Jim Petty, owner and winemaker, has high standards for wine that have motivated him to craft an array of award-winning varietals from the grapes of local vineyards. Aspenwood Cellars’ signature series boasts Seattle Wine Award–winners, such as the silver medal 2009 syrah and the bronze medal 2008 cabernet sauvignon, while the current production series includes a 2009 Elegance red-wine blend, which serenades tasters with the cherry and toasted vanilla notes that earned it a silver medal at the Washington State Fair in 2012. Aspenwood Cellars invites guests to visit on the weekends for tastings led by Jim. Guests can take the opportunity to learn about how the wine is made personally, since Jim takes a more personal approach, meeting and talking with guests about all things wine.
Warehouse District Wine Tastings exposes enophiles to the rich local culture of Washington wineries. Tastings and bottle discounts at area wineries allow guests to sample sundry reds and whites from the Yakima Valley and beyond.
Baseball players can't skimp on their hitting, pitching, and catching skills if they want to dominate the game—a fact that the instructors at Northshore Sports Complex know well. In 1982, Cody Webster earned the title of MVP while playing for the Kirkland Nationals All-Star Team—the first US team to win the Little League World Series. He continued to play throughout high school and college, and went on to coach for Pepsi Baseball. His cohort, Craig Bishop draws on 20 years of coaching experience at high schools and colleges. Together, the duo shares the task of teaching students the fundamentals of the game inside batting and pitching cages.
Surrounded by a chain-link fence and divided by safety nets, their astro-turfed cages shelter machines that launch baseballs and softballs straight down the plate. These projectiles can reach speeds up to 85mph, which would be really scary if the baseballs weren't tranquilized beforehand. Sans the machines, pairs can take to the cages to hone their pitching and catching abilities.
Woodinville Wine Tastings unites four wineries that sit within a pleasant walk of each other. At Davenport Cellars, patrons may sip cabernet sauvignon aged in French oak beneath impressionist oil paintings of natural landscapes. John Patterson of Patterson Cellars lets more than two decades of experience shine through in swirling elixirs, and red blends at Pondera Winery show a range of crimson shades like a bull’s anger-management counselor. Bordeaux grapes from a handful of Columbia Valley vineyards mingle in the shop’s cuvee, and guests at William Church Winery stroll beneath walnut-hued barrels, clicking together glasses of a pinot gris that hints at lemon zest and green apples.
There's a revolution happening in Woodinville, Washington. There's no violence though, unless you count the stomping of grapes. Home to hundreds of boutique wineries, the region is beginning to rival Napa Valley as the United States' biggest wine producer. Woodinville sits at the same longitude as France's wine country, allowing for optimal adult-grape-juice production and the ability to wear a beret with dignity. Barrel Wine Tours, a co-op of Woodinville winemakers, takes guests throughout the community on tours of the distilleries and wineries of these passionate part-time vintners. On a luxury coach, participants ride to four distilleries or wineries, and three-course lunches and wine pairings occur during each tour.
After almost a decade of making homebrew wines, Ed and Nichole had an idea of the types of wines they liked. What they didn't know was that their first vintages from their winery, Vortex Cellars, would also charm the palates of so many others, with three of their wines winning gold and silver medals at the 2012 Seattle Wine Awards. Their secret is the variety of Washington grapes they use. To achieve the sweet, honeysuckle notes of their dessert wine, Late Harvest Viognier, they use viognier grapes plucked from the vine on the last day of November, then aged in French oak barrels. For their other wines, they uses grapes traditionally grown in the Mediterranean to create classic French and Spanish style wines, such as the jammy CM2 with flavors of raspberries and currants. On the weekends, the couple opens up the winery to guests hoping to sample their vintages or see if the crazy rumors about wine coming from storks is true. The pair also helps host events such as wine walks, in which guests can explore the town while sipping wine and mingling with their neighbors.