With the help of his uncle Tom Campbell, who just happens to be a seasoned enologist and viticulturist, Bijal Shah and his wife Sinead founded The Woodhouse Wine Estates in 2004. The winery's vintages are brought to life by Jean Claude Beck, whose winemaking genes reach back to Alsace, France, where his family estate has been crafting wine since 1579. The team at Woodhouse focuses on expressing the unique terroir of each grape’s origin, yielding balanced, mature wines marked by full flavors. Inside the tasting room, chandeliers sparkle over a long bar, where visitors can sip pours of any number of select wines.
The neighborhood wine shop's cellar-like interior surrounds guests with stacked bottles of world-class wines, waiting to grace café tables during leisurely tasting tours. Approachable staff decants jewel-toned potables while patrons send each of six selections gliding across tongues like a competitive ballroom dancer in banana-peel slippers. Depending on the tasting, guests pair their favorite varietal with a selection of cheeses such as brie or swiss, specialty meats, or nonedible, but still enjoyable crystal. Those opting for an at-home tasting wow guests with a 12-bottle cellar pack of Robert Mondavi wines, enough for a generous 15-person tasting or a raucous 30-person gargling tournament.
In the barrel room at Port Gardner Bay Winery, Chris Covington stays vigilant watching over casks of reds and whites with the anticipation and pride of a master winemaker. After learning that his engineering and chemistry knowledge could be put to use fermenting grapes and crafting unique alcoholic nectars, Chris began experimenting with the wine-making process, eventually producing his own wines independently. Today, Chris crafts vintages ranging from cabernet sauvignons and merlots to malbecs and gewürztraminers, earning him a spot in Evening Magazine's "The Best of Western Washington". In addition to his day-to-day production duties, Chris also hosts frequent events, from tastings featuring live performances from local musicians to wine classes that discuss the wine-making process and dispel rumors that the best way to crush a grape is by breaking its heart.
Occasionally, the ground shakes at Karl's Bakery & Cafe, sending ripples through cups of coffee. These trembles occur throughout the day, but they're not the result of an earthquake or a T. rex playing hopscotch. Rather, they originate from the Everett train tunnel, located just below the café.
Since its inception, Karl's Bakery & Cafe has had a unique relationship with transportation. In the 1960s, it found a permanent home at Wetmore Avenue, earning the nickname "drive-through bakery" courtesy of a driver who crashed through the front window.
Perhaps the driver had a hankering for the café's glazed cake donuts or tightly coiled cinnamon rolls—they're freshly prepared daily according to time-honored recipes. Customers can peruse these baked goods as well as apple fritters, cherry danish, and other buttery delicacies in the bakery's display cases.
In addition to baking sweets, cooks prepare hearty breakfasts and lunches. Stacks of pancakes measure about three fingers tall, and four strips of bacon add a second deck to saucy cheeseburgers. Cooks bundle theses entrees with sweets for well-rounded meals, served in the café or catered to designated locales.
Considering its full slate of signature beers, Lazy Boy Brewing may be a misnomer. That's because the brewery stays busy crafting beers such as the hoppy IPA, the Bavarian-style Hefeweizen, and the chocolate-infused Porter. Beers are more than showcased, they are poured for thirsty patrons inside the taproom. From here, guests can watch brewers as they add malt to their creations or read The Little Engine That Could to fermenting tanks. All of this has helped the brewery earn awards such as the gold medal at 2007's North American Beer Awards for its Belgian Strong Ale and the bronze medal at 2007's Strange Brewfest for its Mistletoe Bliss.
After immigrating to the U.S. from Amsterdam in 1979, Fien Hulscher and her daughter Bela founded the Islands Inn in Anacortes, instilling it with the same attentive service and cozy atmosphere with which they operated their Dutch bed-and-breakfast. Inside a Fireplace Room, royally replete with a king-size bed, Internet access, and a small refrigerator, guests can curl up near the wood-burning fireplace or snuggle within the hot blast radius of the hair dryer. Most rooms open up to sweeping views of Mount Baker and Fidalgo Bay, and several also feature balconies for breathing in the fresh mountain air and waving semaphore flags at passing ships. Elsewhere in the inn, a hot tub churns year-round, and a pool opens in the summer for swimming or sunbathing no sooner than 30 minutes after devouring the included breakfast.