Every time he begins a new handcrafted batch, winemaker Philip Coates strives to bring out the elemental flavors of his Washington-grown grapes. A limited production schedule lets Philip and his team spend more time on each varietal, de-stemming grapes by hand before fermenting batches with native yeasts and aging them in french oak barrels. Next, they fill, cork, and wax each bottle by hand before applying labels designed by local artists.
Though his repertoire has grown since 21 Cellars’ inception in 2003, Philip’s specialty remains bordeaux varietals, including a 2009 malbec and the 2006 Pont 21 cabernet sauvignon, which _Seattle _ magazine deemed Washington’s top new wine of 2011. Alongside wine by the bottle, staffers pour samples of current wines at weekly tastings at Anthem Coffee and the 21 Cellars’ own tasting room—a cozy grotto lined with oak barrels.
To make their award-winning, handcrafted wines, Amy and Josh Stottlemyer source their grapes from the local eastern Washington fields in the Horse Heaven Hills, Yakima Valley, and Columbia Valley. From that harvest, they craft thirteen wines, ranging from classics such as cabernet sauvignon and malbec to less-common flavors such as barbera and viognier. At tasting rooms in Lacey, West Seattle, and Hoodsport, they raise spirits at public tastings held three to five times a week. Stottle Winery also breaks into the darkest corner of the cellar during tastings of limited and reserved wines held on the first weekend of each month, and welcomes groups for by-appointment private tastings with cheese and crackers for up to 20 guests. Revelry continues at the winery’s other private events, where up to 60 guests can mingle over munchies, hum along to live music, and aggressively sniff sommeliers to teach them what it feels like to be wine.
Seven distinct wineries make up the South Sound Wine Trail, wrapping their vineyards along the southern end of Puget Sound from Lacey to Shelton. At each stop, visitors sample flights of handcrafted wines and meet the winemakers that produce them by tapping Washington’s majestic pine trees. Along with wineries such as Madsen Family Cellars and Scatter Creek Winery, the trail includes Vina Salida, whose wines were named “the next big thing in Washington” by the Seattle Times wine columnist in 2011.
Voted Best Tasting Room in the West by Sunset magazine, The Tasting Room works hard to dazzle palates both rookie and oenophile with the best Washington wines, as well as with hard-to-find vintages, limited editions, and artisan varietals. Tastes typically range between $2 and $6 an ounce, with full glasses starting at $4, and showcase pours from Wilridge Winery, Camaraderie Cellars, and other local purveyors. Indecisive imbibers, meanwhile, can take the stress out of decision-making by choosing a wine flight ($5–$15), a simpler and less terrifying alternative to the wine skydive.
Stina's Cellars is family owned and operated along with a lot of help from friends and volunteers. We received our license in 2005 and in 2006 we released 700 cases. Our focus is producing small lots of high quality wine at affordable prices. Many of our wines have received awards in competition.
DeLille Cellars' grape-transforming staff concocts myriad French-style wines, including varieties served at the White House and named the 2011 Wine of the Year by Seattle magazine. During the tasting experience, enthusiasts and neophytes can tickle their taste buds by sampling six wines crafted with wrath-free grapes from Washington state. Guests can cleanse their palates between wine samples by nibbling on squeaky morsels from an artisan cheese tray or quickly repeating "big black bear" three times. An astute wine educator will be on hand to discuss topics ranging from DeLille vintages to Washington's wine industry to international grape creations. Located about a quarter-mile from DeLille Cellars, the Carriage House Tasting Room boasts wine-barrel tables and candlelight wall fixtures that unlock a secret passageway to a light-bulb retailer.