85 trails and courses for bikes in Woodinville Wine Country , ranging from steep mountain trails to gentle valley pathways. There are plenty of two-legged options, too. Besides cycling, the Sammamish River Trail is ideal for walking and running. The trail runs a total distance of 10.9 miles and is well paved, yet rustic. The Burke-Gilman Trail is a scenic trail that borders Willows Lodge and runs 26 miles, all the way to Seattle. There’s also rafting and kayaking on the Skokomish and Sammamish Rivers, golf at several nearby courses, and hot air ballooning above the scenic farms and vineyards.

Taste the Wines
Another amazing thing about Woodinville Wine Country is how easily you can taste the whole state. Within just a few miles, you’ll discover wines from nearly all of Washington’s 13 AVAs! The small, but mighty Red Mountain AVA is located on the eastern tip of the Yakima Valley, about three hours away from Woodinville. The arid Red Mountain is a flat-topped southwest-facing mesa complete with sagebrush and tumbleweeds. Its rich, calcium-carbonate soils have proven to be excellent for growing winegrapes. Wines from the Red Mountain AVA are big, bold, and powerful. Dozens of Woodinville wineries source their grapes from the Red Mountain AVA,which measures just more that 400 acres in size.

Bordered on the north by the Yakima Valley AVA and on the south by the Columbia River, the Horse Heaven Hills AVA is home to 25 percent of Washington State’s total vineyard acreage, but only six wineries are located there. Its distinctive, silt loam soils set on steep south-facing slopes provide optimal drainage for its vineyards. The vines are exposed to high winds from the Columbia River. They yield refined wines with velvety tannins and noticeable acidity and minerality. Whites are often described as refreshing and bright, while reds are rich and bold.

Wines from these AVAs and many, many more can be discovered in Woodinville Wine Country’ s four distinct districts. The Hollywood District offers destination restaurants and about 25 wineries within walking distance of each other . The Warehouse District is a vibrant, no-frills strip of small wineries residing side by side. The West Valley District, situated on the west side of the Sammamish River, is this region’s new frontier, with a growing number of boutique wineries and distillers operating at a slower pace. The Downtown District is a mecca for foodies, with a full menu of restaurants plus a winery all its own. Across these four districts, you’ll discover a lot of wines, and they’re sure to be good ones. Of W oodinville’ s more than 90 wineries, an impressive majority have earned 90-plus point ratings and more have won international awards in the past year alone.

Farms, food, trails, and wines have a wonderful way of coming together in W oodinville. And it’ s almost in Seattle’ s backyard. Drive out for the day, or better yet, make it easy and smooth with an insider approach: Butler Seattle Valet, Transportation, and Tour Services, a first-class Woodinville Wine Country partner.

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As seen in the issue Spring 2015 of Touring & Tasting Magazine.


Alexandria Nicole Cellars
Ambassador Winery
Barrage Cellars
Betz Family Winery
J. Bookwalter Wines
Col Solare Winery
Fidelitas Wines
Guardian Cellars
JM Cellars
Lauren Ashton Cellars
Matthews Estate
Novelty Hill
Januik Page Cellars
Smasne Cellars
Woodinville Wine Cellars